(4) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Ai Sugiyama (JPN) 16 61 62
Kuznetsova/Mauresmo (RUS/FRA) d. Likhovtseva/Myskina (RUS/RUS) 64 64
Jun 21st, 2006, 08:02 AM
Kuznetsova Advances to Eastbourne Quarterfinals
EASTBOURNE, UK - Svetlana Kuznetsova continued her recent habit of overcoming huge deficits Tuesday. After dropping the first set of her opener at The Hastings Direct International Championships, the Russian quickly turned things around, dropping three more games in a 16 61 62 win over Ai Sugiyama.
"I started off very slowly today," said Kuznetsova, seeded No.4. "It took me a while to get used to the grass, and she's a dangerous opponent. It was similar to last year here in the first round, and I had a slow start and in my last four matches at the French, too. It took me a while to get awake."
Kuznetsova showed her come-from-behind skills during her spectacular fortnight at Roland Garros. She trailed 5-1 in the first set of her quarterfinal match (which she ended up winning in straight sets) and was down a set and 5-3 in her semifinal (which she won in three). Her runner-up finish shot her from No.10 to No.6, her highest ranking since the 2005 US Open (No.5).
The St.Petersburg, Russia resident won her first grass court title here two years ago. That week, her semifinal and final opponents both served for the match in the second set, but her refuse-to-lose attitude prevailed. After winning the singles, Kuznetsova tacked on a doubles crown with countrywoman Elena Likhovtseva. However, Kuznetsova couldn't carry her successful play to the most prestigious grass court event, Wimbledon, falling in the first round to a qualifier. She became just the second Eastbourne champion in the Open Era to go winless at Wimbledon.