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PARIS, June 2 (Reuters) - Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova came out on top of a vintage claycourt tennis match as she outplayed German eighth seed Angelique Kerber 6-4 4-6 6-3 to book her place in the quarter-finals of the French Open on Sunday.
The 2009 champion from Russia, who is not seeded at Roland Garros for the first time since 2003, set up a meeting with either world number one Serena Williams or Italian 15th seed Roberta Vinci.
World number 39 Kuznetsova prevailed after two hours 21 minutes of tennis featuring slides, drop shots and lung-burning rallies, far from the usual baseline-biffing contests in force in women's tennis.
After being broken, Kuznetsova won three games in a row to clinch the opening set with a service winner.
Kerber, however, levelled as she recovered from a break down to take the second set.
Kuznetsova appeared to be the fresher player after repeatedly sending her opponent to chase balls left and right, and she wrapped it up with a forehand winner down the line. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon)