Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova knocks Serena Williams out of Miami Open

Svetlana Kuznetsova (R) and Serena Williams (L) after their match at the Miami Open. © Geoff Burke
Svetlana Kuznetsova has recorded a shock victory over tennis world number one Serena Williams at the Miami Open.

The 15th seed fought back from a set down to claim an emphatic 6-7 6-1 6-2 win in the fourth round of the American competition on Monday.

The duo could not be separated in the first set, with Williams’ power on show as a couple of thundering aces allowed the favourite to claim the ascendancy in a tie-break.

Other players have wilted having lost the first set to the 21-time Grand Slam winner, but Kuznetsova played with confidence to dominate the second set.

Excellent serving and the building of momentum gave the Russian a comfortable victory and robbed Williams of the chance to win a ninth Miami Open title.

"I'm really thrilled," Kuznetsova said after her win.

"I'm sorry fans, who are disappointed that Serena's not going to keep playing, but for sure she'll be at more events than here.

"I'm really happy with my performance. I tried to stay at a good level the whole game. I think I did that pretty well and I'm happy with the way I served today.”

It was Kuznetsova’s first victory over Williams since 2009 and gives the Russian a great chance of claiming victory in the tournament – especially  as world number two Agnieszka Radwanska was also unexpectedly eliminated on Monday.

Russian tennis will hail Kuznetsova’s victory as a rare piece of positive news following the recent doping scandal centered around Maria Sharapova.

She will now face compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in the quarter-finals.

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