Safina, Ivanovic into 3rd round of French Open

Dinara Safina rolled past another opponent at the French Open, beating Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia 6-1, 6-1 in the second round on Wednesday.

updated: May 27, 2009 13:55 IST
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Dinara Safina rolled past another opponent at the French Open, beating Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia 6-1, 6-1 in the second round on Wednesday.

The top-seeded Safina took a 5-0 lead to open the match, stretching her streak to 17 straight games after winning 6-0, 6-0 in the first round.

"Pretty good start for the tournament," said Safina, who lost in the Australian Open final and was the runner-up at Roland Garros last year. "I just played a good game today, good enough to win."

Diatchenko, an 18-year-old Russian qualifier ranked 153rd, broke Safina once in the second set but failed to convert her only other chance in the first.

"I felt so bad because I didn't play my best game today," Diatchenko said. "She's in good form. Every ball she put close to the line."

Defending champion Ana Ivanovic also advanced, easily beating Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand 6-1, 6-2.

The eighth-seeded Serb struggled early in her opening match, but she looked to be back to her best on center court this time, breaking the 32-year-old Tanasugarn twice in the first set and three times in the second.

No. 9 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, No. 22 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, No. 25 Li Na of China, No. 27 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, No. 29 Agnes Szavay of Hungary and No. 32 Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic also made it through, while No. 21 Alize Cornet of France reached the second round.

On the men's side, third-seeded Andy Murray survived a brief scare before beating Potito Starace of Italy 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

The Briton was trailing 5-1 in the third set but broke Starace three straight times to take the lead.

"Momentum makes a huge difference," Murray said. "I got broken at the beginning of the second set ... Maybe if I had managed to hold that game it could have been different."

Murray also reached the third round at Roland Garros last year but lost to Nicolas Almagro in four sets. In his only other appearance at the French Open, in 2006, he lost in the first round.

"On clay, there's always time for you to get sort of back into the match and find your game, even if you're struggling," Murray said. "Therefore, you kind of expect guys to sort of raise their level throughout the match."

No. 7 Gilles Simon of France, No. 8 Fernando Verdasco of Spain, No. 12 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, No. 13 Marin Cilic of Croatia, No. 30 Victor Hanescu of Romania and No. 31 Almagro also advanced, but French veteran Fabrice Santoro played his last match at Roland Garros.

Santoro, who has made a record 67 Grand Slam appearances, lost in the first round of this year's French Open _ his record-tying 20th _ to Christophe Rochus of Belgium 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.

"Twenty years. That counts for something in a lifetime," Santoro said. "It has been a long road, a fantastic career. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot."

Santoro and Rochus started their match Tuesday, but it was suspended by darkness with the Belgian leading 5-3 in the fourth set. The pair came back out onto the court after Safina's win and played only eight minutes.

"I'm saying to myself that the story is over, that a page is being turned," Santoro said. "I will no longer be on court next year. But I think that it is time to go."

No. 21 Dmitry Tursunov of Russia and No. 28 Feliciano Lopez of Spain also lost.

Later Wednesday, four-time defending champion Rafael Nadal is scheduled to get back on court, as is two-time Grand Slam champion Marat Safin. For the women, unseeded Maria Sharapova was on court, while No. 3 Venus Williams was scheduled to play.