WASHINGTON (AP) — Two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia ended her four-year WTA title drought Sunday, beating Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the Citi Open.
At 4-all in the final set, with Kuznetsova serving, they played the longest game of the match, with 16 points, five deuces and one break point. Kuznetsova eventually held there, then broke Nara in the next game to end it.
Nara said she “tried (to) focus again” when serving to stay in the match down 5-4, but Kuznetsova would not allow her to play as aggressively as she wanted.
“She hit a very heavy ball, so I cannot go very (easily) into the court,” Nara said.
It was the 14th tournament victory for the 29-year-old Kuznetsova, but her first since she won at San Diego in August 2010. Her collection includes trophies from the 2004 U.S. Open and 2009 French Open.
Kuznetsova, who was seeded sixth and ranked 26th, had never played in Washington’s hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open.
The unseeded Nara was bidding for her second singles title of 2014.
She also was the runner-up in doubles at the Citi Open.
“I like Washington,” Nara said. “Hopefully, I (will) come back next hear. I like U.S. hard courts.”