Amélie Stops Sveta in QFs
Published August 27, 2009 11:59
NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Svetlana Kuznetsova narrowly lost in her first two matches of the week against non-seeds but once she faced a seed - and a former world No.1, no less - she was finally toppled, as Amélie Mauresmo snapped a four-match losing streak to the Russian to reach the semifinals of the Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Schick in New Haven, Connecticut.
Mauresmo, the eighth seed at the Premier-level tournament, won a tight opening set against the top-seeded Russian, rallying from 4-1 down and saving a total of six set points - one down 6-5 and five more in the tie-break, which she eventually won, 11-9. The other two sets were nowhere near as tight and it was Mauresmo who prevailed, for the first time in their last five duels, 76(9) 26 63.
"I really wanted to forget about the mistakes and the score when it was not in my favor," Mauresmo said of the set points in the first set. "We both had ups and downs throughout the match. It was a typical match of both of us trying to really find our rhythm, trying to get our game together. I got the best out of it."
"I give a lot of credit to her - I think she played a really good match," Kuznetsova said. "Maybe I was a bit too passive sometimes, and rushing too much. I had a few chances to break her back in the third set, but I couldn't make it. Today was the most aggressive she has played me. She knew how to use her chances."
Next up for Mauresmo is Elena Vesnina, who won an all-unseeded battle against Anna Chakvetadze earlier in the day, 61 75.
"Today was a very tough match, like I always have with Anna. But maybe compared to our other ones, it was a big difference," said Vesnina, who had lost all five prior matches against her countrywoman. "It's always tough to play against a good friend. I don't know why she was 5-0 against me. I think I have everything to beat her. But something always happened."
Mauresmo won her only prior match against Vesnina, in a third set tie-break in the early rounds of Moscow in 2006, when she was ranked No.1 in the world.
Squaring off in the other semifinal will be Caroline Wozniacki and Flavia Pennetta, who both won through in straight sets. No.2 seed Wozniacki beat Virginie Razzano, 64 63, while No.3 seed Pennetta beat qualifier Magdalena Rybarikova, 62 62. Wozniacki won her only previous meeting with Pennetta, in three sets in the semifinals of the clay court tournament in Bastad in July.
"Flavia is a great player. She has been playing well here in the US Open Series," Wozniacki said. "I beat her when we played in Bastad, but it was only on clay after Wimbledon. I'm just looking forward to another good match."
"Last time we played it was a tough match. I know I'll have to play my best to beat her," Pennetta said. "She is playing really well this week."