WTA Miami: Svetlana Kuznetsova overcomes young opponent in Taylor Townsend

WTA Miami: Svetlana Kuznetsova overcomes young opponent in Taylor Townsend

The in-form Svetlana Kuznetsova triumphed in her Miami Open third round match against Taylor Townsend as her impressive run on the American hard courts continued, progressing to the fourth round for the second straight time.

don-han
Don Han

Svetlana Kuznetsova managed to ease past through Taylor Townsend in the third round of the Miami Open, getting past her tough challenge and resistance which was displayed throughout the whole match.

Kuznetsova overcomes slow start

Townsend jumped out to an early lead as Kuznetsova, unfortunately, produced yet another slow start to the match, playing some sloppy tennis to allow her young American to take the early service break in the opening game of the match. With some precise hitting, Townsend was able to open up a 3-1 lead which was mainly due to her accurate and consistent forehands, with Kuznetsova still unable to overcome her slow start.

Taylor Townsend put up a tough fight today | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images North America
Taylor Townsend put up a tough fight today | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images North America

After an exchange of service holds which made the scores 4-2 in the favour of the American, Kuznetsova started to play some of her best tennis as she comfortably held her serve before breaking straight back to level the set on serve, hitting a wonderful backhand down the line winner of break point to return level.

The Russian almost got herself into deep trouble once again as Townsend managed to get to deuce in the ninth game of the set, but was unable to find another breakthrough since she was unable to earn a break point. Serving to stay in the set, Townsend earned two game points but was always pegged back by Kuznetsova, who eventually converted on her third set point as the American hit a forehand into the net, allowing the Russian to seal the first set within 44 minutes.

Svetlana Kuznetsova hits a strong forehand | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images North America
Svetlana Kuznetsova hits a strong forehand | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images North America

Kuznetsova triumphs in straight sets

Unlike the first set, Kuznetsova had the perfect start to the second set as she clinched a service hold to love in the opening game to get things off on a positive note. The Russian then secured the early service break, relying on some explosive groundstrokes to make the first breakthrough in the second set to take a lead of a set and a break.

Townsend almost made an immediate reply by earning a break point in the next game, but Kuznetsova maintained her composure to save it with a couple of strong forehands in succession. This paved the way for her to consolidate the break and affirm her lead on the scoreboard, leading by a formidable 3-0 scoreline in the second set.

Taylor Townsend in action | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images North America
Taylor Townsend in action | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images North America

It was becoming a high-quality match from then on as Kuznetsova started to replicate her Grand Slam winning form, and Townsend playing at her peak level as none of them refused to give up their service games all the way until the seventh game where a break of service became possible all of a sudden. Despite looking poised for yet another comfortable service hold which would have gotten her to just one game away from the victory, Kuznetsova allowed Townsend to come from 40-0 down to return to deuce and give her the golden opportunity to break back and return on serve.

However, unforced errors from Townsend came at the wrong time as the Russian endured a tough resistance from the American to hold serve eventually. Succumbing to the pressure while serving to stay in the match, Townsend was broken for the fourth time in the match to gift Kuznetsova the win after 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Svetlana Kuznetsova celebrates winning a point | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images North America
Svetlana Kuznetsova celebrates winning a point | Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images North America
VAVEL Logo