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Kuznetsova stirs sibling rivalry

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:32

Kuznetsova was at such a low ebb during the spring of last year that she contemplated retirement, at the age of 22 but Marat Safin talked her around and just over a year on, she is the new French Open champion having beaten Safina – Marat’s younger sister – with surprising ease in straight sets.

“It’s been a tough time for me,” said Kuznetsova. “I lost in Rome (in May last year) and I left for Moscow. I was saying I don’t want to train, I don’t want to think about it (tennis), I don’t want to go back to Spain. I said a few times I want to quit tennis. I said it, but I never felt it.”

She added: “I said it to Marat a few times. I said, ‘Marat, I don’t know, maybe I should not play’. He said, ‘Are you crazy or what? You have unbelievable opportunities, you just have to play’.”

She ended up leaving Spain, after further advice from Roger Federer, at the end of last season and the decision has paid dividends.

Her strong clay-court campaign in 2009 ended with Saturday’s win over top seed Safina.

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