Kuzy and Azarenka battle into final four


Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:31

Eighth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova was the first woman to move into the last four of the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open on Tuesday after fighting her way past young Danish star Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-7, 6-1.

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The 2006 Miami champion and former US Open winner cruised into a 6-4, 5-2 lead and looked set to complete a straight-sets victory before the 13th-seeded Wozniacki fought back to take the second set on a tie-break saving three match points along the way.

The Russian soon rediscovered her game in the decider however and afterwards said it had been the extremely hot conditions in Key Biscayne on Tuesday that had caused her second-set lapse.

[Wozniacki] was running and she was recovering many balls. She forced me to miss, the Russian explained.

I was [in control] until 5-3 feeling very comfortable out there, but I got so dizzy and tired. The conditions played a big role in my game.

Kuzy has been struggling to find her form so far in 2009 with her best results coming at the start of the year when she reached the quarter-finals in Brisbane and at the Aussie Open.

Since then she has crashed out in all her opening matches. I came here after losing first round two tournaments in a row. I was practising and preparing well, so when I came here I was so disappointed,” Kuznetsova said.

“I haven’t lost two first rounds in a row as long as I can remember. So for me here, it was really important to just play match by match. Now I’m in the semis, and I’m really happy. I’m just going to concentrate on the semis now.”

Eleventh seed Victoria Azarenka steamrolled unseeded Samantha Stosur 6-1, 6-0 in just 57 minutes in the second womens quarter-final on Tuesday to set up a clash with Kuznetsova for a place in the final.

The Belarussian is appearing in her second successive Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier semi-final having reached the last four in Indian Wells and has also won two titles so far this year in Brisbane and Memphis.

“It feels great. I’ve been playing very well the last four weeks. I want to keep going,” Azarenka said.

“Sam has a great serve and my return was very important today. I was hitting it very well and starting to put pressure on her right away.”

Azarenka said she will focus on playing her own game in the semis.

“She’s a great player, the Belarussian said of her Russian opponent. Obviously she has been playing very well this tournament, too. She had a great win today. I just want to keep going and play the same way I played today. Better if it’s possible. And that’s it. I just want to try my best in that match.”

The top half of the womens draw will be in action on Wednesday with the last two quarter-final matches completed.

Top seed and five-time champion Serena Williams plays Chinas Li Na before Venus Williams takes on Czech star Iveta Benesova.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.