Venus Williams wins J&S Cup in Warsaw

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Venus Williams cruised to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova in Sunday's final of the J&S Cup in Warsaw.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Venus Williams cruised to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova in Sunday's final of the J&S Cup in Warsaw. The second seed needed just 57 minutes to record her 11th consecutive win - and avenge a defeat at the hands of the Russian earlier this year in Dubai. A year ago, Venus Williams' J&S Cup campaign had ended in tears - a stomach muscle injury forcing her to retire in the final against Amelie Mauresmo. It plagued her through the French Open and Wimbledon - and sidelined her for the rest of the year. On Sunday, the American had the opportunity to banish those bad memories of Warszawianka when she met Svetlana Kuznetsova in the climax to the 2004 tournament. Early break Williams wasted no time in going on the offensive, breaking the Russian's second service game to take a 2-1 lead. Her mother Oracene sat impassively, nursing a broken wrist while the crowd enjoyed a typically robust Williams' display. The world number 13 swept to the first set 6-1 in just 23 minutes. The fourth seed reappeared for the second set with her leg strapped after calling for her trainer during the interval. And when Williams broke her for service for the fourth consecutive time, Kuznetsova appeared to be spiralling towards a speedy defeat. But the Russian immediately broke back - and now started to find her rhythm on her service game - producing the sort of artillery more readily associated with the Williams sisters. As the points and games started to come, Kuznetsova began to take a keener interest - her frustration heightened when Venus showed no signs of capitulating. Tough battle Williams was now in a battle. Kuznetsova had dropped just eleven games in her three ties on the way to the final. The willingness to fight, the strength in the legs was certainly there. And mentally - Kuznetsova knew the powerful Williams was beatable - she had performed the feat herself in Dubai in February. In fairness to Venus, in that tournament, she was on the early stages of her comeback trail from that stomach injury. Since then, she has rapidly improved. And when another poor Kuznetsova service game played into her hands, Williams picked up her eleventh straight win. With a 6-1, 6-4 win, Venus is looking good with the French Open just around the corner. (AP)

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