Svetlana Kuznetsova choked for the first time in her life and blew four match points in the second set tiebreak (two of those with double faults), but still the Russian managed to defeat fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska and win the Mercury Insurance Open in San Diego. Final score: 6-4 6-7(7) 6-3.
“My knees were shaking and I couldn’t push on my serve and now I know why people double fault on match points,” said the unseeded Kuznetsova who wasted leads of 4-0 and 6-3 in the tiebreak.
“She’s a great player, a top player,” said the world No.10 Radwanska. “Now, she’s lost some points and she’s behind me [in the rankings]. But in the important moments, she was better.”
Both Kuznetsova and Radwanska were playing their first final since Beijing in October, when Kuznetsova beat Radwanska 6-2 6-4. By winning her first title in 10 months, Kuznetsova is projected to rise from No.21 to No.14 in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings.
The victory at the Mercury Insurance Open came at the perfect time for Kuznetsova, just ahead of the US Open, the Grand Slam she won in 2004. (source: Reuters, photo via Sony Ericsson WTA Tour)