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Rediff.com  » Sports » Kuznetsova gains revenge for record loss to Schiavone

Kuznetsova gains revenge for record loss to Schiavone

February 18, 2011 21:00 IST

Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Francesca Schiavone at the Dubai championships on Thursday to avenge her epic Australian Open defeat in the longest Grand Slam women's singles match of the professional era.

The number 16 seed took just under two hours to get past her third-seeded Italian opponent 1-6, 6-0, 7-5 compared to the four hours and 44 minutes Schiavone spent getting past Kuznetsova after an unforgettable battle in Melbourne last month.

The Italian won their Australian Open clash 4-6, 6-1, 16-14 but this time the determined Russian prevailed in their third round match after another competitive finale despite Schiavone saving six match points just as she did in Melbourne.

Kuznetsova broke to lead the final set 5-3 but failed to serve out the match. Her opponent then saved two match points before holding for 5-5. The Russian then held for 6-5 and needed a further five match points to secure victory.

As in Melbourne, Kuznetsova was prepared to accept defeat and console herself with having played good tennis after struggling throughout 2010 but in the end she did not have to.

Svetlana Kuznetsova"I said to myself, 'Look, you still have it. You're good enough. It's just a matter of closing the deal'," Kuznetsova told reporters.

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki took only 52 minutes to dismiss Japanese qualifier Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-0 and now faces ninth seed Shahar Peer who won 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 against Yanina Wickmayer.

OUTSIDE COURT

Their quarter-final clash will, as is the case with all the Israeli's matches, take place on a heavily secured side court.

Denmark's Wozniacki lost to Peer on the same court a year ago and has not played on a minor court since.

"Playing on the centre court every match and then suddenly you have to play on an outside court," said Wozniacki, knowing a victory will take her back to number one in the rankings.

"On a small court, it's completely different, so definitely I'll to have get used to that. She has a big advantage there.

Second seed Vera Zvonareva lost 6-3, 6-2 to 15th-seeded fellow Russian Alisa Kleybanova while sixth-seeded Serb Jelena Jankovic beat 12th seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.

There were also straight set wins for fourth seed Samantha Stosur, who next meets Jankvoic, and eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska who now faces Kuznetsova in the last eight.

Australian Stosur overcame Patty Schnyder 6-3, 6-4 while Poland's Radwanska beat 10th seed Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-2.

Flavia Pennetta claimed a 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 win over Belarus's seventh-seeded Victoria Azarenka in a topsy-turvy match.

The 11th-seeded Italian received treatment for an ankle injury after the third game but still took the first set.

She then won five straight games in the second to lead 5-1 before Azarenka swept the next five to lead 6-5.

Pennetta finally held serve to take the set to a tiebreak, which she lost after winning only the first two points.

In the final set, the Belarussian sped to a 4-1 lead but Pennetta won the final five games losing just three points.

Source:
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