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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tennis: Defending champ Kuznetsova beats Cirstea at French Open


By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer

PARIS Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova has overcome a slow start to beat Sorana Cirstea in the opening center-court match at the French Open.

Kuznetsova lost the first six points and the first three games, then won nine games in a row and beat Cirstea 6-3, 6-1 Sunday. Three times Kuznetsova won games after losing the first three points.

Seeded sixth, the Russian arrived at Roland Garros with only a 1-3 record on clay this year, and she drew a dangerous opening opponent in Cirstea, a quarterfinalist a year ago.

Kuznetsova needed 12 minutes to win a game, then found her form. Cirstea squandered chances to get back into the match in the second set, when she failed to convert all four break points.