WTA Madrid: Svetlana Kuznetsova overcomes the first hurdle

Eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova showed her clay court masterclass when she defeated Yaroslava Shvedova in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open, triumphing in straight sets.

WTA Madrid: Svetlana Kuznetsova overcomes the first hurdle
Svetlana Kuznetsova overcame the disappointment of falling early in Stuttgart | Photo: Adam Pretty/Bongarts
Svetlana Kuznetsova
2 0
Yaroslava Shvedova

Svetlana Kuznetsova got past a very tricky opponent in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open as she defeated Yaroslava Shvedova in comfortable fashion, looking fresh and on course for a deep run here.

Kuznetsova steals the first set

It was a bright start to the match as Kuznetsova comfortably held her serve to 15 in the opening game, and threatened to break serve in the next game when she got to deuce. However, Shvedova regained her composure at the right time and held her serve narrowly to get onto the scoreboard. It was all one-way traffic to the servers as three service holds to love followed in the next six games, and the first break point only came in the eighth game. Serving down 3-4, Shvedova looked to have another love service game, but this time it was an opportunity for the Russian to break serve to love.

Svetlana Kuznetsova failed to serve out the set, but soon broke to win the set | Photo: Adam Pretty/Bongarts
Svetlana Kuznetsova failed to serve out the set, but soon broke to win the set | Photo: Adam Pretty/Bongarts

 Despite missing one break point, Kuznetsova converted her second after the Kazakhstani hit a forehand long to gift the higher-ranked player the lead and the golden opportunity to serve out the set. Unexpectedly, Kuznetsova failed to ride on the momentum and was broken straight back as some inconsistent groundstrokes proved to be costly, leveling the set all of a sudden. Nevertheless, the two-time Grand Slam champion regained her composure at the crucial moment, earning set points on Shvedova’s serve. Kuznetsova eventually capitalized on her second set point, hitting an excellent backhand down the line winner to seal the set.

Kuznetsova strolls to victory

Kuznetsova had a poor start to the second set, falling victim to some inconsistent serving in the early stages as she fell behind 1-2 in the third game. However, Shvedova was unable to back up the break of serve as she was immediately broken in the next game before Kuznetsova had the lead instead after she broke serve for the second consecutive time in the set. Consolidating the break of serve, the Russian then held for a formidable 5-2 lead and was just one game away from the victory. Despite wasting four match point opportunities while serving for the win, Kuznetsova finally converted her fifth as she closed out the straightforward match within just 74 minutes.

Svetlana Kuznetsova hits a backhand sliced shot | Photo: Adam Pretty/Bongarts
Svetlana Kuznetsova hits a backhand sliced shot | Photo: Adam Pretty/Bongarts


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