Tennis: Kuznetsova back in q-finals after 10-year wait, Ostapenko beats Svitolina on eighth match point

Svetlana Kuznetsova is set to compete in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years.
Svetlana Kuznetsova is set to compete in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

LONDON (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. She moves into a quarter-final clash against Garbine Muguruza, who upset top seed and world No. 2 Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Meanwhile, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko let seven match points go begging before finally overcoming fourth seed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) to reach the final eight.

The 20-year-old Latvian, who is now only three wins away from completing what would be astonishing Grand Slam double, had looked to be cruising when she led 5-2 in the second set.

But she let five opportunities to close out the match pass her by before being broken twice to allow her Ukrainian opponent to serve for the second set.

Svitolina failed to take her chance, however, and was immediately broken back, sending the set into a tie-break which Ostapenko won when she converted her eighth match point as her opponent dumped a forehand into the net.

Kuznetsova, 32, on the other hand, 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, the Russian 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.

Kuznetsova has never gone past the quarters, falling to Justine Henin in 2003, Lindsay Davenport in 2005 and Venus Williams in 2007.