Tuesday January 22, 2013
Lay-off after injury does wonders for Kuznetsova
MELBOURNE PARK, MELBOURNE (Jan 14-27)
TWO-TIME major-winner Svetlana Kuznetsova said a serious knee injury proved a blessing in disguise after returning fresh and revitalised to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final in two years.
The Russian, who won the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open, missed much of last season and spent two months on crutches, but she said the break was just what she needed after ousting Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open.
After a tense three-set battle, Kuznetsova, 27, finally prevailed 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 to set up a meeting with top seed Victoria Azarenka for a place in the semi-finals at the opening Grand Slam of the season.
It was a courageous win by Kuznetsova, who at 75 is the lowest ranked player left in the tournament after the right knee injury forced her to take time out.
The injury meant she missed all post-Wimbledon events last year including the US Open, which ended her streak of 40 straight Grand Slam appearances dating back to 2002 at Flushing Meadow.
But Kuznetsova said she had now recovered not only from the injury, but also from her weariness of life on tour after 10 years on the travel-heavy tennis circuit. ó AFP