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Kuznetsova ousts Mauresmo in Dubai

By Staff
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DUBAI, Feb 24 (Reuters) Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova today beat Amelie Mauresmo 7-6 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open, robbing the Frenchwoman of the chance to take number one world ranking this week.

The defeat ended a run of 16 successive victories for Mauresmo that earned her three titles this year, including the Australian Open.

The match resumed after play had been suspended overnight with the Frenchwoman having broken to lead 3-2 in the tie-break.

But Kuznetsova settled quickly, levelled at 4-4, and held off three set points before clinching the 22-minute tie-break 13-11 on her fifth set point.

Top seeded Mauresmo made the more positive start to the second set, holding off a break point before breaking to love to lead 2-0.

She also held two break points for a 4-0 lead before Kuznetsova turned the match around, breaking in the fifth game when Mauresmo netted a weak backhand.

Rallying powerfully from the baseline and also showing confidence at the net, Kuznetsova continued to stretch Mauresmo, who netted a forehand at 4-4 to leave the Russian serving for the match.

REUTERS SC RK1523

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