I just need to win against good players, says Kuznetsova

Svetlana Kuznetsova insists she is getting progressively closer to clawing back the standing she once held in the women’s game with each passing game and shot.

By Alex Leach

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Published: Fri 22 Feb 2013, 12:19 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:53 AM

The 27-year-old Russian expressed an emotion akin to mild incredulity at not being awarded a wildcard for the main draw of this week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Instead, the world number 48 only received a wildcard for qualifying — a lowly predicament she felt wasn’t ‘real’ and ‘very weird’ in the circumstances. That said, the two-time Grand Slam champion made the most of the opportunity, getting four more much-needed matches under her belt before the WTA Tour switches across to the USA.

Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. — Getty Images

“I have played already in four tournaments this year. I’ve played 20 matches. It’s a lot. It’s quite good though to have so much game experience,” said the three-time Dubai finalist, who eventually lost 6-3, 6-2 to Roberta Vinci, of Italy, in the first round proper here. “To reach the next level, I just need to compete and win against the good, top players. I have not had those matches so far, but I felt that I can be quite close in Australia. It’s just a matter of time.

“In my situation, I have to go through this patch. I just need to be patient, keep working and it will pay off one day.”

One top-ranked player who backs Kuznetsova’s chances and claims for a position in main draws is world number two Victoria Azarenka.

“It’s the right of the tournament and they choose who they want to,” the 23-year-old Belarusian explained.

“She is the kind of player that’s supposed to be playing in a main draw and I’m sure that – in one or two months – she will get her ranking up because her game is at a high level.

“I have seen it; I played her in Australia. She’s going to be fine in a month and get anywhere she wants to by herself.”


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