ensuing from a point awarded to Williams' opponent by the chair umpire. A Williams backhand passing shot struck her opponent's arm at the net then landed across the net on Williams' side of the court.
Williams earned her lone French Open singles title in 2002. And although Williams' overall Paris results trump those of Kuznetsova, the Russian had enjoyed the far superior claycourt season this year of the two players.
The American had lost her last four matches before arriving in Paris, while Kuznetsova reached the finals at Stuttgart and Rome. In the Stuttgart final, Kuznetsova beat the world number one Dinara Safina in straight sets.
Kuznetsova won her lone grand slam title at the US Open in 2004 and reached a career high ranking of number two in September of 2007. In 2006, Kuznetsova reach the French Open final in her best Paris result to date.
The Russian, one of the most versatile players on the WTA Tour, used her mix of power and placement to take a one set lead versus Williams before the American would even the contest with powerful groundstrokes and serves to win set two.
In the final set, Williams led 3-1 and held a 40-0 lead at 3-2 on her serve for a 4-2 lead before she once again fell behind after committing untimely unforced errors.
After trailing at 4-5, Williams held serve to reach 5-5 but would not win another game in the contest which neared three hours before its close.
“Honestly, I think I lost because of me,” Williams said, “and not because of anything she did.”
Williams had reached the final of the last three grand slams, winning the US Open and the Australian Open to take 18 grand slam matches in a row.