Kuznetsova targets improvement

French Open 2009 Champion Svetlana KuznetsovaSvetlana Kuznetsova (50/1 French Open outright) admits that she must work hard to prepare for the French Open later this month after losing to Carla Suarez Navarro in the final of the Portugal Open.

Navarro made it third time lucky after losing her last two appearances in finals by seeing out the match in two hours and 10 minutes.

The Spanish top seed admitted that she felt nervous but managed to keep her cool to claim the title with a 6-4 3-6 6-4 victory on the clay court.

Kuznetsova led 4-1 in the final set but allowed her grip to slip and after dropping her serve in the sixth and eighth games the victory was there for Navarro to take.

The Russian had claimed three wins in the last four meetings with Navarro but she was unable to extend that record as both prepare for the French Open.

The world number 28 was making her return from injury in Portugal after recovering from a wrist inflammation which forced her out of a match in Stuttgart last week.

Kuznetsova said: “It was a tough match and I’m disappointed that I could not hold on at the end.

“But I did better than I had expected this week, there is still time for me to get even more prepared for Roland Garros.”

The 2009 French Open winner made it to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last year but was sent home by Serena Williams (6/4 French Open outright), who went on to claim the title for the second time.

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