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Kuznetsova edges Kvitova 9-7 in 3rd at French Open

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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.”

Kvitova was repeatedly visited by a trainer and returned with her upper right leg bandaged after one off-court medical timeout. After the match, she said she felt something in her right hamstring.

“Both of us showed great tennis out there,” Kvitova said. “In the end she really played well. She put almost everything back, and it was very tough to win that.”

Kuznetsova is one of two former French Open champions remaining in the draw, along with Maria Sharapova. Serena Williams, Li Na, Ana Ivanovic and Francesca Schiavone have all been eliminated.

In the fourth round, Kuznetsova will get another chance to play like Nadal when she faces Lucie Safarova, a 23rd-seeded Czech.

“Going to be another tough one,” Kuznetsova said. “And I (will) try to be ready to run as much, and maybe even more, and to be a little bit more aggressive.”

Kuznetsova edges Kvitova 9-7 in 3rd at French Open

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — Two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova came back to beat an ailing and error-prone fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova 6-7 (3), 6-1, 9-7 Saturday to reach the fourth round of the French Open.

The 27th-seeded Kuznetsova, who won titles at Roland Garros in 2009 and the U.S. Open in 2004, broke Kvitova at love in the final game.

The match closed with a 13-stroke exchange capped by a missed forehand by Kvitova, her 65th unforced error. That’s 45 more than Kuznetsova made.

Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011, was repeatedly visited by a trainer and returned with her upper right leg bandaged after one off-court medical timeout.

She served for the match a couple of times in the third set but was broken.