Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, the 13th seed in Paris, played her third round match of the French Open on Court 3 on Friday afternoon. Her opponent was her 24-year-old compatriot, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The 30-year-old Russian was in full control of the match pretty much from beginning to end and was never really in any danger of losing it. She won it 6-1, 6-4 in only 73 minutes and in the fourth round she will face the fourth seed, Garbine Muguruza, who beat Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-0.
Kuznetsova Storms through the First Set
Kuznetsova started the match strongly, winning nine of the first 10 points contested and going up 2-0 15-0 in the first set. She struggled a bit in the third game but managed to consolidate her early break of the Pavlyuchenkova serve. Pavlyuchenkova kept missing her shots and Kuznetsova looked to be in full control of the proceedings as she broke again and made it 4-0. Kuznetsova held in the fifth game as well and now Pavlyuchenkova was serving to stay in the set and save the bagel set; she did so. Kuznetsova was serving for the set at 5-1 but she was struggling and Pavlyuchenkova who seemed to have gotten some spring in her step after winning her first game of the match, got two break points; but Kuznetsova saved both and took the first set 6-1.
Kuznetsova Struggles a Bit in the Second Set but Wins it
Kuznetsova kept pounding her forehands and backhands and putting a lot of pressure on her younger compatriot and she broke her opponent's serve at the start of the second set. Time was running out for the 24th seed Pavlyuchenkova but she seemed to have no answer for the powerful game of the 13th seed who consolidated her break to make it eight of nine games won and 2-0 in the second set. Pavlyuchenkova succeeded holding her next service game and reduced the gap to 2-1 but she was again unsuccessful in breaking her opponent's serve in the next game and Kuznetsova maintained her two-games lead. Pavlyuchenkova, who were more consistent in this set, defended her serve again and made it 3-2.
In the sixth game, Pavlyuchenkova finally got another shot at her opponent's serve; serving at deuce, Kuznetsova committed two unforced errors and gifted the break back to her compatriot. The scoreboard showed it was now 3-3. Pavlyuchenkova, who looked like a different player compared to the one we saw in the first set, consolidated her break and was leading for the first time in the match, 4-3. At that point, however, Kuznetsova started applying more pressure again; she won the next two games and was now serving for the match at 5-4. She served it out and won 6-1 6-4 and she's in the fourth round where she will meet the fourth seed from Spain, Garbine Muguruza.
A Look at the Final Match Statistics
Kuznetsova served much better than her opponent. The 13th seed served eight aces as opposed to none from the 24th seed, had 62 percent serves in versus only 48 percent from Pavlyuchenkova and won 76 percent and 52 percent behind her first and second serve points, respectively, versus 46 percent for the 24-year-old Russian behind both her first and second serve points. Kuznetsova also managed to create more break-point opportunities for herself and won four of six break points as opposed to one of three for her younger compatriot. In addition, she returned better than her opponent and won 54 percent of her first and second serve return points as opposed to only 27 percent first serve return points won from Pavlyuchenkova and 48 percent second serve return points won. Finally, Kuznetsova won 66 of the 110 point contested in the match that lasted one hour and 13 minutes.