January 19, 2008 / 2:44 AM / 11 years ago

Radwanska dumps Kuznetsova out

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A disappointed Svetlana Kuznetsova barely looked up during her post-match news conference after she was sensationally dumped out of the Australian Open third round 6-3 6-4 on Saturday by Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska.

Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova hits a shot to Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 19, 2008. REUTERS/Steve Holland

Looking at her questioners only momentarily before her eyes again drifted downwards to the desk, Kuznetsova rattled through her obligatory media session in less than three minutes.

The world number two, who lost the Sydney International final to world number one Justine Henin a week ago, looked completely out of sorts against the Krakow teenager.

“This is a pretty tough loss because I think I’ve been in the best shape ever in Australian Open, and I just didn’t make it work,” Kuznetsova told reporters.

‘It’s pretty simple. I think I beat myself up out there, so I didn’t do much right things.

“I was not playing against her, I was playing against me.”


Kuznetsova, who had her left thigh heavily strapped, had fought back from 3-0 deficit in the first set but was unable to continue her momentum, though the Pole needed seven break opportunities to help seal the decisive break for the first set.

The former U.S. Open champion then reversed the slide and established a 3-0 lead in the second set but the battling 29th-seed rattled off three successive games then broke the Russian to take a 5-4 lead.

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska hits a shot to Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 19, 2008. REUTERS/Steve Holland

She then saved a break point in the final match and sealed victory when Kuznetsova’s service return of a slow kick serve cannoned into the net.

“I wasn’t doing the right things and I lost the match,” Kuznetsova added.

“Playing like this I deserved to lose.”

Kuzentsova, making her earliest exit from a grand slam since losing to China’s Li Na in the third round at Wimbledon in 2006, made numerous uncharacteristic errors and shouted at herself several times during the match.

“I have got to learn a lot from this loss,” she said.

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“I am very disappointed, but I have to go with it.

“Today is just one of those days..... I was not playing with the right strategy.”

Radwanska, who only finished high school last year, knocked out Maria Sharapova — also a second seed — in round three of last year’s U.S. Open.

“Both matches I had nothing to lose. Just play and try my best and I did it twice,” said Radwanska, who had lost all three of her previous encounters with Kuznetsova.

“I’m very excited and happy. I lost against her a few times already ... Finally I did it. I beat her.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Martin Petty

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