Shuai Routs Former Champ Kuznetsova
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Another former Sony Ericsson Open champion has bowed out early in Miami. After 2009 men’s singles champion Andy Murray went out yesterday afternoon to American qualifier Alex Bogomolov Jr., 2006 women’s title winner Svetlana Kuznetsova became the latest seeded casualty of the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open, falling to Peng Shuai of China.
Shuai is proving to be a different player this season, and took out Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-1 in a spectacular performance to advance to the fourth round Saturday afternoon.
The Chinese No. 2 took full advantage of her opportunities. She broke the 11th-seeded Kuznetsova in the Russian’s first service game to open up a 3-0 lead and, playing with consistency and intensity, she closed out the set without a hitch.
The blend of Shuai’s level of play and Kuznetsova’s frustration continued to brew after the Russian missed three break point opportunities in the second game, having already lost her serve at the start of the set. Kuznetsova would not see another opening on the Chinese’s serve and Peng capitalized two more times to thump Kuznetsova in one hour and 16 minutes.
The win gave Shuai her second victory over Kuznetsova this year, having defeated the two-time Grand Slam champion at Auckland in January. Her fourth-round opponent will be the winner between No. 26 seed Alexandra Dulgheru and Johanna Larsson, who upset 7th-seeded Li Na in the second round..
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