Women's Tennis

Watch Stosur V. Kuznetsova Semi-Finals Live Online

PARIS - JUNE 03:  Samantha Stosur of Australia celebrates a point during the Women's Singles Quarter Final match against Sorana Cirstea of Romania on day eleven of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 3, 2009 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Jon PhillipsContributor IJune 3, 2009
The Stosur and Kuznetsova semifinal can be watched live online. Here's the tale of the tape:

Samantha Stosur v Svetlana Kuznetsova

SAMANTHA STOSUR

Ranked 32
Previous best performance at Roland Garros: Third Round-2007
Residence: Gold Coast, Australia
Date of Birth: March 30, 1984…Age 25
Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia
Height: 5' 7 3/4" (1.72 m)
Weight: 143 lbs. (65 kg)
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Turned professional: 1999

Australians just aren’t supposed to do well on Parisian clay any more.

It’s been thirteen years since Patrick Rafter became the last player from "down under" to reach a Roland Garros semi-final and twenty one years since the unseeded Nicole Bradtke, who was a Provis in those days. battled through to the last four where she lost to Natasha Zvereva.

However, this has been a French Open full of upsets. Thirtyth ranked seed Stosur, pulled off one of the biggest when she ousted Olympic champion Elena Dementieva.

After winning four Grand Slam titles, two in Ladies Doubles with Lisa Raymond and two in mixed alongside Scott Draper and then Bob Bryan, she is no stranger to the big show courts

Only eighteen months ago she wondered whether she would ever play tennis again after being struck by a mystery illness that kept her off tour for the best part of a year. It was eventually diagnosed as Lyme disease, an infection transmitted by the bite of ticks. Now fighting fit she is proving herself still to be a singles force.

 

SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA

Ranked 7                                                                                                                                                     Previous best performance at Roland Garros: Final-2006
Residence: Moscow, Russia
Date of birth: June 27, 1985...Age 23
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Height: 5' 8 1/2" (1.74 m)
Weight: 161 lbs. (73 kg)
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Turned professional: 2000

Certainly this powerhouse Russian should have amassed more than just the solitary Grand Slam title she won as a teenager at the US Open nearly five years ago.

Clay is her favored surface, but too often a lack of self belief has contributed to her downfall.

Beating Serena Williams in the quarter final exercised some personal demons after an ill-tempered confrontation in January’s Australian Open where the closing of the roof because of intense temperatures changed the course of the match.

A few months ago, she decided a change of coach was necessary, ditching Berkshire-based Olga Morozova and replacing her with the former doubles champion Larissa Savchenko.

Clearly the switch has worked, as she reached the semi-finals in Miami and, after moving onto clay, won the title in Stuttgart and finished runner up in Rome.

As might be expected of a player of her standing, she dominated through the early rounds and did not drop a set, until encountering the talented young Pole Agnieszka Radwanska.

Previous meetings: Kuznetsova leads 1—0
September 2004. Bali second round (on hard court) Kuznetsova won 6—4,6—4.

SEMI FINAL PREDICTION: KUZNETSOVA IN THREE SETS

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