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Kuznetsova Back In French Open QFs

Svetlana Kuznetsova withstood Lucie Safarova's second set rally to return to the quarterfinals here for the second straight year. How many times has she gotten this far?

Published June 02, 2014 12:13

Kuznetsova Back In French Open QFs
Svetlana Kuznetsova

PARIS, France - Svetlana Kuznetsova is back in a familiar place, the Roland Garros quarterfinals, after beating Lucie Safarova in the fourth round on Monday.

The Plot
The 23rd-seeded Safarova was coming off a straight set third round victory over Ana Ivanovic, while the 27th-seeded Kuznetsova survived a three-hour-and-13-minute duel with No.5 seed Petra Kvitova.

Though they had played six times, with each of them victorious three times, Safarova and Kuznetsova had never previously faced off on clay.

Turning Point
Playing a lefty for the second straight match, Kuznetsova grabbed the early momentum, breaking for a 2-1 lead and later again to close out a 6-3 first set. She had a break point to go up 4-0 in the second set, but Safarova rallied to get within 3-2 and eventually knotted the set at 4-4. And just when it seemed Kuznetsova had lost her way, she regained control with a hold and a break for a 6-3, 6-4 triumph.

By The Numbers
Though the score may look somewhat routine, Kuznetsova won just seven more points than Safarova, and they were quite close in most statistical categories. One that stands out is break point opportunities. Safarova was three-for-three, and though Kuznetsova's percentage wasn't as impressive, she had many more chances - making good on six of 12.

The win put 2009 French Open champion Kuznetsova into the quarterfinals here for the sixth time and the second straight year.

What's Next
Kuznetsova plays World No.4 Simona Halep, with whom she has split her four meetings but was victorious in their most recent encounter in Stuttgart earlier this year.

"She is already in the Top 10 and is a very good player," Kuznetsova said of Halep. "I think she is going to get even better than she is now.

"It doesn't matter who won the last match. It's going to be a new match in a Grand Slam quarterfinal. It's going to be amazing, difficult and exciting to play her."

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