Originally Posted by goldenlox
To Kuznetsova, what Myskina has is a lot of fight. "She just fights very much," Kuznetsova said, "and she never gives you an easy game. She runs. And she's clever, you know."
Kuznetsova's assets are more robust. She might not be able to lift a building, but she looks as if she could. With her strength, she could be the most nimble of the Russians.
"Maybe," she said.
A modest sort, Kuznetsova, now ranked No. 9. Also a dedicated individual. She has chosen to make her base not in her place of birth, St. Petersburg, but in Barcelona, Spain, where the climate is more conducive to playing tennis than it is in the place associated with the czars. She acknowledged she misses her homeland.
"But if I want to be something in my life, I have to do something," she explained. "I can be No. 1, I think."
A large statement by a player who has yet to break through in a WTA Tour singles event, but listen to Kuznetsova and one gets the feeling her ambitions are realistic.
"I want to improve my speed, my game, everything," she said. "I'm looking for perfection in everything. It's like I am in competition with myself."
But for one point, it might have been Kuznetsova being acclaimed in Paris rather than Myskina. In her match against Myskina, Kuznetsova, serving, held match point. "But I was rushing too much," she said. She failed on a ground stroke and Myskina was able to complete a 1-6, 6-4, 8-6 conquest. From there, Myskina went on to her straight-set decimation of Elena Dementieva (also due at La Costa) in the final.
Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium, the tour's ranking player, stopped Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals 6-2, 6-2. Kuznetsova's effort suggested her game fits nicely on grass, but she said she doesn't regard grass as her preferred surface. "Not really," she said. "I think I can play anywhere."