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Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Sunday, 11 May 2008 16:04 UK

Safina secures German Open title

Dinara Safina
Safina came back from a set down to claim the title

Dinara Safina has won the German Open women's singles final beating Elena Dementieva over three sets.

The Russian, seeded 13th, recovered from a sluggish start to edge out her seventh seeded compatriot 3-6 6-2 6-2.

Safina, who beat world number one Justine Henin and Serena Williams en route to the final, was erratic in the first set.

However the 22-year-old came back strongly in the second and broke twice in the decider.

She sealed the win when Dementieva netted a backhand on the first match point.

Dementieva had beaten world number two Ana Ivanovic in straight sets in their semi-final on Saturday.

And the 26-year-old produced the kind of commanding game in the early stages that had been too much for the defending champion.

Safina, with a reputation for letting her fiery temper show on court, was broken three times in the first set and her tennis racquet was the victim as she unleashed her temper in frustration after going 4-2 down.

But she recovered her composure in the second set to break her opponent three times, taking the second with a stunning ace as she improved her game dramatically.

And she showed no mercy in the third to claim the title, which moves her up to 14th in the WTA rankings, while Dementieva rises to seventh.

Dementieva paid tribute to her opponent, the daughter of her first-ever coach.

"I feel, after the first set, I let myself down," she said.

"She was serving quite well, I feel like I had some opportunities, but I didn't take my chances.

"I was watching her other games and I knew she was in good shape, she has really had a good week here."




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