Tennis: Former World No.2 and 2-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova has won her first WTA title in 4 years as she edged Japan's Kurumi Nara in 3 sets 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to win the Citi Open in Washington. The 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open champion, Kuznetsova had last won the title in San Diego back in 2010.
She was appearing in just the third WTA final since then. 22-year-old Kurumi Nara was appearing in her second WTA final, after winning her maiden title in Rio De Janerio earlier this year. Contrary to Nara's 100% recod in final, Kuznetsova had a 13-20 record in finals, winning less than 40% title matches.
This was first meeting between them. Kuznetsova is 7 years older than Nara and 14 ranks better in WTA Rankings at 26th spot. After a long 3rd game, Kuznetsova broke her Japanese opponent in the 3rd game. But Nara broke back immediately in the next game.
Kuznetsova broke her again in the 7th and 9th game to take the first set 6-3. In the second set, Kuznetsova raced to a 3-0 lead and was cruising towards victory but Nara fought back and won 5 games in a row to take a 5-3 lead.
She took the second set 6-4 to force the match into the deciding set. Third set went on serve and none of the players faced any break points until the 9th game. Kuznetsova was serving at 4-4 when there was a long game, which had 4 Deuces.
The Russian had to save a break point before she held that. That put the pressure on Nara as she served to stay in the match at 4-5. 29-year-old Kuznetsova took full advantage of the opportunity and used her experience there, which helped her break Nara at 15 and win the long awaited 14th career title.