buy dumps

Refreshed Kuznetsova back in the big time

MELBOURNE – Svetlana Kuznetsova, refreshed but unseeded and unheralded after being sidelined for half of 2012, announced her return to the big time in some style on Monday with a win over Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open.

The Russian ended a streak of 40 consecutive grand slam appearances stretching back a decade when she pulled out of last year’s U.S. Open because of a knee injury, but she was back at her battling best to reach the last eight at Melbourne.

Two grand slam titles and a career high ranking of second in the world bear witness to a big tennis talent but along with those successes there was always a maddening inconsistency.

Both were on display in the 6-2 2-6 7-5 win over former world number one Wozniacki as she mixed 52 winners with 41 unforced errors, the latter often coming off miscued forehands.

Still, she prevailed in a highly competitive 75-minute third set to move into the last eight and an appointment with world number one and defending champion Victoria Azarenka.

Despite missing the entire second half of the season after Wimbledon because of the injury, she never doubted she would back and only the speed of her return to the big stage has surprised her.

“If you had asked me before coming to Australia I would have laughed, definitely, and I wouldn’t have been so sure about it,” the 27-year-old told reporters.

“I have been working hard, but still I didn’t have much time to do what I like to do with my fitness and everything else.

“It’s amazing. It’s a very good result for a first grand slam, and especially as I don’t remember when I was last in the quarters.”

Her last trip to the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park was in fact in 2009, when she lost to eventual champion Serena Williams.

A few months later she won her second grand slam title at Roland Garros to add to her 2004 U.S. Open crown, and she finished that year as world number three.

Her slide down the rankings to her current 75th in the world started long before her injury, however.

Despite the slump, she said she never really considered calling time on tennis even if a long rest for the first time in her career was welcome.

“I never had a thought of stopping tennis,” she said. “I was just laying in bed, and I was like, thanks my knee. At least I can rest.

“When the knee was sore it was so annoying to walk with the crutches all day long. I went to Thailand, I went to Bali, on the beach with crutches, all day long, and I had blisters on my hands.

“This was the most annoying thing, and then recovery. But anyway, I had time at home to just refresh my mind, and then I just understood that I wanted to play this game.

“I mean, I always loved it, but I wanted to have this desire to bring me back. This is what happened.”

After 12 years as a professional Kuznetsova knows what she does best and is confident she can have a good go at improving still further her 4-3 head-to-head record against Azarenka.

“I play good forehand, serve well. To be aggressive, this is my main key. But I keep some secrets for me, not everything for you,” she laughed.

“I have nothing to lose, she has all the pressure,” she added. “I know I have got the game to give her some problems, and I will just do my best and just try to enjoy it.”

Wozniacki was disconsolate after failing to reach the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time in three years.

“I had my chances and I didn’t take them,” said the Dane.

(Editing by Patrick Johnston)

Read more :
  • Lionel Messi wary of Bolivian highlands
    Argentina may be cruising towards the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but world player of the year Lionel Messi is still nervous ahead of Tuesday's trip to Bolivia. The South American heavyweigh...
  • Italy attack-minded for Malta match
    Fresh off a rousing comeback against Brazil in a friendly, Cesare Prandelli's Italy side face a trip to Malta on Tuesday as they look to extend their lead over Bulgaria in Group B and move ...
  • Janko Tipsarevic: ‘Equal pay is ridiculous’
    Janko Tipsarevic has waded into the equal pay row in tennis by claiming that women should not be rewarded the same prize money as men at Grand Slams. The debate was recently reignited at W...
  • INJURED BLAKE WITHDRAWS FROM JAMAICAN MEET
    KINGSTON, Jamaica: Reigning world 100-meter champion Yohan Blake has withdrawn from this week’s Jamaican national athletics championships with a right thigh injury, the runner’s manager sai...
  • Japan to complain over lasers at match vs Jordan
    Japan's footballing chiefs are to lodge a formal complaint with the sport's governing body after lasers were shone in players' faces during the team's 2-1 loss to Jordan, a report said on W...
  • Andy Murray to face Stanislav Wawrinka at Olympics
    Andy Murray has been handed a tough opening test at the Olympics as he was drawn to face Stanislas Wawrinka in the first round. Murray is looking to do better than his first-round defeat t...
  • Premier League: Sunderland frustrated by 10-man Norwich
    Sunderland failed to capitalise on the dismissal of Norwich City goalkeeper Mark Bunn as they were held to a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light on Sunday. After Wes Hoolahan headed Norwich i...
  • Spain to keep faith in style despite doubts
    Spain may be the reigning European and world champions, but they will arrive in Paris for Tuesday's crucial World Cup qualifier against France with more than a few nagging doubts. Friday's...