Russian female tennis ace Svetlana Kuznetsova took home her 3rd Wismilak Tennis Tournament Champion's trophy after a hard-fought final with Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli on Sunday, September 17, 2006.
Already a Wismilak veteran at the tender age of 21 years, Kuznetsova recorded previous wins at the Bali tournament in 2002 and 2004, making the Bali championship the 7th career title for the world’s 5th ranked female tennis player.
Although managing to defeat 26th ranked Bartoli in only two sets to determine the winner of the US$ 225,000 tournament, the center-court action at the finals was intense. In the first set both players battled to five games each before Kuznetsova managed to win the set by winning two successive games. In the second and tournament-deciding set Kuznetsova's superior conditioning forced a fatigued Bartoli into numerous faults, seeing the Russian win the set 6-2.
After 13th exciting years of world-class tennis action on the WTA tour, the Wismilak International now occupies a cherished position on the international calendar of championship women's tennis with players eager to return to Bali every year not only for the keen competition on court but also for the warm hospitality extended by the island's people.
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