2016 Wimbledon player profile: Svetlana Kuznetsova

There has been a slight resurgence for Svetlana Kuznetsova this year, and she’ll be looking to continue that progression back up the rankings at what is traditionally her weakest major. Will she be able to pick up a few wins at Wimbledon this year?

Notable results so far

It’s fair to say that 2016 has been a season of highs and lows for Kuznetsova. One of her most impressive moments of the year came way back in January, where she crushed Monica Puig in the final to take the title in Sydney after beating Simona Halep in the last four. The two-time Grand Slam champion also impressed with a run to the final in Miami, where she beat the likes of Serena Williams before losing to Victoria Azarenka in the final.

Svetlana Kuznetsov holds the title after winning the Apia International in Sydney (Getty/Matt King)
Svetlana Kuznetsov holds the title after winning the Apia International in Sydney (Getty/Matt King)

Kuznetsova also made the second week at the French Open, whilst she  reached the last eight in Rome and the last four in Prague.

However, there have been some disappointing results for the Russian. Despite the title in Sydney, she lost to Kateryna Bondarenko in straight sets in the second round at the Australian Open, whilst also lost early in significant tournaments such as Indian Wells and Madrid.

Best grass results leading into Wimbledon

As per usual, Kuznetsova decided not to play for a couple of weeks after the French Open, instead taking some time to rest, and then moving on to the practice courts.

However, she will have some grass court preparation. Once again, Kuznetsova is returning to Aegon International in Eastbourne, where she has played regularly throughout her career. She won the title way back in 2004, beating Daniela Hantuchova in the final, and will be looking to improve on last year, where she lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the third round.

Best showing at Wimbledon

As previously mentioned, Wimbledon is not Kuznetsova’s strongest major, though she has made the quarterfinals three times; 2003, 2005 and 2007.

Back in 2003, when Kuznetsova turned 18 during the tournament, she made the last eight of a slam for the first time, beating wildcard Maria Sharapova in the fourth round before losing to Justine Henin.

Seeded 5th in both 2005 and 2007, she fell to Americans Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams respectively.

Svetlana Kuznetsova in action at Wimbledon back in 2007 (Getty/Alex Livesey)
Svetlana Kuznetsova in action at Wimbledon back in 2007 (Getty/Alex Livesey)

Kuznetsova has not made the second week at Wimbledon since 2008 where, as the 4th seed, she lost to the then rising star Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round, and will be looking to improve on a second round showing last year.

How Kuznetsova’s games translates to the surface

Kuznetsova’s game is not made for the surface; she has no massive weapons to dictate play from, whilst she can be overpowered by stronger opponents on grass without too much difficulty.

Because of that, she usually focuses on her strengths. Her serve is not massively powerful, but is generally consistent and she will try to get any extra speed she can from the surface to use this to dictate play. Furthermore, she is a good mover and is pretty quick, so she tries to use this to dictate play and take even more time away from her opponent.