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.