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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Sixth Seed Avoids an Early Exit

ReutersKuznetsova firing herself up during her three-set match against qualifier Kloesel at Flushing Meadows on Monday.
NEW YORK -- Former U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova survived a real battle in the first round at Flushing Meadows on Monday as she scrambled past German qualifier Sandra Kloesel 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

The sixth-seeded champion in 2004, recovered from a break down in the third set to the world No. 130 before finally clinching victory in a match lasting more than two hours.

Things looked easy for Kuznetsova as she took the first set 6-2 but as her concentration wavered Kloesel hit back to level the match and then led 2-1 with a break in the third set.

But Kuznetsova broke back to level for 2-2 and a double-fault in the eighth game gave her a 5-3 lead. Allowing her to serve out the match.

Fourth-seeded Yelena Dementyeva had no such problems, hammering American Laura Granville 6-1, 6-4 to reach the second round.

Dementyeva, runner-up to Kuznetsova in 2004 and a semifinalist on two other occasions at Flushing Meadows, hit nine double faults but also struck five aces as she cruised through to a meeting with Emma Laine of Finland.

Having performed well in recent years, Dementyeva said her expectations were high that she could win her first Grand Slam title.

"Once you are in the final you're never satisfied with the final again," Dementyeva said. "You're just looking for something more."