Brilliant Svetlana Kuznetsova wins the Apia International Sydney

Svetlana Kuznetsova won two matches in one day, her long three-set semifinal against Simona Halep and just hours later her final against Monica Puig, to win the Apia International Sydney for her 16th WTA career title.

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It was an unlikely day from the start of the semifinals in Sydney on Friday. Rainy and blustery weather caused delays in both matches as Russian veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova outplayed world number two Simona Halep and Monica Puig advanced due to a forfeit by opponent Belinda Bencic.

From the stats alone, Halep might appear the de facto victor, with 37 unforced errors to Kuznetsova’s 47 and the two players even in winners with 31 apiece. The difference, then, came from Kuznetsova’s aggressiveness and decision to take chances in a closely contended match which lasted two hours and 44 minutes and finished at 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3.

The former world number two wore Halep down with powerful, top spin-laden shots and a bold net game. A decisive moment came at 5-5 in the first set when the Russian forced Halep to stretch left for a ball, then charged the net and pushed a shot right past her in deep center court. Her strong forehand eventually overpowered Halep again in the third set.

Monica Puig - 2015 Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open -DSC_9346

Kuznetsova then went on to face dark horse qualifier Monica Puig in the final. In her own semifinal, the Puerto Rican jumped out 4-0 on Bencic before rain delayed the match. She increased her lead to 6-0 to claim the first set, but Bencic withdrew due to illness. 

final stats Sydney Kuznetsova Puig

In the title match, Kuznetsova routed Puig 6-0 6-2 in 55 minutes, amazing us all with the level of tennis she displayed after what had already been a long day for her. At the Australian Open, the Russia is set to face Daniela Hantuchova in the first round. (photos: Jimmie48)

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3 thoughts on “Brilliant Svetlana Kuznetsova wins the Apia International Sydney

  1. Jim

    Puig had no answer for Svetlana. Monica just served her lollypops and Kuznetsova just blasted them away for winners. Same thing with the rally shots..Puig just safely hit them back towards the middle. She looked nervous too.

  2. CLT

    I saw the match live and it is not true at all that Puig was serving lollipops. Her serve is actually pretty good and she did serve a few aces. I think the problem was that she was making quite a lot of unforced errors and just didn’t seem so in sync as she did against Stosur, and then when she went down 6-0 in the first set she started to panic. I suspect she was a bit overwhelmed to find herself in the final which she probably wasn’t expecting. Also Svetlana was playing really, really well and was spot on almost all the time with shot selection and accuracy – especially in view of the fact as you say that she had already played a long hard match that day!

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