PARIS - Dinara Safina cursed at herself in English, muttered to herself in Russian, and generally carried on in much the same manner of older brother Marat Safin.
Both have been ranked No. 1 - the only brother-sister combo to do so - and now Safina is one victory from joining Safin as a Grand Slam champion.
The top seed overcame a poor start yesterday to beat 20th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, 6-3, 6-3, and reach a second consecutive French Open final.
The Russian has won 20 of 21 matches since rising to No. 1 in April. The only woman to defeat her in that span, 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, will get another chance tomorrow in the third all-Russian major final in tennis history.
The seventh-seeded Kuznetsova seemed well on her way to an easy semifinal victory, but she stumbled a bit before getting past No. 30 Samantha Stosur of Australia, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.
"She's going to be the favorite to win," Kuznetsova said, looking toward her match with Safina. "She's No. 1. She played an unbelievable season."
Safina holds a 7-4 career edge over Kuznetsova, including a win in last year's French Open semifinals.
In today's men's semifinals, No. 2 Roger Federer of Switzerland plays No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, and No. 12 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile meets No. 23 Robin Soderling , the Swede who ended Rafael Nadal's Paris title run in the fourth round earlier this week. Federer needs to win his first French Open to complete a career Grand Slam and tie Pete Sampras' record of 14 major titles.
Seedings in parentheses.
Semifinals: Dinara Safina (1), Russia, def. Dominika Cibulkova (20), Slovakia, 6-3, 6-3. Svetlana Kuznetsova (7), Russia, def. Samantha Stosur (30), Australia, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.
Semifinals: Wesley Moodie, South Africa, and Dick Norman, Belgium, def. Bob and Mike Bryan (2), United States, 0-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4. Lukas Dlouhy, Czech Republic, and Leander Paes (3), India, def. Daniel Nestor, Canada, and Nenad Zimonjic (1), Serbia, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5).
Championship: Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan (1), United States, def. Vania King, United States, and Marcelo Melo, Brazil, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 10-7.
BOYS JUNIOR SINGLES
Quarterfinals: Dominik Schulz (14), Germany, def. Guilherme Clezar, Brazil, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Daniel Berta, Sweden, def. Richard Becker, Germany, 6-3, 6-3. Henri Laaksonen, Finland, def. Filip Horansky, Slovakia, 6-3, 6-4. Gianni Mina (11), France, def. Andrea Collarini (3), Argentina, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.
GIRLS JUNIOR SIGLES
Quarterfinals: Sloane Stephens (15), United States, def. Silvia Njiric (11), Croatia, 6-2, 6-2. Ksenia Pervak (3), Russia, def. Valeria Solovieva, Russia, 6-2, 7-5. Kristina Mladenovic (9), France, def. Chanel Simmonds, South Africa, 7-6 (2), 6-2. Daria Gavrilova, Russia, def. Bianca Botto, Peru, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.