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joyful rogger fedder

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lisicki spoils Kuznetsova's party

Photo Titled Lisicki joy
Lisicki joy

Today may be Svetlana Kuznetsova’s 24th birthday but Sabine Lisicki was the only one celebrating after the highly rated teenager beat the French Open champion in straight sets on No.1 Court.

Despite riding high on the back of her Grand Slam triumph this month, fifth seed Kuznetsova was slow out of the blocks and failed to recover in time to rescue the match, succumbing to her 19-year-old German opponent 6-2, 7-5.

Lisicki said: "It's the first time I'm in the second week and I just kept telling myself, you have nothing to lose, just go for your shots. That's what I did in the end and it turned out to be good.

"I just kept fighting. I missed some opportunities at 5-4 but I managed to serve well and just fought to finish up the match," she added.

In a nervy opening passage of play both players looked more comfortable on the return with an immediate exchange of breaks. The German capitalised on the early shift of momentum to open up a 4-1 lead in a profitable spell that put her firmly in control of the set.

Lisicki’s evident comfort in the dictating proceedings was well backed by a solid all-round game that signified maturity beyond her years.The teenager’s consistently high quality of return and ability to vary her shots unnerved Kuznetsova, who reeled off a series of uncharacteristic unforced errors.

"I wasn't feeling my comfort at all. I was not moving much and I was not doing my thing," admitted Kuznetsova.

"You have got to be quick and at maximum level all the time and I haven't done so today. That's why I lost."

While Kuznetsova was struggling with the racket, she was able to demonstrate impressive football skills, returning a Lisicki let service with a well executed half volley. But her tennis continued to be a cause for concern and she grew increasingly frustrated. The Russian’s yelps of anguish were punctuated by a brief dispute with the umpire over a serve that Kuznetsova believed had clipped the top of the net on its way down but failed to trigger the sensor.

With so much animation on the other side of the net Lisicki maintained her composure and continued to pile on the pressure. She was rewarded when she broke serve for a third time to clinch the set 6-2.With the benefit of an extended break between sets, Kuznetsova began to show glimpses of the quality that saw her go all the way at Roland Garros.

But still Lisicki looked the more assured and her confidence was justified given her impressive level of consistency on the big stage. With the set seemingly heading to a tie break at 6-5, the 19-year-old raised her game to make the decisive break and spoiled Kuznetsova's birthday celebrations with the win.

Court 1 - Ladies' Singles - 3rd Round
Sabine Lisicki GER Winner67
Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS (5)25

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