Safina stranded again as Kuznetsova wins French Open (Lead)

June 6th, 2009 - 11:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, June 6 (DPA) Svetlana Kuznetsova Saturday defeated Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-2 to win the French Open tennis, leaving the world number one still without a Grand Slam title.
Kusnetsova, seeded seventh, added the Roland Garros honour to her US Open crown from 2004. She also lost Grand Slam title matches to now-retired Justine Henin in Paris in 2006 and New York a year later.

“It’s been so many years since I won my first major,” said Kuznetsova, who was presented the trophy by former tennis great Steffi Graf. “I didn’t think I could do it again but today it happened.

“I’m still in the match. I went onto the court today calm and strong in my head. I’m calm but this is a big moment for me today.

“This is a very special moment for me, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. This time it happened. I played with all my heart.”

The defeat in 74 minutes ended as Safina double faulted.

The loss left the top seed in tears as she failed on the Paris stage for the second year in a row after losing the 2008 final to Serb Ana Ivanovic.

Safina quickly lost her nerve after breaking Kuznetsova in the opening game as the seventh seed put her big-match experience to best use on a chilly day with a court heavy after morning rain.

Safina struck seven double-faults and had 22 unforced errors, the same as Kuznetsosva, who broke five times.

The final was the third between the two Russians after Roland Garros, 2004 and the US Open the same year.

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