2 Sep 2009

Safina sneaks into next round in New York

8:15 am on 2 September 2009

Dinara Safina barely resembled a player rated as the best in women's tennis as she stuttered and stumbled her way into the U.S. Open second round with a 3 set win over little-known Australian Olivia Rogowska.

The Russian was in danger of suffering the humiliation of becoming the first women's top seed to perish in the first round of the Open as she littered the Arthur Ashe Stadium with a heap of unforced errors.

Trailing 3-nil in the deciding set, Safina's appearance in New York looked set to be a fleeting one but she managed to save face by subduing the plucky challenge of the 167th-ranked Rogowska after two hours 35 minutes of see-saw action.

The 23-year-old Russian will be looking for a vast improvement in form when she takes on either Urszula Radwanska of Poland or Germany's Kristina Barrois in the next round.