Monday, 3 June 2013

Serena sets up rematch with Kuznetsova

They are both grand-slam winners, they are both ranked number one and they are both 30-something yet that is where the similarities ended as Serena Williams left Roberta Vinci red-faced at the French Open on Sunday.
As the reigning doubles champion at Roland Garros, Vinci arrived for the fourth-round showdown knowing that she had the game to hurt Williams on red dirt.
Yet it was the 30-year-old Italian who was left aching all over as she was given the runaround for 70 agony-filled minutes before Williams ended the ordeal with a 6-1 6-3 win.
Waiting for her in the last eight will be another player eager to derail Williams’s pursuit of a 16th grand-slam title, 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
That may well turn out to be Williams’s first test of her title credentials as so far the 31-year-old American has dropped just 10 games in four matches in Paris.

“The last time we played here she (Kuznetsova) won, so that will probably get her pumped up. She has nothing to lose but everything to gain,” Williams told reporters.
“It will be a good job for me to see how I go there.”
Like Rafa Nadal, Kuznetsova missed the second half of the 2012 season with a knee injury and she warmed up for the challenging task ahead with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over German eighth seed Angelique Kerber.
Kuznetsova beat Williams en route to the title four years ago but is under no illusion about what it will take to beat a player who is on a 28-match winning streak.
“She’s been playing unbelievable tennis,” summed up the Russian. “But I believe that I have (my) game and my good days, as well. Let’s cross fingers I will have a good day (on Tuesday).”
Lately every day has been a good day for Williams.

Sunday was no different as during the opening set she had more problems controlling her figure-hugging, ash-coloured dress on a windswept Philippe Chatrier Court than the woeful shots plopped over the net by doubles number one Vinci.
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