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Kuznetsova Gets Win at WTA Championships

November 11, 2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova avoided a second-set collapse and held on to defeat Russian countrywoman Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-4 in the WTA Championships on Wednesday night.

Kuznetsova blew most of a 5-1 lead in the second set when there were seven service breaks. Zvonareva won three straight games to trail 5-4.

Kuznetsova set up her first match point with a forehand winner. On her second match point, she pulled a backhand wide, then netted a forehand to get to deuce. Kuznetsova smacked a huge forehand for her third match point, before sending a forehand long for deuce. Zvonareva netted a forehand to set up the fourth match point, then missed a backhand to end the match.

Zvonareva managed just one break point on Kuznetsova’s serve in the first set.

The players are assigned to Red and Black four-woman groups and play each other once. The two players with the best record from each group advance to Sunday’s semifinals. The singles winner will earn $1 million and a car to donate to charity.

Both Kuznetsova and Zvonareva, among five Russians in the eight-player field, are making their debuts in the season-ending championships.

Serena Williams played French Open champion Anastasia Myskina and Lindsay Davenport faced Elena Dementieva in matches later Wednesday at Staples Center.

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