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Belgian teen extends Kuznetsova to 3 sets

 Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova returns a two-handed backhand to Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer in a second round singles match at the Pilot Pen tennis tour...
 Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova returns a shot to Belgium's Yanina in a second round singles match at the Pilot Pen tennis tournament in New Haven, Conn...

New Haven Tennis

Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova returns a two-handed backhand to Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer in a second round singles match at the Pilot Pen tennis tour...

Barclays Golf

Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova returns a shot to Belgium's Yanina in a second round singles match at the Pilot Pen tennis tournament in New Haven, Conn...

Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova turned a seemingly routine win into a long struggle to reach the Pilot Pen quarterfinals with a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (2) win over Belgian qualifier Yanina Wickmayer on Wednesday.
The French Open champion seemed to be cruising after taking a 5-4 lead in the second with a match point on Wickmayer's serve.
But the 19-year-old Wickmayer rallied, then broke Kuznetsova in the seventh game of the third set, and was serving for the match. Kuznetsova came up with two big returns to break back, then dominated the tiebreaker.
"I knew at 5-all that if I wanted to win the match, I would have to play perfect," Wickmayer said. "And I almost played perfectly, but I guess in the tiebreaker she was just too good for me."
Kuznetsova acknowledged that she let her concentration lag at times, and said she sometimes needs to have her back against the wall before she plays her best tennis.
"I still have it, so I appreciate that I have it, but I have to work on closing out things when I have the chance to," she said.
Kuznetsova will play her friend and sometimes doubles partner Amelie Mauresmo in the quarterfinals.
Virginie Razzano of France also advanced, when fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland retired before the third set of their match with a hand injury. Radwanska said she will be able to play in the U.S. Open.
In the men's draw, top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko advanced 7-5, 6-3 over Fabrice Santoro of France, and seventh-seeded Igor Andreev of Russia accounted for Portuguese qualifier Frederico Gil 6-4, 6-4.


Updated : 2021-03-07 15:50 GMT+08:00