Safina beats tired Pennetta to reach Cincy final

MASON, Ohio (AP) - The world's top-ranked player has easily beaten one of its most worn-out. Dinara Safina needed only 56 minutes to eliminate Italy's Flavia Pennetta on Saturday, reaching the championship match of the Cincinnati Open with a 6-2, 6-0 victory in the afternoon heat.

Safina reached her eighth final in 14 tournaments this year. She ended Pennetta's winning streak at 15.

After two weeks of grueling - and winning - tennis, Pennetta had little energy left for her semifinal match. She had blisters on her feet, a sore right ankle wrapped in tape, and aches all over from so many matches back-to-back.

By reaching the semifinals, Pennetta assured she will become the first Italian woman to move into the Top 10 when the rankings come out Monday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)