HEAD player Svetlana Kuznetsova needed only 90 minutes to upset No. 4 seed Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 during an all-Russian final at the 2006 NASDAQ-100 Open (official ball: Penn) in Key Biscane, Florida. The 20-year old became the first Russian ever to win the tournament after a victory that ended with an ace. Her deep, powerful shots and a crucial break in the second set gave Kuznetsova the momentum that carried her all the way to the winner’s block.
Kuznetsova’s road to the final at Crandon Park placed her against several tough opponents, yet she only dropped one set (to Martina Hingis in the third round) during the entire tournament. Kuznetsova defeated fellow countrywoman Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-2 in the second round, ousted Hingis after clinching an intense third set tiebreaker 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (9), and then played past Japan’s Ai Sugiyama in her quarterfinal match, 6-0, 7-6 (4). Kuznetsova’s aggressive playing style and quick movement were instrumental as she defeated her doubles partner, Amelie Mauresmo, also the tournament No. 1 seed, 6-1, 6-4, in the semi-final round. With her at every victory was her HEAD Flexpoint Instinct.
Kuznetsova launched her career with HEAD in 2000 and has remained a strong force on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour ever since. Her career rocketed with her victory at the U.S. Open in 2004, and continued with an Australian Open doubles crown in 2005 and 16 additional titles, including a doubles title this time last year at the NASDAQ-100 Open.
Flexpoint is a racquet technology that offers players of all levels power in control. Two precisely engineered control holes located at the three o’clock and nine o’clock positions of the frame are cradled within dimples to create flexibility by reducing beam height.