Safin in round 2 of Kremlin Cup

Top-seeded Marat Safin of Russia survived two match points to beat Max Mirnyi and advance to round two of the Kremlin Cup.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:09 IST
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Top-seeded Marat Safin of Russia survived two match points to beat Max Mirnyi 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-1) to advance to the second round of the $2.3 million Kremlin Cup. It was the second straight time that Safin has been taken to three sets, having lost to American Andy Roddick a week and a half ago in the semifinals in Bangkok, Thailand, in a match that also was decided by three tiebreaks. Safin and Mirnyi both held serve through the opening set to force the first tiebreak, but Mirnyi broke Safin in the first game of the second and led 3-1. However, the Russian broke back in the 10th game and dominated the tiebreak to even the match. Safin saved two match points in the 10th game of the final set, avoiding a fifth first-round exit in nine appearances at the Moscow event. Safin reached semifinals of his hometown event in 2000 - his best season when he won seven tournaments including the US Open - and in 2002. Earlier yesterday, Safin's Davis Cup teammate Igor Kunitsyn, who received a wild card entry into the main draw, upset sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3 6-4. Second-seeded Joachim Johansson of Sweden breezed past Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic 6-4 6-2. Mauresmo withdraws Meanwhile, top-ranked and No 1 seed Amelie Mauresmo of France withdrew from the dual ATP-WTA tournament yesterday because of a thigh injury. Without Mauresmo, second-seeded Lindsay Davenport of the United States will lead the field which also include seventh-seeded American Venus Williams and three of the WTA Tour's top-six ranked players from Russia: French Open champion Anastasia Myskina, US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and French Open runner-up Elena Dementieva. Davenport, who lost to Magdalena Maleeva in the Kremlin Cup final in 2002, will be looking for a season-record eighth title. She trails Mauresmo by 15 points on the WTA Tour rankings and a second-round victory will secure her the top position in the rankings next week. (AP)