Q Klara Zakopalova d 3 Dinara Safina - 76(1) 76(3)
Sure it's a tough loss but I think Dinara had to know that coming back from a long injury break it was going to take a little time to get her confidence back to an optimal level. She did manage to get both sets into tie-breaks and that's traditionally where one can see exactly where a players confidence lies. She has a bit of distance to go yet.
This morning when the rankings were released she felt another slip falling from #3 to #5. As the defending champ in Madrid losing today will cost her dear - she will be just inside the top 10 when the next rankings are released next Monday.
Dinara will next head to Paris and should she fare poorly at Roland Garros (where she was the top seed and runner-up last year) she will sink like a stone in deep waters...
But fear not Safina fans - though it may take a little (more) time Dinara will be back among the elite of the women's tour before too long. That's my wish anyway.
Ana Ivanovic d 9 Victoria Azarenka - 64 64 - 2nd Round
This is only 2nd time Ana has won back-to-back matches since Wimbledon.
She will next play Elena Dementieva - can she make it 3 matches in Romes?
Alexandra Dulgheru d Dinara Safina - 64 67(5) 61
Dinara's comeback hit another snag as she crumbled in the 3rd set.
She now falls 1-2 in her return to the WTA tour.
As the defending champ in Rome she will likely take a rankings hit.
Other winners today include:
1/WC Serena Williams d Timea Bacsinszky - 76(2) 61 2 Caroline Wozniacki d WC Maria Elena Camerin - 61 60 4 Venus Williams d Patty Schnyder - 62 62 6 Elena Dementieva d Yaroslava Shvedova - 64 75 7 Jelena Jankovic d Q Bethanie Mattek-Sands - 63 36 61
Not being able to defend his title in Australia and getting dumped in the quarterfinals has cost Rafael Nadal dearly as he drops from #2 to #4 in the rankings. Except for 3 weeks last August '09 Rafa has been in the top 2 since July 25, 2005 and during that time he spent 40 weeks at #1.
If Rafa doesn't return to the tour soon and in title winning form straight away it'll get worse before it gets better. He has a tons of points to defend between now and the French Open; if he can't deliver Del Potro and Davydenko will also leap over him. Won't that make for a potentially interesting draw at Roland Garros, no?
Rafa's fall to #4 means that Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray move past him marking career highs for them at #'s 2 and 3 respectfully. Also making his debut in the top 10 for the first time is Marin Cilic, he slips in at #10 and many tennis insiders feel he will reside within the top 10 for many years to come.
Oh yea, like I need to mention it but Roger Federer is #1 and closing in on Pete Sampras' record of total weeks on top.
Over on the women's tour Serena Williams widens her lead at #1 over Dinara Safina while Caroline Wozniacki moves to a career high of #3.
Two other women enjoy career high marks as Victoria Azarenka moves up one to #6 and Li Na jumps seven to #10.
And what of Justine Henin? She isn't yet eligible for a ranking but crudely calculating the two runner-up finishes she has produced in her two tournaments back from retirement she would squeeze in somewhere around #40.