Dinara Safina sailed into the second week at Wimbledon for the first time on Sunday, defeating Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens 7-5 6-1.The Russian, three times a grand slam runner-up but never a winner, had a fight on her hands in the opening set of the third round match but overwhelmed the world number 110 in the second.
With thunder rumbling overhead, Flipkens got her only set point at 5-4 in the first which she squandered. Safina finally broke in the 11th game and served out to take a 1-0 lead. The Russian went into overdrive as the heavens threatened to open on the new number two show court but the rain just held off and she swept to an easy 6-1 second set clincher.
At her post-match news conference, Safina said it was "annoying" that people kept pointing out she was world number one without having won a grand slam. "I'm consistently there," she said. "One day I will get the grand slam and nobody can talk anymore that I am number one without a grand slam," she said. Safina next faces 17th seed and former champion Amelie Mauresmo for a place in the quarter-finals. The Russian said of her French opponent: "This year she's playing very good. I think she's back in her best shape. She likes playing on grass."