The Wismilak International WTA tour event of 2004 was taken out by the exciting 19 year old Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova winning her 5th career title, just a week after claiming her 1st major title the US Open. This marks the 2nd time that Svetlana has had success here in Bali, after being crowned champion in 2002. German Marlene Weingartner continued her solid form by reaching the Final, reaching the top 50 rankings in the world, as German #1. A very strong mid-range type of field arrived ready to compete for the 2004 edition with 13 of the 30 participants ranking inside the top 50 of the world.
Kuznetsova has won her 5th career title
Unfortunately for Weingartner and the spectators the final wasn’t a close encounter as the rampant Kuznetsova finished off the tournament 6-4 6-1, and indeed only lost 1 set all tournament. After receiving a top-2 seed bye in Round 1, the 2nd Round matchup was against the exciting Australian 20 year old Samantha Stosur for the first time. In a very closely fought match Kuznetsova managed to win 6-4 6-4, seeing her advance to the Quarter Finals for a match with surprisingly good Wild Card- Indonesian Angelique Widjaja the #139 ranked player. Widjaja gave a good account of herself in the first set, thrilling the locals, only to fold and suffer a 7-5 6-1 defeat; although she can be delighted with the QF result, which boosted her ranking to 122nd rising 17 places.
The Semi-Final matchup to the delight of Russian fans was an all-Russian matchup, between Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova; Russia’s #2 v #6, astoundingly as they have 6 in the top 14 of the world. The match didn’t disappoint either, as Kuznetsova had to rally after losing the 1st set in a tiebreaker, closing out the final sets comfortably 6-1 6-2, to book her Final berth against the German Weingartner. The Final match of the tournament was rather elementary as Svetlana proved a class above the German who had battled all tournament to find a way into the runner-up position.
Weingartner began her tournament with a decent showing getting past 18 year old Polish Qualifier Marta Domachowska in straight sets. She also was greeted by a Qualifier in Round 2 in the form of Japanese #5 Aiko Nakumura, and dealt with her similarly to Domachowska 7-5 6-3. The straight sets wins evaded her in the Finals tho and she really had to scrap, firstly against Korean Yoon Jeong Cho, the consistent Korean veteran. The pair split the first 2 sets before the German prevailed in the decider 6-2, and booked a berth against Camerin of Italy who had just been to war against the exciting Argentine Gisela Dulko. Camerin also proved a battle for Weingartner who rallied winning 2-6 6-3 6-3, which ultimately was enough to see her ranking rise 17 places. Camerin also enjoyed a vault up in the rankings from 61st to 46th, after a very good Semi-Final appearance.
The week…even the month of September 2004, can only be remembered for the remarkable feats of Svetlana Kuznetsova, as she backed up her US Open title by winning in Bali, embarking on what turned out to be a ultra-consistent long career, thus far.