By Ros Satar
(June 4, 2013) PARIS – No. 1 seed Serena Williams overcame a spirited comeback by 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova to complete the semi-final line up for the top half of the draw 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
It started very straight-forwardly for the American, as she romped through the first set in 38 minutes, when her next competitor was barely through her first set.
Kuznetsova took a timeout for medical treatment on an abdominal strain at the end of the first set.
At the start of the second set, the momentum had definitely shifted, as it was the Russian’s turn to zip into a commanding lead.
Winning five games on the trot, Williams found herself serving to stay in the set, finally breaking the run of games against her.
It looked as though we might be in for an upset, as Kuznetsova edged ahead by a break but Williams delivered a double coup-de-grace breaking Kuznetsova and serving out the set at the first attempt.
Williams said: “I was really excited that I was able to win such a tough match.”
Their head-to-head on clay was split 1-1, and Kuznetsova had beaten Williams in 2009, on her way to winning the championship.
Williams said: “She’s won two Grand Slams, so that doesn’t take luck.
“You know, it takes a really good player.
“She never gives up.
“Like when I had my match point, I was thinking, I’ve got to just stay so focused because she probably plays this like it’s 15‑all.”
Kuznetsova has struggled with form in recent months, but there were a lot of positives to take from this run.
The Russian suffered a disappointing first round loss in Rome, and had very little practice time ahead of the French Open. Then she suffered an abdominal strain in her straight-sets win over Bojana Jovanovski in the third round.
She said: “I look overall for the whole tournament I am extremely proud of myself what I’ve done.
“I was extremely pleased with the way I performed here, and I just need to keep going the same way.”