Former French and US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, looking the fittest she has in her career at age 33, on Sunday won the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., in the final holding off four match points to defeat Croat and No. 7 seed Donna Vekic 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2.
“In the second set, each of us holding serve, I was some match points down, I just managed to hang in there,” Kuznetsova told the media afterwards. “I knew I was close, I could turn it around, but of course it was really tight in the second set. Then the third set, I felt she was really down on herself and she was tired — I felt better and I found my game.”
Kuznetsova is 11-0 in Washington after winning in 2014.
The Russian has struggled with injuries over the past years and entered the event ranked No. 128, in the end winning her 18th career title.
In a final of quantity over quality Kuznetsova was -2 in winners to unforced errors while Vekic was -8.
Vekic held two match points on Kuznetsova’s serve at 5-4, then two in the tiebreak but couldn’t close.
“I just have next week off, I’m really happy about it, I’d like to take a couple days off,” Kuznetsova said. “Then I got a wildcard to Cincinnati, so I’m really happy and thankful for that. I’m just looking forward to playing there.”
Kuznetsova after her first title in two years improved to 18-23 in career finals. The 22-year-old Vekic dropped to 2-4 in finals.
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