Svetlana Set For Spanish Test
MADRID, Spain - Svetlana Kuznetsova has been one of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's most consistent performers in 2007, enjoying a title run in New Haven and five runner-up finishes most notably at the US Open. These successes have seen the Russian rewarded not only with a place in the prestigious Sony Ericsson Championships, but also a career-high ranking of No.2.
After a slightly disappointing start to the season, Kuznetsova found her feet in Doha and Indian Wells where she achieved back-to-back runner-up finishes. This sparkling form continued for the remainder of the season, bringing success on every surface. A memorable three weeks in America was undoubtedly the highlight of the 22-year-old's year, where she captured a ninth career title in New Haven before reaching her third Grand Slam final at Flushing Meadows - losing out to an inspired Justine Henin. In addition to the 55 wins racked-up since January, 2007 has also brought Fed Cup glory for Kuznetsova, with the St. Petersburg-born star enjoying an unblemished 4-0 record in the competition.
Kuznetsova will be hoping it is third-time lucky for her in the Madrid, as her previous two appearances in the season-ending showpiece have both culminated in premature exits. In both 2004 and 2006 the former US Open champion failed to make it beyond the round robin stage, but after the year she has enjoyed there is every possibility of her improving on this disappointing 2-4 record next week.
"Qualifying for the Sony Ericsson Championships was one of the main goals I set myself for this season," Kuznetsova said. "It's an honor for every player to make it to the best eight and I'm happy I have done it again this year. Playing in Spain is always very special for me. I have a lot of friends who come and watch me and have lived there now for many years, so I consider it a second home."
Race to the Sony Ericsson Championships standing: No.3
2007 Win-Loss Record: 55-17
2007 Highlights: Won (1): New Haven; R-Up (5): US Open, Doha, Indian Wells, Berlin, Rome; SF (4): Dubai, Warsaw, Stuttgart, Moscow
Championships history: Third appearance at this event; in 2004 (d. Zvonareva; l. to Mauresmo and eventual champion Sharapova) and 2006 (d. Dementieva; l. to Sharapova and Clijsters) fell in round robin group stage