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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kuznetsova Blasts Her Wasted Opportunities

APKuznetsova reacting after losing a point during Saturday's French Open final.
PARIS -- Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova blamed a hatful of missed chances for her French Open final defeat by Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne on Saturday.

The 2004 U.S. Open winner often had the defending champion in trouble during a tight 6-4, 6-4 defeat, but a string of errors on her usually lethal forehand cost her the match.

"I was just overdoing it," said the sturdy 20-year-old from St. Petersburg. "I just missed my chances. I had so many of them. If you don't use your chances, you don't win matches."

Kuznetsova has lost 11 of her 12 matches against Henin-Hardenne, and she added: "It was the same picture as usual when I play against Justine, it seemed so similar to other matches.

"I didn't use the chances I had, and she hit the lines with her serve at some important moments.

"If you keep losing, keep missing, you keep letting her back, then it's not possible to win. That was the key."

Kuznetsova said she did not regret attacking too hard with her forehand.

"The forehand is the best shot I've got. It's also the shot I have to build my game on. I think I kept the right tactics. I just missed too much."

Seeded fifth, the Belgian became the first woman to win consecutive titles at Roland Garros since Steffi Graf in 1995-96, and the first to win three French Open titles in four years since Graf in 1993-96.

Henin-Hardenne also became the first woman to win the title without losing a set since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1994.

Henin-Hardenne has become a star herself, especially in Paris. She has long spoken of the tournament as her favorite -- she attended Roland Garros as a child with her mother, who died when Henin-Hardenne was 12.

Kuznetsova, seeded eighth, played in her first Grand Slam final since winning the 2004 U.S. Open. She fell to 1-11 against Henin-Hardenne, including 0-4 this year and 0-4 on clay.

(Reuters, AP)