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Monday, July 6, 2009

Kuznetsov stays calm to win junior crown

Photo Titled Kuznetsov and Cox
Andrey Kuznetsov (left) with his winner's trophy after beating Jordan Cox.
The boy’s singles trophy is heading east once again after unseeded Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia beat Jordan Cox to win the title a year on from Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov's triumph.

Kuznetsov remained composed to overturn a one-set deficit against the American qualifier and run out a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 winner.

A tentative opening saw the first nine games go with serve. As the set wore on though, it was Cox who looked to have settled into his natural rhythm first, displaying a greater variety of shots.

But his first attempt at a drop shot worked only to the benefit of the 18-year-old Russian whose sharp reaction to charge to the net allowed him to dispatch the waiting ball comfortably past his opponent.

The first challenge of the afternoon using No.1 Court’s Hawk-Eye technology helped break the early tension as the crowd’s vocal anticipation brought a smile to the faces of both players.

At 4-4, the first break point fell to Kuznetsov and forced Cox on to the defensive. As the Russian looked to take advantage of the rare opportunity, the American felt compelled to take drastic action and was rewarded for doing so with his instinctive rush to the net helping him to hold serve and keep the Russian at bay.

The turnaround in the previous game gave Cox momentum going into the decisive 10th game and the qualifier went on to clinch his own first break point of the afternoon and the opening set, only the second that Kuznetsov had conceded all Championships.

But much like that solitary occasion, the opening set of the first round, Kuznetsov responded well to the setback and wasted no time in staging a revival. The Russian’s composure was exemplary as he made back-to-back breaks to put himself firmly in the driving seat.

Kuznetsov never looked like shifting from that position of control and ran out a 6-2 winner to level the set.

With the initiative turned 180 degrees, the Russian made crucial breakthroughs at 2-2 and 4-2, paving the way for the American’s racket to feel the full force of his frustration.

Across the net Kuznetsov remained unfazed by the occasion and showcased an ice-cool nerve to hold serve and complete a memorable victory with Cox hitting long on the first and only Championship point.

Speaking after his triumph Kuznetsov said: "I still can't believe that I made it. So I feel good. I think this is the best win in my life, best victory."

"I was nervous yesterday a lot, but today before the match it was not so much. But when I step on the court, it makes stronger. In the second set I relax a little and I began to play better, then just used my chances and win this match."

Court 1 - Boys' Singles - Finals
Jordan Cox USA 622
Andrey Kuznetsov RUS Winner466

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