Svetlana Kuznetsova has defeated Petra Kvitova in a spirited three set battle to reach the fourth round in Paris. For me this was certainly the best match of the tournament so far. Both ladies would feel that they deserved to win the match but only one of them could advance to the fourth round.
It was Kvitova who started the match on fire, breaking early and taking a 3-1 lead. This first set was full of momentum swings and it Kuznetsova who would win the next four games as Kvitova started hitting wild errors. From here both ladies were able to hold serve, forcing the opening set into a tiebreaker. Kvitova really upped her level, dominating in the tiebreaker.
The second set was all one-way traffic; this is of course all too familiar for Kvitova. Petra hit 15 unforced errors to just 6 winners, a totally uncompetitive statistic. Kvitova looked to be struggling with a thigh injury, as she called for the trainer and decided to leave the court for a medical timeout.
The third set is when the real drama really started. It was Kvitova who stunned Kuznetsova early in the third set, her forehand on fire. Kvitova surging to a 3-1 lead. Kuznetsova would hit straight back, fighting hard for every single point, taking a 4-3 lead. At 4-5 Kvitova would serve to stay in the match and would fall behind 15-40. Kvitova managed to save the two match points, the last of which with a volley that just clipped the baseline. Kvitova held, producing some stunning tennis. At 6-5 Kvitova had the chance to serve out the match but a weak service game saw her broken to 15. At 7-6 Kvitova would again serve for the match and once again she didn't get close. At 7-8 Kvitova would serve to stay in the match and failed courtesy of another weak service game.
Kvitova came up with some stunning winners in the final set but ultimately she hit too many errors. The Czech hit a whopping 65 unforced errors in the match compared to 49 winners. The match was all on Kvitova’s racquet, unfortunately she wasn't able to compose herself and serve it out when she twice had the chance to.