Australian Open

Fighter Kuznetsova wins battle of the ages

2017-01-20 09:29
Svetlana Kuznetsova (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Svetlana Kuznetsova came through a punishing battle of the ages against fellow veteran Jelena Jankovic on Friday, with the Russian amazed she was able to hang on and turn the match around.

The vastly experienced players, both 31 and with 111 Grand Slam appearances between them, slugged it out for three hours, 36 minutes on Hisense Arena with Kuznetsova's ageing legs faring better than Jankovic's.

She finally won 6-4, 5-7, 9-7, bouncing back from 0-3 down in the third to set up a fourth-round clash with fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who upset 11th seed Elina Svitolina in straight sets.

"Jelena was in total control in the third set but I was trying to hang in, it was amazing that I could turn it around," said Kuznetsova, a two-time Grand Slam winner who is enjoying a late career resurgence.

"I just waited and tried to recover some breaks. I was not playing my best."

It was a memorable win for the eighth seed, who is renowned as a three-set fighter and from 7-6 down in the deciding set won 12 of the last 13 points.


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