Svetlana Kuznetsova put in an incredible and clinical performance in the third round of the Western and Southern Open to easily defeat Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets, triumphing after 1 hour and 19 minutes of play without facing any problems.
The Russian managed to exploit Suarez Navarro’s vulnerable serves throughout the whole match, breaking serve for a total of five times. Kuznetsova also performed incredibly well on her serve, losing just a mere five points behind her consistent second delivery. The world number eight would now either face Garbine Muguruza, who saved three match points to outlast Madison Keys, in the quarterfinals.
Kuznetsova strolls to clinch the first set 6-2
Kuznetsova came into the match firing on all cylinders as she exploited the vulnerability of Suarez Navarro’s serves, staying solid at the baseline as the Russian clinched the break of serve in the opening game with a smash winner on break point. The higher-ranked player was able to find her best first serves on the crucial points, with her powerful backhand doing the work for her as she fended off a break point to consolidate the break for a 2-0 lead.
Suarez Navarro then got herself onto the scoreboard with a solid service hold before breaking straight back with the help of some unforced errors by the Russian, coming back from 40-15 down to do so.
Nevertheless, Kuznetsova immediately regained the lead as she pressured the Spaniard at the baseline consistently, breaking serve for the second time in the set. The world number eight was performing relatively well, holding her serve for a 4-2 lead afterward.
Throwing yet another service game away with a double fault on break point, Suarez Navarro found herself in deep trouble as she had a three-game deficit after Kuznetsova produced some amazing down-the-line winners off both wings. With the help of some backhand unforced errors by the Spaniard, Kuznetsova eventually clinched the first set 6-2 after just 34 minutes of play as she looked to book a place in the quarterfinals.
Kuznetsova seals the victory, prevails in straight sets
Carrying over the momentum from the first set, Kuznetsova made the perfect start to the second set. Unable to find her first serves, Suarez Navarro found herself in deep trouble when she trailed by a break in the opening game as the Russian was clinical in her returns.
However, Suarez Navarro produced the perfect reply as she broke straight back to level the scores and kept herself in contention for the win. Kuznetsova then wasted a couple of break points as the Spaniard produced some effective serves to fend them off and narrowly hold onto her service game.
It was a bad game from Suarez Navarro as she committed four consecutive unforced errors to gift Kuznetsova the next breakthrough, allowing her to lead by a set and a break once more. Kuznetsova then consolidated the break for a 5-3 lead, being just a solitary game away from the impressive win.
Suarez Navarro then held her serve to stay in the match for at least one more game, but it proved to be just a consolation game as Kuznetsova did not disappoint her fans, strolling to the straight sets win after just 79 minutes of play.