Back-to-back wins for Safina

Former world number one Dinara Safina claimed back-to-back wins for the first time since the Australian Open in January to reach the third round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Former world number one Dinara Safina claimed back-to-back wins for the first time since the Australian Open in January to reach the third round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal today.

The 24-year-old Russian beat compatriot and 18th seed Nadia Petrova 7-5 4-6 6-4 to provide signs she is ready to put a year ruined by injury and poor form behind her.

Safina, currently ranked 70, pulled out of the Australian Open with a back injury and has struggled since, with Petrova the highest-ranked player she has beaten since then.

"It's the first time in a long time for me to win a three set match," she said. "Before, I could play a three set match against a top player and physically be fine.

"This was a nice test for me. I played two hours and 14 minutes in a high intensity match."

The Russian will next meet French Open winner and sixth seed Francesca Schiavone who needed almost three hours to overcome 66th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova 6-4 6-7 (7/5) 6-2.

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki's progress was far smoother as the Dane beat veteran Patty Schnyder 7-5 7-5 and remain favourite for the title after top seed Jelena Jankovic's exit on Tuesday.

Fourth seed Elena Dementieva was hardly troubled against Klara Zakopalova 6-2 6-4 but Kim Clijsters (fifth) needed to come from a set down to oust qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands 4-6 6-4 6-3.

There were straight-set wins for seeds Agnieszka Radwanska (seven), Victoria Azarenka (10), Svetlana Kuznetsova (11) and Flavia Pennetta (15).

Thirteenth seed Yanina Wickmayer's tournament was cut short early as she lost to 37th-ranked Hungarian Agnes Szavay 6-7 (7/5) 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 37 minutes.

Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, who beat 14th seed Shahar Peer in the opening round, kept her run alive with a 7-5 6-2 win over Sybille Bammer while Jie Zheng beat Aravane Rezai 5-7 7-6 (8/6) 6-1.

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