Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Williams falls to Kuznetsova in quarters
PARIS -- One shot by Serena Williams sent Svetlana Kuznetsova to the court in a messy spill that left her covered with clay.
The resilient Russian was down but not out. She squandered a big lead Wednesday but ended Williams' 18-match Grand Slam winning streak in the French Open quarterfinals, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-5.
Williams, seeded second, was seeking her third successive major title and the 11th of her career.
The No. 7-seeded Kuznetsova faced a set point serving at 5-6 in the first set but erased it with a slam and won that set. After her tumble in the second set, Williams rallied three points from defeat to even the match and then took a 3-1 lead in the third.
Kuznetsova mounted the final comeback and broke serve in the last game when Williams pushed a backhand wide.
The seesaw struggle was this close: Midway through the third set, each player had won 100 points.
Kuznetsova, the 2004 U.S. Open champion, seeks her second major title. Her opponent Thursday will be Samantha Stosur of Australia, who reached her first major semifinal by beating Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-1, 6-3.
Stosur, 25, has never won a tour title.