Svetlana Kuznetsova tames Timea to enter final

Russian defeats Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-3; will face Victoria Azarenka next

Miami: Ten years after winning the title, Svetlana Kuznetsova is within a game lifting the trophy again after booking her place in the final of the Miami Open.

Victoria Azarenka and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Pics/AFP
Victoria Azarenka and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Pics/AFP

Kuznetsova, who has spent over 11 hours on court during a gruelling run to the semis, found things a little easier in a 7-5, 6-3 win over Timea Bacsinszky.

“I am happy that I could hang in there and never let my hands down,” Kuznetsova said on the WTA Tour website. “I have not been feeling my best but I have been fighting every ball and just trying to run as much as I could.

“I enjoyed the fight and I’m happy I’m still able to play against the best in the world. I was praying to finish it in two sets so I would have a little more time to rest.”

Waiting in the final will be Victoria Azarenka, who remains on course for the ‘Sunshine Double’ after she got past Angelique Kerber in a thrilling semi-final.

Although the 6-2, 7-5 scoreline suggests a rout for the Belarussian, who is looking to add to her title at Indian Wells, it was a match of high quality with a staggering 11 break of serves.

Azarenka, who hit 28 winners, said during her courtside interview: “It’s always a battle, Angelique is such a fighter, and this year she has really stepped up her level.

“It’s great to be tested this way.”

Meanwhile, sixth-seed Kei Nishikori fought off five match points to get the better of Gael Monfils and earn a place in the semi-finals of the Miami Open.

The Japan star was staring down the barrel in the third set as he twice had to serve to stay in the match, but he repelled four match points at 4-5 and then another at 5-6 before going on to triumph in the tie-breaker, sealing a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7/3) win. Nishikori will play Australian Nick Kyrgios, who reached his first Masters 1000 semi-final with a straight-sets win over Milos Raonic.

Kyrgios was at his imperious best, crucially negating Raonic’s massive serve and winning more comfortably than the 6-4 7-6 (7/4) scoreline suggests.

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