Posts Tagged ‘Svetlana Kuznetsova


Easy win for Ivanovic as Navarro retires.

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Ana Ivanovic advanced to the second round of the Qatar Open on Monday when Carla Suarez Navarro withdrew midway through their match because of a back injury. Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion, was leading 6-1, 4-1. Trailing 1-2 in the second set, Suarez Navarro had already sought courtside treatment from the WTA Tour medical team. The Spaniard then briefly left the court before resuming the set. “It is very unfortunate for her,” Ivanovic said. “It is never enjoyable to win a match like that, but I hope she recovers fast. I am happy with the way I played in the match.”

Two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia joined Ivanovic in the second round after a 7-5, 6-3 win over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain. After a slow start, the former French and U.S. Open champion breezed through the second set to set up a match against Jie Zheng of China or Maria Kirilenko of Russia. “It was definitely a tough win for me,” Kuznetsova said. Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan rallied from a set down to beat 10th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. It was the 20-year-old Pervak’s fourth win of the season. China’s Shuai Peng, seeded 14th, defeated qualifier Fatma Al Nabhani of Oman 6-0, 7-5. Israel’s Shahar Peer blanked Moroccan wild card Nadia Lalami 6-0, 6-0.



Masha off to a strong start at the 2012 Aussie Open.

Sharapova of Russia serves to Dulko of Argentina during their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne

Maria Sharapova was at her ruthless best as she lost just one game en route to the Australian Open second round. The No.4 seed, who won the title at Melbourne Park in 2008, needed less than an hour to account for Argentina’s Gisela Dulko 6-0 6-1 in stifling conditions on the Hisense Arena. Despite fears over her fitness coming into the tournament following the ankle injury that forced her out of the Brisbane International, Sharapova quickly got into her stride. The Russian wrapped up the first set in just 25 minutes and had rattled off eight games on the bounce before Dulko finally got onto the scoreboard. However despite losing her serve, Sharapova broke back immediately before seeing out the match.

“I knew I had a tough opponent today,” said Sharapova, who registered 14 winners. “I focused on every point and took her time away – she’s a player who loves time on the ball.”

Russian stars Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova were both pushed hard in the opening round of the Australian Open on Tuesday. Both players required three sets to progress in hot conditions in Melbourne, hardly the ideal start to the campaign. Seventh seed Zvonareva took three hours and 15 minutes to see off battling Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru. The former Wimbledon and US Open finalist eventually prevailed 7-6 (7/4) 6-7 (5/7) 6-3. Kuznetsova, who has vowed to be aggressive as she looks to add the Australian crown to previous success at the French and US Opens, was not on court as long, but was still taken to a third set by Chanelle Scheepers. The 18th seed looked in a spot of bother when she lost the second set but she refocused and pulled away in the decider to win 6-3 3-6 6-0. Kuznetsova cracked 39 winners to her opponent’s 15. The two Russians will meet in the last eight if both continue to progress through the draw.






“I know I can give her a tough match. She beat me in the past, but maybe I can go for revenge on Monday.” says a wishful Ivanovic.

Ana Ivanovic

Next up for Serena Williams will be No.16 seed Ana Ivanovic, who beat American wildcard Sloane Stephens at night, 63 64. “I think it’s exciting, at least for me,” Ivanovic said of the looming match-up. “It’s a tough draw to play her fourth round, I could have had somebody else – but I know I can give her a tough match. She beat me in the past, but maybe I can go for revenge on Monday.” Williams leads Ivanovic in their head-to-head series, 2-0.

Also setting up a fourth round clash were No.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki and No.15 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. Wozniacki outclassed Vania King, 62 64; Kuznetsova beat Akgul Amanmuradova later on in the day, 64 62. “Svetlana’s a tough competitor. She can play very aggressive, her serve is big, her forehand too,” Wozniacki said of the Russian. “I will definitely need to play my best. We’ve had quite a few good matches in the past. I think two years ago I played her here in the fourth round, night session, where I was down but came back. I just remember there was a fantastic atmosphere out there.” Wozniacki leads Kuznetsova in their head-to-head series, 4-2.



Marion Bartoli ousted by qualifier in first round of Rogers Cup.


Marion Bartoli was an early casualty at the Rogers Cup on Monday, the ninth seed losing 6-3 6-3 in her first-round match against Kazakh qualifier Galina Voskoboeva. The world number 135 needed 75 minutes to pull off one of the best wins of her career against the Wimbledon semi-finalist. Voskoboeva hit three aces and saved two out of three break points.

