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Kuznetsova defeats Bartoli to win second title of season

Written by: Staff
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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

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