Arn Edges Kuznetsova For First Top 15 Win
Published May 09, 2011 12:00
ROME, Italy - Showing she is only getting better at age 32, Greta Arn pulled off the biggest win of her career on Monday, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova in a nail-biter in the first round of the $2,050,000 Internazionali BNL d'Italia.
Arn, who scored her first Top 20 win earlier this year against a No.18-ranked Maria Sharapova and cracked the Top 50 herself for the first time just over a month ago, scored her first Top 15 win over the No.13-ranked Kuznetsova, a two-time runner-up at this tournament and this year's No.11 seed.
The win was nothing short of dramatic, lasting three hours and 22 minutes - the third set alone was an hour and 47 minutes. Arn ended up winning the match on her fifth match point - but she also had to save four match points herself, two at 5-6 in the third set and two more in the third set tie-break, at 6-7 and 7-8.
"It was a very good, high quality match. It was hard work - after almost three and a half hours, I'd say it wasn't easy!" Arn said. "To beat a top player is always great. I cannot describe the feeling - I'm just very happy. Especially because she is a good clay court player - she won the French Open two years ago."
Although Arn is from Hungary, she lives part-time in Rome. "I have lots of support here. My coach, my trainer, my love and my friends. I think the most beautiful tennis court in the world is here in Rome, it's Stadio Pietrangeli, and that's where we played today, so it was awesome. I've seen so many big cities in the world, but Rome is Rome! I love this tournament and I love Rome."
Two more former Rome finalists were also in action on Day 1, but they both followed Kuznetsova to the sidelines. María José Martínez Sánchez, who surprised the tennis world with a run to this Premier title last year, lost to fellow lefty Ekaterina Makarova, 60 57 64, while Patty Schnyder, a finalist here in 2005, lost to Anabel Medina Garrigues, 63 62. Schnyder had beaten Medina Garrigues four times in a row in straight sets going into the match.