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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 19:52 GMT 20:52 UK
Kuznetsova reaches US Open final
Svetlana Kuznetsova
Kuznetsova overcame a poor start to reach her second US Open final
Svetlana Kuznetsova reached the US Open final for the second time in her career with victory over Anna Chakvetadze in Friday's first semi-final.

The 2004 champion won 3-6 6-1 6-1 in a match that was woefully short on quality on a hot day in New York.

Chakvetadze, playing in her first Grand Slam semi, took the first set with three breaks of serve.

But Kuznetsova saved three break points at the start of the second and went on to win 12 of the last 13 games.

Justine Henin beat Venus Williams 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in Friday's second semi-final.

The first semi lasted one hour 36 minutes and was littered with unforced errors, 35 from Kuznetsova and 46 from Chakvetadze.

I just played horrible

Anna Chakvetadze

It was the 22-year-old Kuznetsova who made the poorer start, struggling desperately with her forehand as she lost her first three service games.

Chakvetadze was doing marginally better in keeping the ball in court and, despite letting one her breaks go, she held on to take the first set.

And when she had Kuznetsova at 0-40 at the start of the second it looked like a swift victory could be on the cards for the 20-year-old, who has won four titles in 2007.

Finally, Kuznetsova found something approaching her best and fought her way back to hold with a thumping forehand winner.

The second set disappeared in under half an hour as the roles were reversed and Chakvetadze's forehand crumbled.

606: DEBATE

Kuznetsova reeled off six straight games to level before the heat rule was invoked, to surprise all around, giving both players a 10-minute break their play barely merited.

Little changed on the resumption, though, and in a repeat of the second set Kuznetsova took control from 1-1 and swept through five straight games to seal the victory.

"It was extremely tough today," said Kuznetsova. "I'm extremely happy. I did my best. I played the worst first set. I couldn't put the ball in. I was really embarrassed."

Chakvetadze admitted: "I just played horrible. I didn't expect it will be such a turnaround after this first set.

"I just couldn't put the ball in the court. It's very disappointing match for me. I didn't know what did I do."

SEE ALSO
Henin v Venus as it happened
07 Sep 07 |  Tennis


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