Former world No.1 Dinara Safina defeated Alona Bondarenko 6-1 7-6(2) in the first round of the Mercury Insurance Open on Monday and snapped a six-match losing streak. Safina, whose season was hampered by a back injury, has slumped to No.35 in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings and hadn’t won a match since Stuttgart in April.
In the match against Bondarenko Safina decided to take an aggressive approach and it paid off. Here’s what the 24-year-old Russian said:
I needed the win. Last week I lost a tiebreaker and in practice I lost one because I was playing defensive. Tonight I said I'm not going to play defensive and be aggressive and whatever happens, happens.
Very good news is that Safina claims her back is alright now:
I think my back is fine now. Every morning when I wake up and it feels good I say thanks.
Safina’s next opponent will be either fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska or Chanelle Scheepers, who reached the fourth round of the 2010 French Open. (source: Reuters, photo by our reader John Bolan)