PARIS (AP) — It was a long, hard-fought victory for Svetlana Kuznetsova, and it seems to have made her feel like a champion again. An eight-time French Open champion, that is.
Kuznetsova, who won the title at Roland Garros in 2009, broke Petra Kvitova twice when the fifth-seeded Czech was serving for the match and won 6-7 (3), 6-1, 9-7 Saturday to earn a spot in the fourth round.
"I really feel almost like Rafa out there," Kuznetsova said, referring to Rafael Nadal. "The difference is I cannot make winners from that far behind, so I have to go inside a little bit."
Nadal is known for his inexhaustible defense and his ability to chase down balls in all corners of the court — and get them back. That has earned him a record eight French Open titles.
Kuznetsova did much of the same Saturday, making Kvitova hit shot after shot.
Kuznetsova, who also won the U.S. Open in 2004, took advantage of an injured and error-prone Kvitova on Court Philippe Chatrier. The 2011 Wimbledon champion ended up with 65 unforced errors, including a missed forehand on match point. Kuznetsova had only 20 unforced errors.
"I left out there everything I could," said Kuznetsova, a Russian seeded 27th this year at Roland Garros. "I (came) up with a win, but I was very close to the loss, as well."
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