Calm Svetlana Kuznetsova quickly beats No.1 Dinara Safina to win Roland Garros 2009

Wilson Blade 9

Calm Svetlana Kuznetsova quickly beats No.1 Dinara Safina to win Roland Garros 2009

The 2009 French Open championship match was much shorter and less thrilling than we had expected, with Svetlana Kuznetsova quickly defeating favorite Dinara Safina 6-4 6-2 in an-all Russian final. To make things worse, the world No.1 Safina double-faulted on the championship point.

The top-seeded Safina opened the match which began with an exchange of breaks. In the eighth and ninth game there was another exchange of breaks, and both players had a 40-0 lead on their opponent’s serve. Despite being quickly broken back in the ninth game, Kuznetsova broke Safina yet again in the tenth game, and took the first set.

In the second set, the seventh-seeded Kuznetsova earned breaks in the sixth and eighth games, to prevent the 23-year-old Safina from claiming her maiden Grand Slam title.

Safina has failed to crown her spectacular clay-court season, including her impressive run to the French Open finals, by losing her third Grand Slam final and second successive at Roland Garros. The 23-year-old Kuznetsova won her second Grand Slam title in her fourth major final.

Moreover, we are still having a shaky and slamless player on top of the rankings. Safina had an excellent chance, as well as ability, to make herself stand out from the rest, but she wasted the opportunity and hence failed to restore balance in women’s tennis.

The 74-minute match is the eighth consecutive straight sets women’s final at Roland Garros. (photo: Stephane Martinache)

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  1. Marija, I just felt extremely enraged, WE ALL KNEW Dinara ‘would be successful’, there was no question, although as I mentioned before, some still hoped for Kuzy’s victory. Dina’s dissapointing grand slam finals should be responded to with intensive training and to be honest, I don’t think that occured after AO 09, remember when she lost in the second round in Dubai and I doubt it will happen after this which is why that ‘Monkey’ might be a permanent stain.
    Dina’s serve embodies her vulnerability as a player, if her serve is consistent with a high percentage of first serves, lack of hence, double faults and possibly aces, her game is always successfully executed. This is why I don’t understandy why Dinara and her brilliant coach Zeljko, won’t acknowledge or enhance her serve. Dina is very harsh on herself too, frequently mentioning lack of aggressive play, but her serve is the ultimate failure.

    Unfortunately nerves, her trademark failing serve and everything you just added perfectly justifies her demise today.

    I particularly agreed with your emphasis on the ‘shaky and slamless player on top of the rankings’, because as much as I hate to admit it, Dinara does not believe she deserves the top spot, which is why we won’t be likely to either.

  2. So all in all, thanks Dinara,

    For proving EVERYONE WRONG by failing miserably to win your third grand slam final as the technical ‘world’s best player’ after a spectacular clay-court season;

    Thanks for fulfilling everyone’s secret hope for Kuzy’s victory;

    Thanks for not acknowledging or improving your serve and hence in the process corrupting and disregarding your dreams and the spirit of your fans, old and newly acquired over the last clay season;

    Thanks for failing to eliminate that Grand Slam monkey off your back,

    Thanks for capsizing the WTA Tour once more, plunging in into the now, customary anarchic chaos and your first mental breakdown on court.
    Shocking performance, speechless fans, and excited critics.

    And thanks for such yet another shocking and disillusioning Grand slam women’s final

    Dina critics, you can feel free to attack now.

    Oh and btw, congrats Kuzy for capitalising on Dina’s voluntary submission of the match.

  3. Zuleika, you’re being very harsh on Dinara, I feel sad for her. It’s not THAT bad. She still has time ahead of her. Although, it is hugely disappointing.

    Though, I have to say, I’m worried about that monkey you mentioned.

  4. God bless Safina’s head now…

    She is a good player, but her head is blowing up right now!!

    God bless her…and congrats to Kuznetsova!!

  5. I think Dinara was too tensed and nervous to play her natural game….She needs to work on her final match nerves..

    Finally a good day for Svetlana…who lost in the finals here in 2006!

  6. Anna, I agree, she needs to work on her nerves. And yes, I forgot to say, I don’t feel disappointed after this final, because I like Kuznetsova too. She was going trough a tough period, and it’s nice to see her winning big again. She deserved to win. Congrats Sveta!

  7. well done kuznetsova. glad i got your autograph!
    same with dinara, you had a fantastic week, also glad i have your autogtaph!

    ha, love to rub it in 😉

  8. Dinara’s hard enough on herself, so I won’t be too hard. She’s a great player, plus I find her very cute. And also, Kuznetsova was so peaceful and I very much respect how she won this final, her behavior during and after it. She was honorable. All the best to Kuznetsova!

  9. Best wishes to Dinara. She’s hardly the first player to fail a few times to close out a slam and she won’t be the last. Hope she stays positive.

  10. I agree, Kuznetsova’s best weapon today was Dinara’s nerves.

    Kuzzie was able to handle Dinara’s power shots by using her speed, she chased down Dinara’s shots and returned them. Dinara could not over power Kuzzie.

    Kuzzie finesse game threw Dinara off. Clearly Dinara was not ready for the trickery.

    Once Dinara found out that she could not over power Kuzzie, Dinara did not have a plan “B” and she panic.

    After the first set there was no doubt that Kuzzie was going towin the match.

    I like Kuzzie reaction when she won she acted with class like she had done it before.

    All in all good run by Dinara on this clay season I only wish she would have been able to capitalize the opportunity.

  11. Congrats Kuznetsova. Safina still has work to do if she is to become a top tier champion.

    I am a Serena fan, but I want to be objective regarding Safina. Here’s my 2 cents:

    – get over the opinions of other people….yes all of them. Do what you do with only you in mind. period. If that means being selfish and sometime pissing someone off, so be it. Get your head on straight and start to think of your self as a champion…work hard and remember to have fun. Find the right internal conversation with yourself that makes you feel invincible, 2nd to none. Own and control your own psychological wellness….you have to take accountability for building your mental toughness. Stop playing to please other people..fear no one (except God).
    – fire your coach and hire a coach who is highly competent, calm and confident. This will counter your nervous energy and build up your self esteem. Right now,you seem to want to win to please your current coach (who is too reactive and does not instill confidence) more than doing it for you.
    – role play. When preparing for every match, visualize potential scenarios that will happen on court and determine in advance how you are going to respond. Develop a positive response to every negative scenario. This way, when it happens you do not just react naturally in a negative way…you have a pre-determined response that gives you the confidence to control your behavior and respond in a way that will help you move on with the best advantage possible.

    Now pay me my consulting fee!

  12. I would like to comment on Sveta’s calm behaviour during the ceremony….she has always been a very gracious loser but she proved to be an even more gracious winner…
    Way to go Svetlana!

    Wish Dinara could hire Carlos Rodriguez as her coach!

  13. Marija, maybe you should blog about the current AEGON Classic where Maria is competing at. She won against her first round opponent Stephanie Dubois 6-4, 6-2. Straight sets victory! Well this is grass now.

    Also, Maria served 8 aces during the match which really surprised me.

  14. Yes, I’ll blog about it, it’s just that I was too busy. I was translating loads of documents.


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