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Safina v Mauresmo as it happened

Safina v Mauresmo live video


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By Ben Dirs at Wimbledon

Safina 4-6 6-3 6-4 Mauresmo
Mauresmo bunts a return into the net before blocking one long. Mauresmo dinks another return long to hand Safina three match points. Safina blows the first, sticking a backhand into the net, but Mauresmo finds the net in the next rally to hand Safina the win. That was probably a match Mauresmo should have won - 3-0 up in the final set, but Safina showed tremendous guts to claw his way back into it. Stand by for Murray...

Safina 4-6 6-3 *5-4 Mauresmo
I can't help thinking that last game was a key one, as Mauresmo slices a backhand into the net. Mauresmo follows up with a floated backhand long, and Safina has two break points. Safina goes long with a forehand return, but she outlasts Mauresmo on the next point to leave her staring down the barrel...

Safina 4-6 6-3 4-4* Mauresmo
Safina's second serve is very well-directed and Mauresmo can only block it long. Great scrambling from Mauresmo, somehow managing to claw back a backhand from a Safina smash and forcing the Russian into a mistake at the net. Safina goes long with a forehand before dredging up a very ill-timed double-fault. Two break points, and Safina saves the first with a ballsy backhand down the line. Spunky lady! Beefy groundstrokes from Safina pin Mauresmo to the back of the court and she finishes her off with another monstrous backhand down the line. Safina challenges a line call and is vindicated, but she brings it back to deuce with a forehand into the net. Mauresmo knifes a backhand into the net before going long with a backhand return. Good clutch game there from the number one seed.

Safina 4-6 6-3 *3-4 Mauresmo
Mauresmo pulls out a plum of a first serve to move to 30-0, but Safina hits back witth a thunderous forehand return down the line. Tremendous scrapping from Safina, but Mauresmo eventually puts away an overhead, and the 17th seed seals the game with a natty little pick-up at the net.

Safina 4-6 6-3 3-3* Mauresmo
Good match this. Safina serves her fifth ace out wide on Mauresmo's forehand wing before the French woman sprays a forehand long. Safina knifes a backhand long before beating Mauresmo with a searing forehand down the line. Safina in a rich vein now, and she wraps up the game with a ripper of a backhand down the line.

Safina 4-6 6-3 *2-3 Mauresmo
Mauresmo looking fragile all of a sudden as Safina climbs into a 0-30 lead, and the French woman makes it 0-40 with a framed backhand. Hefty groundstrokes from Safina, and Mauresmo buckles to lose her serve to love.

Safina 4-6 6-3 1-3* Mauresmo
Safina rather bottles a backhand volley and Mauresmo makes her pay with a laced backhand down the line. Mauresmo looks to chip and charge but only succeeds in the finding the net, and follows up with a muffed forehand. Wicked, dipping pass from Safina on the backhand side, and she holds with ease.

Safina 4-6 6-3 *0-3 Mauresmo
Dirty great ace down the middle from Mauresmo, and signs here that the wheels are coming off the Safina game. Wild forehand from the world number one... followed by a fearsome, Thor's hammer of a forehand to make it 40-15. Mauresmo slipping up a gear here, big forehand winner to hold serve.

Safina 4-6 6-3 0-2* Mauresmo
Mauresmo returns deep, but Safina passes her with a threaded forehand winner. Safina plonks a forehand tamely into the middle of the net, before doing the same on the backhand wing. Deuce. Big, juicy groundstrokes from Safina as she wrests the advantage, but Mauresmo shows fine movement before dipping a forehand into Safina's toes and putting away a top-spin backhand pass. Signs of tension from Safina as she misjudges a ball that lands right on the baseline, and Mauresmo gets the crowd hopping with a wicked return of serve on the backhand side. There's no doubt about it, the crowd are pulling for Mauresmo here, and she gets a big ovation as a challenge pays off. It's advantage Mauresmo as Safina misses with a backhand, and the 2006 champion attacks the net and breaks with an overhead.

Safina 4-6 6-3 *0-1 Mauresmo
Safina bites on a Mauresmo serve but sends her forehand long. The Russian sticks a backhand well wide, before bombing another miles long - she had plenty of time to look at that, apparently too much time. Impressive from Mauresmo on serve, winning the game to love.

