Kuznetsova Wins Epic Against Kvitova

Svetlana Kuznetsova rolled back the years on Philippe Chatrier on Saturday to defeat Petra Kvitova and book her place in the last 16 of the French Open.

Published May 31, 2014 12:13

Kuznetsova Wins Epic Against Kvitova
Svetlana Kuznetsova

PARIS, France - Svetlana Kuznetsova came back from the brink to knock out No.5 seed Petra Kvitova, 6-7(3), 6-1, 9-7, in the third round of the French Open on Saturday.

The Plot
Premature exits from several of the pre-tournament favorites had left the path to the title in Paris invitingly open for No.5 seed Kvitova. Before she could contemplate a serious tilt at the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen, though, she would have to first see off former champion Kuznetsova.

The Turning Point
After taking the first set on a tie-break, Kvitova began to struggle with both her game and body at the start of the second. She received treatment for a back problem at 2-1 down, and upon the resumption was powerless to stop Kuznetsova leveling the match at one set apiece.

Somehow, Kvitova overcame her obvious discomfort to build a 3-1 lead in the decider. However, it would be Kuznetsova that would have the final say in this most pulsating of encounters, breaking twice to stay in the match before closing out victory on when a Kvitova forehand sailed long.

"I knew I was going out there to give everything I could," Kuznetsova said. "I was going to run every mile, every meter I could, put as many balls back and, if I got the chance, try to be aggressive. This last thing wasn't always easy, because if you watch the match Petra was inside the court and I was next to the fans!

"But I just tried my best. I didn't think about winning or losing. For me it was only about giving my best, which I think I did. I left everything out there and in the end I came up with a win.

"I was very close to the loss, as well - I was very strong mentally and really happy with that side of my game."

What's Next
Kuznetsova's three-hour, 13-minute triumph takes her through to the fourth round in Paris for the 10th time in 11 years. There she will face Lucie Safarova, after she scored a 6-3, 6-3 win over the in-form Ana Ivanovic.

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