Brutal Safina beats up on Baltacha to advance

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A brutal Dinara Safina beat up Britain's Elena Baltacha to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-2 victory on Friday. Undoubtedly wanting to spend as little time as possible on Rod Laver Arena in the stiflingly humid conditions, the world number two took the first set in just 26 minutes despite losing her own serve once.

Safina appeared to be still sitting in her chair, mentally at least, at the start of the second set, allowing Baltacha to finally held her own serve by blasting away to love.

The Russian, however, snapped out of her temporary fug and continued the assault by blasting winners and attacking the world number 83, setting up a fourth round match against either Maria Kirilenko or Roberta Vinci in 57 minutes.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)