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Tennis: Svetlana Kuznetsova leads senior surge as stars fade at French Open

Published on May 31, 2014 10:55 PM
 
Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova (right) shakes hands with Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova (left) at the end of their French tennis Open third round match at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on May 31, 2014. Svetlana Kuznetsova led a seniors surge into the French Open last 16 on Saturday with a marathon win over Petra Kvitova as Roland Garros lost the fourth of its top five seeds. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Svetlana Kuznetsova led a seniors surge into the French Open last 16 on Saturday with a marathon win over Petra Kvitova as Roland Garros lost the fourth of its top five seeds.

Kuznetsova, 28, won a three-hour 13 minute thriller to defeat fifth-seeded Kvitova 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 9-7 in the the longest match of the women's tournament.

The 2009 champion capitalised on Kvitova's 65 unforced errors and 10 double faults to set-up a fourth round clash with another Czech, 27-year-old Lucie Safarova.

Former Wimbledon champion Kvitova, a semi-finalist in 2012, had enjoyed a 3-0 career edge over the Russian going into Saturday's clash, but her efforts were undermined by twice needing medical timeouts to treat a back and leg injury.

 
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