OK - Sesil and Tati won.
Golovin wins epic three-setter
January 5, 2005
FRENCH glamour-girl Tatiana Golovin today claimed first blood in the battle of tennis' "generation next" at the Uncle Tobys Hardcourt Championships on the Gold Coast.
Golovin overpowered rising Russian powerhouse Dinara Safina - the baby sister of men's world No.4 Marat Safin - in a three set epic, 7-5 3-6 6-2.
It was the pair's first meeting on the WTA Tour but is unlikely to be the last after both had stellar breakthrough seasons in 2004.
Safina, 18, finished the year in the world's top 50 for the first time in her career while 16-year-old Golovin rocketed an amazing 328 places to her current ranking of 27.
Golovin got off to a perfect start to the match, breaking Safina in her first service game before the Russian recovered to level the match at 5-all.
But a double fault by Safina at deuce in the 11th game gifted the set to Golovin who benefitted from a series of lucky net rolls.
A more composed Safina emerged in the second set as she cruised to a 5-2 lead before serving the set out in the ninth game.
But Golovin quickly recovered in the decider, taking the last five games of the set to move into the quarterfinals where she will face Italian Flavia Pennetta.
In the evening's other game, 15-year-old Sesil Karatantcheva outlasted seventh seed Elena Likhovtseva in three sets, 6-2 0-6 7-6, to book a quarter final match-up with in-form world No.14 Patty Schnyder.
Karatantcheva finally triumphed in just over two hours but said she struggled in the hot and humid conditions. "The heat was just unbelievable. Sometimes you just had no oxygen. I felt like I couldn't breathe," she said.