Safina beats Cibulkova for second title in row

MONTREAL Sun Aug 3, 2008 11:06pm BST

1 of 2. Russia's Dinara Safina hugs her trophy after defeating Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the Women's Singles Final at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal, August 3, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Mathieu Belanger

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MONTREAL (Reuters) - Russian seventh seed Dinara Safina overwhelmed Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 6-1 to claim the Montreal Cup and her second title in as many weeks on Sunday.

Safina, who has won three of the five finals she has reached in her last six tournaments, needed only 68 minutes to beat the unseeded Slovakian.

"It's the first time in my life I have won tournaments back-to-back," Safina told reporters.

"Usually I would win a tournament and the next week I would lose in the first round.

"So I was happy when I won the first match and then I was just taking it one match at a time."

Cibulkova earned her place in the final by defeating four seeds, including a quarter-final win over world number two Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.

But she had no answer to Safina, who quickly seized control in the opening set, breaking the diminutive 19-year-old at the first opportunity to go 3-0 ahead.

Safina broke Cibulkova again to take the first set then kept up the pressure to storm to a 4-0 lead in the second and easing to her third title of the season.

"I would say, I was maybe more experienced in the final and it really paid off," said Safina. "I hit some good shots. She gave me some (points) in the crucial moments, she gave me some good mistakes.

"I could say thank you, that helped me to win in two sets."

Safina will now turn her attention to the Beijing Olympic Games where, based on recent form, she will rank among the gold medal contenders.

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by John Mehaffey/Rex Gowar)

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