Safina 4-6 6-3* Mauresmo
Attempted lob from Mauresmo which lands a few inches long before Safina moves to 40-0 with a mammoth first serve. And that's the set, Safina sending another ace straight down the middle. It's a pick-em match going into the third set.

Safina 4-6 *5-3 Mauresmo
The sound of ball on strings is magnified significantly with the roof on, especially so when Mauresmo's hitting the ball as sweetly as this. That said, she finds the middle of the net with a backhand before coming up with a double. Nice lunge at the net from Mauresmo and a sweet angled forehand volley. That's powerful hitting from Mauresmo, leaving Safina for dead with a vicious forehand pass and taking the game.

Safina 4-6 5-2* Mauresmo
Wild from Mauresmo, whipping a forehand miles long, and she repeats the trick as Safina goes 40-0 up. Now it's Safina's turn to blow a forehand, but she wraps up the game on her next serve. Clinical.

Safina 4-6 *4-2 Mauresmo
Crackling atmosphere on Centre, this lid really adds something to the experience. The pendulum had swung back Safina's way before the break, but can she maintain the momentum? The Russian wins the first indoor point at Wimbledon on Mauresmo's delivery, but the Frenchwoman unfurls a trademark backhand down the line to make it 30-15. Mauresmo leaves Safina for dead with a cross-court forehand, but goes long on the next point to make it deuce. Another ace from Mauresmo... and another - three aces in the game from Mauresmo, and three aces in the match...

1712: Here come the players, and here's the knock-up...

1710: The line judges are out, and we'll have play in a few minutes. The roof rules are that once it's on, the game has to be completed under it. But that doesn't mean Murray's fourth round match has to start under it - they will review the situation as and when.

1649: Never in history have so many people been so transfixed by the closing of a roof. It's a little bit weird in here to be honest, we're kind of outside, but also kind of inside. The roof lets in plenty of daylight, but they will be switching the lights on as well...

1640: No sign of movement roof-wise as the fans on Centre launch into a rather limp Mexican wave. Anyone got Sir Cliff's number? What we need right now is a bit of Devil Woman. The roof is being closed, which means we won't have play for at least 30 minutes because they've got to get the air conditioning flowing... Murray on after this, of course...

Safina 4-6 *4-1 Mauresmo
WHAT THE RUDDY NORA IS GOING ON OUT THERE?! The covers are on, although it doesn't appear to be raining. Not a brolly in sight, but I have to say, and I'm sorry if this sounds selfish, I'm quite happy about this - the roof could be rolled on for the first time in Wimbers history. I'm alright Jack, pull up the ladder.

Safina 4-6 4-1* Mauresmo
Safina with a sweet little slice at the net and she wins the point with a smash. The Russian yanks a backhand wide, but makes it 30-30 with some searching forehands from behind the baseline. Safina steps it up, pulling Mauresmo hither and tither before hammering home a forehand winner, and Safina wins the game as Mauresmo tugs a backhand wide.

Safina 4-6 *3-1 Mauresmo
Well-worked point from Safina, and the pendulum swinging back the Russian's way. Safina outmuscling Mauresmo from the back of the court, before coming into the net and putting away a backhand volley to break.

Safina 4-6 2-1* Mauresmo
Mauresmo in no-man's land and Safina dips a backhand past her, before the Russian slices an attempted drop-shot into the net. Class from Safina, backing up a good second serve with a battered cross-court backhand, but she follows up by spraying a backhand miles long. Magnificent defence from Mauresmo - Safina all over her like a cheap suit in that rally, but the Russian eventually finds the net with a backhand. Break point for Mauresmo, but she puts a backhand long, and Safina pulls out a couple of meaty serves at just the right time to pull herself out of trouble.

Safina 4-6 *1-1 Mauresmo
Safina's got the raging hump about an umpire's overrule - I wouldn't like Safina to have the raging hump with me, she's a dangerous looking woman. Mauresmo really flowing now, arching her back and lacing a forehand down the line. I fear I've jinxed her - three unforced errors on the spin, culminating in a tame forehand into the net. Not meaning to be mean, but Safina looks to be carrying a bit of loose timber round the middle, which is a little mystifying given that she's a top-class athlete. Mauresmo sprays a forehand long, and Safina breaks back. Amelie having a bit of a choke there.

