Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova knocks Serena Williams out of 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.
Serena's reign is OVER.— Miami Open (@MiamiOpen) March 28, 2016
Svetlana Kuznetsova gets the stunning upset over Williams and advances to the quarters. pic.twitter.com/Fm0MC3UFjH
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.”
Kuznetsova joins the elite group of Hingis, Venus, Capriati, Azarenka & Wozniacki as the only players to defeat Serena in Miami! #MiamiOpen— WTA Scores (@Scores_WTA) March 28, 2016
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.
Svetlana Kuznetsova ends Serena Williams 35 match unbeaten streak against Russian tennis players dating back to Australian Open 2012— Chris Goldsmith (@TheTennisTalker) March 28, 2016
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.