Kuznetsova defeats Bartoli to win second title of season
DENPASAR, Indonesia, Sept 17 (Reuters) Svetlana Kuznetsova won her second title of the season today when she defeated Marion Bartoli of France 7-5 6-2 to win her third Bali International title.
The top-seeded Russian, who won in 2002 and 2004, is undefeated in 13 matches at the event.
Kuznetsova, who won in Miami in March and finished as runner-up at the French Open and Warsaw, withstood an aggressive performance from her sixth-seeded opponent, matching her in the fiercely contested rallies.
Bartoli, who injured her left arm in the warm-up, showed no ill-effects as she held a break point in the opening game.
Kuznetsova held off that threat and broke to lead 2-0, but then surprisingly dropped the next 10 points, conceding her serve with a double-fault.
Games in the baseline battle then went with serve, with Kuznetsova failing to convert two set points on Bartoli's serve at 5-4, holding off a break point at 5-5 with an ace but then breaking for the set when Bartoli double-faulted.
Kuznetsova struggled to hold serve to begin the second set, fighting off a break point before holding on her fifth game point, but then she closed out her next service game with consecutive aces.
An easy putaway at the net earned her a 3-1 lead, and although Bartoli broke Kuznetsova to love, the Russian hitting her ninth double-fault on break point, Kuznetsova in turn broke Bartoli at love to lead 4-2.
Kuznetsova's 10th ace gave her a 5-2 lead as Bartoli, who suffered from cramps in her semi-final win over Patty Schnyder, flexed her left leg, and a further break gave her an ultimately comfortable victory.
REUTERS AY VC1955