June 25, 2008 / 3:59 PM / 10 years ago

Kuznetsova eases past Bondarenko

LONDON (Reuters) - Fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova strolled into the third round of Wimbledon on Wednesday, defeating Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2 6-3.

Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia returns the ball to Mathilde Johansson of France during their match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 23, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The 22-year-old Russian was relieved to enjoy an easy afternoon on Centre Court having been forced to come from a set behind to sneak past French qualifier Mathilde Johansson in round one.

Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine returns the ball to Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia during their match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 25, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

“I think I did everything to have it easier,” the former U.S. Open champion told a news conference.

“I played much better, and I was just playing a little bit more like you should play on grass, not on clay court. For me it’s difficult to adjust.”

Bondarenko, the world number 47 and a junior winner here four years ago, rallied in the second set but was unable to recover from falling two breaks behind in each set.

Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia reacts during her match against Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London June 25, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

Kuznetsova, a three-times Wimbledon quarter-finalist, was equally disappointed with her service game which she gave away twice in an otherwise error-free performance.

“I was really happy with everything except my serve,” she said.

“I could not get my serve in as much as I would like to. I was maybe wanting to do too much with this, and I wanted to go more forward, which I think I did pretty well.”

Kuznetsova will hope to celebrate her birthday on Friday with victory over another qualifier, Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

The world number 109 made it to a grand slam third round for the first time when Bondarenko’s older sister, the 28th seeded Alona, retired injured trailing 3-6 0-3.

Editing by Clare Lovell

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