Safina 4-6 0-1* Mauresmo
Some daft Doris is picked up on the box trying to take a snap with the lens cap on, before Safina stiffs another forehand long. Another double-fault from Safina makes it 15-30, and another long forehand makes it 15-40. Good scrambling from Mauresmo from behind the baseline, but Safina puts away an overhead. But another unforced error from Safina, this time on the backhand side, hands Mauresmo another break.

Safina *4-6 Mauresmo
Only half-full on Centre, which isn't really on. Safina struggling to hold thigns together here, blowing a backhand well long. Solid serve from Mauresmo that Safina can only prod wide, and Safina gets a dodgy bounce on Mauresmo's serve as the 2006 champion takes the set.

Safina 4-5* Mauresmo
Another forehand long from Safina, who takes an age to serve. Safina's power versus Mauresmo's guile, the Frenchwoman with a cheeky pick-up off her toes, but the Russian's power wins through courtesy of a whippy forehand pass. Safina stops the rot.

Safina *3-5 Mauresmo
Safina winds up and gives it some forehand hammer, but just misses the sideline. Mauresmo can't miss at the moment, she confounds Safina with another laced forehand cross court. But that's brutal again from Safina, leaving Mauresmo for dead with a vicious forehand from behind the baseline. But Mauresmo holds as Safina goes long again on the forehand side.

Safina 3-4* Mauresmo
Safina lunges and beats Mauresmo with a backhand down the line before outlasting the Frenchwoman in a baseline exchange. That's class from Mauresmo, switching from slice to top-spin on the backhand wing and leaving Safina for dead. Two break points, and Mauresmo bunts a forehand wide on the first. Wild double-fault from Safina, she's unravelling here on Centre.

Safina *3-3 Mauresmo
Bit of touch from Safina, outfoxing Mauresmo with a peach of a drop-shot on the backhand side. Mauresmo goes long with a forehand, but recovers the situation with a deft volley to snare the game.

Safina 3-2* Mauresmo
Sorry! It's just been pointed out that I inadvertently wrote a rude word below. However, unless you manually refresh the page, you will have to remain morally outraged. Deep sliced backhand from Safina and Mauresmo finds the net with an attempted pass on the run. Mauresmo creates two break points with some tremendous defence, before stiffing a forehand long. Safina winds up and leaves Mauresmo rooted with a backhand down the line, but fails with a challenge and follows up with a wild forehand to hand Mauresmo the game.

Text in your views on 81111
"Why are there great swathes of unused seats on Centre Court today? We are told to stay away or camp for the whole weekend! Who are these dog in the manger tennis seat hogs who do not use their seats but don't pass them on? Any seat not used for half an hour should be sold on to real tennis fans."
Nicky Sawa, West Sussex via text on 81111

Safina *3-1 Mauresmo
Safina goes wide with a forehand return before Mauresmo has the luck of a net cord to go 30-0 up. That's savage from Safina, pelting a forehand return straight down the line, but Mauresmo does well to soak up Safina's power and win the next point from the baseline. Mauresmo gets on the board as Safina sticks a forehand return well long.

Safina 3-0* Mauresmo
Safina not having to work particularly hard at the moment, the Russian is feasting on unforced errors from her opponent. Better from Mauresmo, giving Safina the runaround before finishing off the point with a humdinger of a backhand winner. But Mauresmo sprays another backhand well wide, and it's not much to look at at the moment.

Safina *2-0 Mauresmo
Ripper of a forehand pass from Safina and Mauresmo makes it 15-30 with a backhand into the net. Mauresmo plonks a backhand volley wide, and that's two break points to the Russian. Serious slice from Mauresmo on the backhand wing, and Safina is unable to cope with it, finding the net with a backhand. But Safina takes the next point to break, Mauresmo with another unforced error. Early signs of nerves from the Frenchwoman...

Safina 1-0* Mauresmo
Safina wins the first point of the match on serve, before Mauresmo makes it 15-30 with a punched forehand down the line. But the French woman goes miles long with a backhand and Safina manages to hold. First game on Centre for Safina, but she's passed her first little tester.
* denotes next server

1522: Mauresmo is 29 now, which is ancient in tennis player years. Twenty-five titles to her name though... a bit of a change in the weather though, bit gloomy out there now, but still plenty of heat.

1518: Players are out, and I'm quite shocked at how big Safina is in the flesh. A formidable woman, Mauresmo is dwarfed... an intriguing match-up this, top seed Safina against the 17th-seeded French woman, the winner in 2006. Marusemo is what you might call a dangerous floater...

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