By Ros Satar
(June 2, 2013) PARIS – A former winner of Roland Garros showed what took her to the title, as the 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.
It may not have been the prettiest tennis from time to time, and the grinding, grueling rallies could be soporific in the sunshine, but both showed they were capable of mixing their game.
Drop shots, winners and breaks were traded back and forth between them in two tight first sets, but it was in the third that Kuznetsova really stepped up, getting the better of the ball-battering rallies.
After going down an early break at the start of the third set, Kuznetsova reversed the decline, digging in to save break points on her serve to pull off a big hold for 4-1.
From then on it was plain sailing, to keep her nose ahead for a place in the quarter-final, where she will face Serena Williams, who dispatched Roberta Vinci in straights sets.
Kuznetsova did not want to get drawn into comparisons with her run to the championship in 2009
“I think it’s too far ahead still, but it’s always great memories, you know, to play here, and it’s a pleasure.”
Is Kuznetsova flying under the radar? She does not believe so.
“I don’t care if I’m under or not under or flying or standing or whatever it is. I just go out there and try to play my game.”
Looking ahead to her match with Williams, there is that quiet, understated belief – provided she has a decent day at the office.
“I believe that I have game and my good days, as well,” she said.
“She’s just a fighter.
“Let’s cross fingers I will have a good day that one.”