Saturday, April 01, 2006

Kuznetsova Won Miami Title

Kuznetsova, seeded 12th, won the all-Russian final with a superior serve and dominating forehand.

She ended the one hour 30 minute match with her fourth ace to clinch her first title since 2004 and biggest win since capturing the 2004 US Open.

"I've been working so hard and I deserve to be here," she said.

The victory marked her sixth career singles title and will take her back to 10th in the world rankings.

She said her game plan against Sharapova was to play aggressive and control the pace.

"I had to get inside the court more. I was a bit defensive at times so I just tried to play my game," Kuznetsova said.

Sharapova reached the final after Tatiana Golovin retired in the third set with a left ankle injury.

"It was tough," said Sharapova, who was distracted by a small plane dragging an advertising banner for much of the first set.

"I couldn't put two points together. I was tired from my previous match and now I need some time off."

Sharapova had been bidding to become only the third woman after Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters to win the back-to-back American events at Indian Wells and Miami in the same year.


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