Immediately following the Bartoli match, Russia’s Kuznetsova took to the courts and went down to qualifier Simona Halep of Romania 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Samantha Stosur also suffered a fright before progressing against Japan’s Ayumi Morita in Toronto. The Australian 10th seed lost the first set before rallying to pull off a 4-6 6-2 6-3 win in just under two hours. Nadia Petrova eased past Jarmila Gajdosova 6-1 6-2 while other early winners included qualifier Greta Arn, who beat Klara Zakopalova, Lucie Safarova and Jie Zheng.


Vera Zvonareva and Svetlana Kuznetsova put the home team 2-0 up over Italy in Moscow.

Zvonareva set the tone with a 60 62 demolition of Errani in the opening match of the tie. Kuznetsova was then made to battle by a determined Roberta Vinci before prevailing 62 67(4) 61 in the second singles rubber. Saturday’s wins for Russia mean that Zvonareva could seal victory for the team against Vinci in Sunday’s first reverse singles match, though there was no hint of complacency in the Russian camp. For his part, Italian captain Corrado Barazzutti sounded an optimistic, if philosophical, note as he looked ahead to what is likely to be another challenging day for his team. “We have to acknowledge that the Russians played very well today. They have great players,” he said. “Tomorrow is another day and if the Russians win, then we have to congratulate them but we will have to see what’s up tomorrow because anything can happen.” After Zvonareva’s one-sided win, Kuznetsova and Vinci produced a battle that owed plenty to the Italian’s swashbuckling tennis style, which was most evident in the second set. At one stage, Vinci led 4-1 and had a ball for 5-1 before being pushed to a tiebreak. It was a sequence of events which was to rob her of much-needed energy for the third set.

Andrea Petkovic and Julia Goerges both scored straight sets victories to put Germany in charge against USA in their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie in Stuttgart. Petkovic gave Germany a great start to their promotion campaign with a 63 64 win over 18-year-old Christina McHale. The German No. 1 broke serve on four occasions, and only conceded her own delivery twice, to seal victory in 1 hour 35 minutes. Goerges then avenged a recent defeat by Melanie Oudin in Miami by coming back from a break down in the second set to win 62 76(5).

The Americans are missing their top three players through injury – Serena and Venus Williams, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands – leaving added pressure on the young shoulders of McHale and Oudin.



Rezai falls in Andalucia’s first round.

Third seed Aravane Rezai was the day’s biggest casualty as she crashed 6-3 6-0 to Spanish wild card Estrella Cabeza Candela, who at 258 is ranked more than 200 places below Rezai in the world rankings.

Former world number one Dinara Safina was made to work for her place in the second round of the Andalucia Tennis Experience tournament in Marbella. Safina fought back from losing the first set to triumph 3-6 6-2 6-4 and continue her recent improvement. Safina, now world number 81, recently made the last 16 in Indian Wells.

Second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova beat German qualifier Mona Barthel 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 and other winners included Tsvetana Pironkova, Kristina Barrois, Agnes Szavay and Lourdes Dominguez Lino.



“I’m definitely playing better than I have been before.”

Caroline Wozniacki claimed the Dubai Championships title after a comprehensive 6-1 6-3 final win over Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Dane went through the entire tournament without dropping a set on her way to her 13th career WTA title. And the 20-year-old is expected to keep her place at the top of the world rankings for at least four weeks.

World number 23 Kuznetsova, who endured her third loss in the Dubai final, had no answer to Wozniacki’s powerful game. However, she is expected to climb 10 places when the new rankings are published on Monday.

Wozniacki dominated proceedings from the very start, taking a 2-0 lead before winning four successive games to claim the first set. Kuznetsova saved two match points at 5-2 in the second set but her resistance eventually relented in the ninth game as Wozniacki sealed victory in 75 minutes. I definitely went for my shots,” said Wozniacki, who attacked the net on numerous occasions during the final.

“It’s paying off now. I’m definitely playing better than I have been before.”


Russia comes from 2-0 down to defeat France.

Russia produced an amazing second day fight back to book a place in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals, after coming from 2-0 down to beat France 3-2 in Moscow. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Svetlana Kuznetsova were the heroes for the home side, as they both won their singles matches and then teamed up for the doubles to complete an improbable comeback and become only the fourth side in the history of Fed Cup to come from 2-0 down and win. “I am really happy that I managed to help Russia get this victory, and I would like to say a big thank you to Svetlana, as she really helped me in this doubles match and I think we had a really good match, and I am just so happy,” said Pavlyuchenkova.

