Tennis-Kuznetsova stunned by Federer compliment

PARIS, June 3 Sun Jun 3, 2007 9:01pm BST

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PARIS, June 3 (Reuters) - Thinking people were making it up, Svetlana Kuznetsova logged on to the Internet to read the evidence herself.

When she saw it written in plain English, she had to pinch herself -- Roger Federer had picked out the Russian as his favourite player on the women's tour.

"I like her game, she plays well," Federer declared earlier in the week.

It sent Kuznetsova into a spin. "The Russian press told me and I thought 'No, it was a joke'. So I wanted to check it myself and read this on the Internet," the third seed said after reaching the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.

"If I would have to choose a compliment from anybody, it's definitely the best I ever heard. Roger is a legend and to hear him say that is almost a dream.

"It's unbelievable to hear my hero say this about my tennis."

A runner-up in Paris 12 months ago, Kuznetsova is now eager to back up Federer's endorsement by winning the title on Saturday.

"If he likes my game, I would like to prove it more," she said.

She will next face rising Serb Ana Ivanovic for a place in the semi-finals.

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