Safina triumphant in Russian duel

 

Tennis: Dinara Safina powered into her first grand slam quarter-final after ending fourth seed Maria Sharapova's French Open challenge with a 7-5 2-6 7-5 win.

Sharapova threw away a 5-1 lead in the final set and let Safina storm back to win the all-Russian duel with a backhand crosscourt winner.

Safina will next face another compatriot, 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, for a place in the last four.

"I did the best I could. I had the chance to be in the quarter-finals and did not take it," Sharapova told a news conference.

"She picked up her game a little bit and mine went down. All of a sudden you start thinking. You go into a different world and you make dumb decisions."

Safina is the younger sister of former men's world number one Marat Safin, who was knocked out of the first round in Paris.

"I wanted to stay more on the court, so I had to do more," said Safina.  "I tried to make her run, to look for the lines. I just went into the game, I was enjoying every point."