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Kuznetsova sets up Azarenka showdown

January 21, 2013 08:54:14 UK

Svetlana Kuznetsova set up a quarter-final clash at the Australian Open with the world number one Victoria Azarenka by beating Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki in three sets.

It was a superb display by the Russian, who was playing in her first Grand Slam since missing the second half of last season with a knee injury.

If you asked me before coming to Australia if I would be in the quarter-finals, I would say - well I would laugh, definitely.

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Kuznetsova has slipped to 75 in the world rankings as a result of the injury, but showed her class in a two-and-a-half hour encounter that she eventually edged 6-2 2-6 7-5.

Kuznetsova said afterwards: "It's amazing. It's my best result. I have been to the quarter-finals here two times, so I'm just kind of replaying that. It's a very good result for my first Grand Slam tournament back.

"If you asked me before coming to Australia if I would be in the quarter-finals, I would say - well I would laugh, definitely. I wouldn't be so sure about it."

Kuznetsova, who won the 2004 US Open and the 2009 French Open, is 1213.00 to win this year's Australian Open while Azarenka can be backed at 2.10 and Serena Williams at 1213.00.

Meanwhile, Azarenka saw off Elena Vesnina 6-1 6-1 in less than an hour and looks to be in ominous form as she attempts to win the title in Melbourne for a second successive year.

The Belarusian said afterwards: "I was focused and in control from the beginning. That was important for me. I feel like I'm improving from match to match. I just want to keep going the same way."

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