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Kuznetsova outduels Nara in Citi Open final

AP

Two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia ended her four-year WTA title drought Sunday, beating Kurumi Nara 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the Citi Open final.

It was the 14th tournament victory for the 29-year-old Kuznetsova, but her first since she won at San Diego in August 2010.

“I work very hard every day, trying to improve things. After you win Slams, not winning tournaments — it’s really hard,” Kuznetsova said.

At 4-4 in the final set, with Kuznetsova serving, they played the longest game of the match, with 16 points, five deuces and one break point.

“I got a little bit paralyzed and was getting tight, and I’m happy I overcame this feeling today,” Kuznetsova said. “But definitely, didn’t play my best tennis in the end of second and third set.”

Still, Kuznetsova eventually held to lead 5-4, then broke Nara in the next game to end it.

Nara said she “tried (to) focus again” when serving to stay in the match, but Kuznetsova would not allow her to play as aggressively as she wanted.

“She hit a very heavy ball, so I cannot go very (easily) into the court,” the 22-year-old Nara said.

The unseeded Nara, who was bidding for her second singles title of 2014, also was the runner-up in doubles at the Citi Open.

“I like Washington,” Nara said. “Hopefully, I (will) come back next year. I like U.S. hard courts.”

On the men’s side, Milos Raonic easily won the first all-Canadian tournament final in ATP history, erasing the only break point he faced and beating Vasek Pospisil 6-1, 6-4 Sunday at the Citi Open for his sixth career title.