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The pivotal game came with Kuznetsova leading 2-love in the final set, when Williams held. She overcame three break points in the 16-point game, finally closing it with a forehand winner as Kuznetsova tumbled to the clay in vain pursuit.
Williams overcame yet another break point to hold and take the lead for good at 3-2. When she smacked a forehand winner to break again, she punctuated the shot with a pirouette and an upper cut, and she was soon accepting congratulations from Kuznetsova at the net.
With the victory, Williams avenged a loss in the 2009 quarterfinals to the Russian, who went on to win the tournament that year.
Since losing in the first round a year ago at Roland Garros, Williams is 72-3, including titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the London Olympics and the season-ending WTA Championships. She’s 21-0 this year on clay.
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