Kuznetsova Tops No. 1 Safina, Ends Title Drought at Stuttgart
Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova recorded her second consecutive win over a Top 10 player after losing her previous eight, on Sunday upending world No. 1 and fellow Russian Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-3 for the WTA Stuttgart title on red clay.
The world No. 9 beat another fellow Russian and fellow Top 10 resident, Elena Dementieva, in the semifinals.
Kuznetsova had lost her last four meetings with Safina entering the final, and collected her first title since New Haven in 2007.
“It has been a while,” Kuznetsova said. “At the beginning today I was a little bit nervous. It’s tough for me to play finals — I haven’t won too many of them lately. But I started playing better and better as the match went on and I was able to win.”
Kuznetsova had lost 10 of her last 11 singles finals, winning New Haven when her opponent retired due to injury.
Safina was playing he first event since ascending to the top spot on the WTA Rankings, and is now 0-3 in finals for 2009, and 9-10 career.
“I just wasn’t feeling that good on court today,” Safina said. “Svetlana put me under pressure right from the start and played really well. She deserved to win.”
American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Russian Nadia Petrova won the doubles title with a 5-7, 6-3, 10-7 victory over Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta.
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