ROME – Top-ranked Dinara Safina won her first title of the year Saturday by defeating fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Italian Open.

Safina avenged a loss to Kuznetsova in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix last weekend in Stuttgart, Germany. She also lost two other finals this year, including the Australian Open.

Safina comfortably controlled a match in which Kuznetsova committed 30 unforced errors, almost twice as many as her opponent.

Wickmayer wins Estoril

OEIRAS, Portugal – Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium won her first WTA Tour title by defeating Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-2 Saturday in the final of the Estoril Open.

In the men’s semifinals, seventh-seeded Albert Montanes defeated unseeded Paul Capdeville 6-3, 6-4 in a match interrupted by rain. The match between James Blake and second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko was suspended because of darkness. Davydenko won the first set 7-6 (3) bu

Dementieva advances

MADRID – Third-seeded Elena Dementieva beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday to reach the second round of the Madrid Masters.

The tournament is being played on clay as a joint ATP and WTA Tour for the first time, with the men set to start on Sunday. It was previously a men’s hard-court event. Eighth-seeded Nadia Petrova also advanced after Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic retired while trailing 6-0, 2-1, and 15th-seeded Zheng Jie of China ousted Russia’s Maria Kirilenko 6-4, 6-4.

Youzhny, Chardy reach BMW final

MUNICH – Mikhail Youzhny rallied past big-serving, wild-card Daniel Brands 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 Saturday to reach the final of the BMW Open.

Youzhny will play fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych, who beat Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.

Brands had only played on the challenger circuit before getting an invitation to the Munich clay-court event. The German wasted four break points while leading 4-3 in the third set and dropped serve in the next game.

“He played very well and he served very well,” Youzhny said. “When he is serving like that, he is almost impossible to break.”

Youzhny was the runner-up in Munich in 2007. The Russian has a 5-3 career edge over Berdych.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.