led Kuznetsova 8-5 head to head and was riding a 16 match winning streak.
However Kuzentsova, who'd previously taken her lone grand slam title at the 2004 US Open, quickly unleashed a lethal mix of slice, topspin and and aggression from the baseline to all but neutralize the powerful flat Safina groundstrokes.
I didn't let her play her game, Kuznetsova said.
In set one Kuznetsova converted a breakpoint to reach 5-3 behind a crosscourt backhand winner which hit the service line before skidding low. Safina then broke serve at love to return the match back on serve at 4-5.
More errors from Safina combined with smart play from Kuznetsova sealed the set as an overpowering Kuznetsova backhand down the line resulted in a netted Safina forehand on setpoint.
As the second set drew on, signs of stress and pressure grew increasingly obvious on Safina's face as she looked to her coach in the stands for reassurance and encouragement.
After Kuznetsova held serve to pull ahead 3-2, the French crowd enacted a wave during the changeover, but it failed to influence inspiration from Safina as she would not win another game for the day.
Continuing in her execution of placement and power, Kuznetsova broke serve to increase her lead to 4-2 as a Safina forehand down the line landed wide.
Reaching and lunging instead of her normal dictation of baseline play, Safina dropped the final two games in a muted performance.
A Safina doublefault on matchpoint completed the unlikely upset for the seventh ranked Kuznetsova, once considered to be the most talented in all of her age group of female Russian tennis players.
I was, like, 'Oh, my God. Double-fault,' Kuznetsova said.
I was a little bit desperate on the court, said Safina, near tears in her anger and disappointment after the match.
Didnt stay tough mentally.