WTA Istanbul: Svetlana Kuznetsova and Irina-Camelia Begu reach quarters

Tennis - Sara Errani, Ajla Tomljanovic, Aleksandra Krunic and Kateryna Bondarenko all made winning start

by Jovica Ilic
WTA Istanbul: Svetlana Kuznetsova and Irina-Camelia Begu reach quarters

World number 28 Svetlana Kuznetsova is playing in only her fourth WTA tournament of the season and she is through to the first quarter-final since Cincinnati last year following a 7-5 4-6 6-1 win over the Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova in 2 hours and 30 minutes. The 32-year-old Russian had to work hard to emerge as a winner, losing 50% of the points in her games and facing 16 break points despite the fact she served at 75%.

Tomova, ranked 165th at the moment, converted seven of those but that wasn't enough to earn the win for her, dropping 56% of the points behind her serve and suffering 10 breaks from 18 chances she offered to Kuznetsova! The opening set lasted for more than an hour and Svetlana broke twice in a row to open up a 3-2 lead.

Viktoriya broke back in game eight after converting the fourth break point and she wasted two set points in game 10, missing the opportunity to grab an early lead. Svetlana responded with a break in game 11 and she held a few minutes later to take the set 7-5.

Additional 11 break points followed in set number two and this time it was Tomova who controlled the scoreboard, opening a 4-0 lead with breaks in games two and four. Kuznetsova pulled both breaks back, reducing the deficit to 4-3 but dropping serve again in game eight and allowing the Bulgarian to serve for the set.

Viktoriya lost her focus to lose her advantage but she finally clinched the set with the fourth break in game 10, sending the encounter into a decider. There, Kuznetsova had the upper hand and she clinched four breaks of serve to dominate the result and book the place in the last eight when she broke Tomova in game seven.

The 7th seed Irina-Camelia Begu needed an hour and 46 minutes to sees off the challenge of Christina McHale by 6-4 6-4 for her second quarter-final of the season. It was another encounter with a huge number of break points (20 in total) and the returners had a chance in almost every game of the match.

Begu served at staggering 85% but she lost more than 50% of the points and also five games from eight opportunities she gave to the American. On the other hand, McHale dropped almost 60% of all the points behind her initial shot and the defeat was inevitable, giving her serve away seven times from 12 break chances she had to play against.

Christina was off to a perfect start, winning 12 of the opening 14 points to race into a 3-0 lead, breaking again in game five to move 4-1 ahead before Begu shifted into a higher gear to claim the following five games and the opener 6-4 after four breaks of serve in a row.

They traded breaks at the start of the second set as well and again in games six and seven to stay locked up at 4-4 before Begu held in game nine after a couple of deuces and brought the win home with the crucial break in game 10, reaching the last eight for the first time since the opening week of the season. Wednesday's results:


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Svetlana Kuznetsova Sara Errani Aleksandra Krunic