LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) - Svetlana Kuznetsova prevailed in one of the most established “fixtures” in women’s tennis as she beat Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-4 to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday for the first time in 10 years.
The Russian, seeded seventh, has found Radwanska an agreeable opponent over the past decade and did so again to beat her for the 14th time in 18 matches.
Kuznetsova, 32, is in the quarter-finals for the fourth time and is yet to drop a set so far in this year’s championships, spending less than five hours on court so far.
Having faced opponents with an average ranking of 139 in her opening three matches, Kuznetsova was required to up her game against tricky ninth seed Radwanska and she did so, striking 37 winners to her opponent’s 13.
There was no way back for Radwanska in the first set as she lost the opening four games on a sun-drenched Court Three.
But the second set lasted nearly an hour and contained a succession of long baseline exchanges. Kuznetsova, one of six grand slam champions to reach the last 16 and the second-oldest woman left standing, broke crucially in the seventh game.
She wobbled as she served for victory at 5-4 but battled back from 15-40 down and nailed a backhand winner on match point to move through to a quarter-final clash against either top seed Angelique Kerber or Garbine Muguruza.
Kuznetsova has never gone past the quarters, falling to Justine Henin in 2003, Lindsay Davenport in 2005 and Venus Williams in 2007. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Mark Heinrich)