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Old Nov 30th, 2002, 09:44 AM   #1
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Russian excepts Classic challenge/Few more entered players mentioned

Russian excepts Classic challenge
By John-Paul Moloney
Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Sixteen-year-old Danira Safina younger sister of top men's player Marat Safin is one of the latest confirmed entrants in January's Canberra Women's Classic.

Tennis ACT has finalised the entry list for the Classic, with the exception of eight qualifier and wild-card places.

Safina still looks up to her big brother, the former world No 1, but she is emerging in her own right as one of Russia's top contenders.

And unlike compatriot Anna Kournikova, Safina already has a WTA title to her name.

In July Safina became the youngest player to win a WTA event when she won the Polish Open aged 16 years and three months.

She was also the first qualifier in nearly three years to win a singles crown.

To achieve a second win in Canberra she'll need to get past nine of the world's top 50 players including Meghann Shaughnessy, Nathalie Dechy and this year's Classic winner Anna Smashnova.

Smashnova, ranked 16th in the world, is one of several players returning to the Lyneham Tennis Centre in January for the Tier V event which will offer $200,000 prize money.

Former world No 11 Shaughnessy was also confirmed in the draw last week and is considered a strong chance of winning.

In January the strong-serving American lost the final of the Adidas International in Sydney to former world No 1 Martina Hingis.

The other top 50 players confirmed for the Classic are Clarisa Fernandez of Argentina, Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic, Francesca Schiavone of Italy, Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian of Switzerland, Laura Granville of the United States and Magui Serna of Spain.
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Old Nov 30th, 2002, 10:53 AM   #2
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Old Nov 30th, 2002, 03:28 PM   #3
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Old Dec 30th, 2002, 04:19 AM   #4
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