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Safin loses again, Russia exits

PERTH, JAN. 5. Top seed Russia suffered a humiliating early exit from the Hopman Cup on Wednesday as a leg-weary Marat Safin was beaten for the second time in three days in its 2-1 defeat by Argentina.

The World No. 4, beaten by Tommy Haas in Russia's opening match defeat by Germany, lost 7-6(4), 6-1 to Guillermo Coria and Argentina wrapped up victory when Coria and Gisela Dulko beat Safin and Anastasia Myskina 6-2, 6-0 in the mixed doubles. "It just wasn't my day today," Safin said.

"Gisela was even returning my serve very well which was kind of embarrassing but I'll have to live with that and get better for the Australian Open.

Myskina had earlier beaten Dulko 6-2, 6-1 to put Russia ahead but Safin's rustiness and some fine play by the Argentine pair secured victory for the fourth seed and left Russia unable to qualify for the final.

The results: Group A: Argentina bt Russia 2-1 (Gisela Dulko lost to Anastasia Myskina 6-2, 6-1; Guillermo Coria bt Marat Safin 7-6(4), 6-1; Dulko & Coria bt Myskina & Safin 6-2, 6-0. Group B: Netherlands bt Australia 2-1 (Michaella Krajicek lost to Alicia Molik 3-6, 5-7; Peter Wessels bt Mark Philippoussis 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2; Philippoussis & Molik conceded the doubles match).

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