The last three ties involving these two countries had all been decided in the final rubber. However, it was quite a surprise that Russia, who had been out of sorts on Saturday, managed to take the clash into a winner-takes-all fifth match-up. Kuznetsova and Pavlyuchenkova were given the responsibility for the Russians by team captain Shamil Tarpishchev and they were up against the French pair of Alize Conet and Julie Coin, who also teamed up in last year’s competition to knock Germany out of the World Group.

The first set was a tight affair, with neither side managing to maintain any consistency on serve. Not surprisingly the set went to a tie-break, and it was the Russians who came out on top, moving them to within just a set of claiming victory. The partisan home crowd was willing their team on, with both pairs of players visibly struggling. However, it was the Russian duo who was by far the stronger, and in no time at all they had moved into a 5-0 lead. Such was the turn in fortunes, the French pair of Cornet and Coin were only able to win one point in those first five games. The Russians had no trouble in breaking Coin once again, and Pavlyuchenkova claimed the vital point with a cross court smash, to seal a stunning comeback. It proved to be a fantastic day for Pavlyuchenkova, was understandably ecstatic to help her team overcome all odds and make the semifinals, as she recorded her maiden singles and doubles victories in this competition. “We had never played doubles together before, so it was the first time we had played together on court. This might explain why we had a few problems at the beginning, but things became easier as the match went on and I think that was reflected by the scoreline in the second set,” the 19 year-old commented. Meanwhile, Kuznetsova had had only 40 minutes to prepare for that doubles encounter, after beating Virginie Razzano 64 64. It was far from easy for the Russian, but she eventually prevailed in just over 1 hour 45 minutes.

Of course, Russia had started the day just one loss away from their first opening round defeat since 2006. Pavlyuchenkova was handed the task of trying to keep the hosts in the tie, despite the world No. 16 having only ever played one singles match previously in the competition. She duly repaid her captain’s faith by storming back in the second and third sets to beat Alize Cornet 36 63 62. It proved to be a stunning final day comeback for the Russian’s and understandably France’s Fed Cup captain, Nicholas Escude, couldn’t find many positives. “We didn’t learn any new lessons from this tie with Russia,” he said. “The only thing we found out was that we always have to keep fighting to the end, and victory is only assured once we have secured that vital third victory. Russia were brilliant today, and I think it really fired them up, after going 2-0 down, and I always knew that Sunday was going to be very difficult.”

Attention will now turn to Russia’s semifinal clash with Italy, which will take place at home in April, when Svetlana Kuznetsova is once again set to do battle with Francesca Schiavone. Shamil Tarpishchev is expecting a tough encounter. “It promises to be a great match, and I am sure everyone remembers Kuznetsova’s match with Schiavone, both in the 2007 Fed Cup final, where Svetlana won, and of course at this year’s Australian Open where she lost a marathon third set,” said the Russian captain. “However, our team will be strengthened ahead of that tie, as Vera Zvonareva will play for us, so I am counting on us winning that tie.” It’s been a memorable weekend for the large crowds that attended, while they were able to witness one of the great comebacks as Russia continue their quest to win a fifth Fed Cup title.


French underdogs humiliate superstars Sharapova & Kuznetsova, but they better watch out ‘coz Safina is on the bench!

France is 2-0 up at the end of day 1 in Moscow following upsets by Alize Cornet and Virginie Razzano who defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova respectively.

Cornet got the visitors off to the best possible start in the opening rubber when she battled back from one set down to overcame two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova 36 63 64. It was her first singles win in Fed Cup play.

Razzano then turned the tables on Sharapova, who defeated her at this year’s Australian Open in a close-fought match. The Russian was making her first Fed Cup by BNP Paribas appearance since 2008.


“It is one of the most emotional moments of my life.” says Schiavone after record win.

Francesca Schiavone moved into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open after edging out Svetlana Kuznetsova in the longest women’s grand slam match in the open era. The Italian saved six match points along the way as she triumphed 6-4 1-6 16-14 in four hours and 44 minutes. By way of comparison, her last-eight opponent Caroline Wozniacki has spent just five hours and 31 minutes on court in total in her four matches at Melbourne Park.

French Open champion Schiavone won the first set before Kuznetsova, who beat Justine Henin in the previous round, stormed back to set up a decider which took exactly three hours to complete. Both players were struggling physically, especially Schiavone, who had a lengthy medical time-out at 11-10. The match swung one way and then the other before the Italian broke for 15-14 and then served it out at the third attempt after Kuznetsova had bravely threatened a comeback. “It is a fantastic moment for me,” said the sixth seed afterwards.

“It is one of the most emotional moments of my life.

“I just told myself to keep going, do it with the heart and go for it.”

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