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By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, June 4, 2017

Caroline Wozniacki rapped her racquet against the soles of her shoes. Then the former No. 1 imposed clean closure on another grinding victory.

Wozniacki scored three of her six service breaks in the final set bursting into the Roland Garros quarterfinals with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 conquest of Svetlana Kuznetsova.

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It is Wozniacki’s second career French Open quarterfinal and first since 2010 when she fell to eventual-champion Francesca Schiavone in the last eight.

The 12th-ranked Dane navigated her third three-set victory in four matches. Wozniacki opened with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over Australian wild Jaimee Fourlis and wrapped up a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 decision over CiCi Bellis yesterday.

Facing Kuznetsova for the first time on clay, Wozniacki made a key tactical adjustment today.




A devoted player of cross-court patterns, the two-time Grand Slam finalist effectively drove the ball down the lines to push the 2009 champion into pursuit.

"I’ve been feeling really good all week and hopefully I can keep this going," Wozniacki said. "I feel like I really have to step it up especially on clay. I have a little more time and I have to take time away from my opponent and one way to do that is playing more aggressively."

Wozniacki ran off five consecutive games to seize the opening set in which she was the aggressor smacking 10 more winners—14 to 4—than the two-time Grand Slam champion.

Hitting her heavy forehand with more topspin, Kuznetsova came back with more aggression. A backhand winner follow by a forehand strike helped Kuznetsova break to take the second set.

Wozniacki played lock-down defense in the decider committing just two unforced errors compared to 14 for her opponent.

The Wozniacki return game sparked her in the final set. She won 10 of 16 points played on Kuznetsova’s first-serve in the final set, scoring successive breaks to roll out to a 3-0 lead in the decider.

Driving the ball with more authority, Wozniacki hammered a deep backhand crosscourt followed by a forehand drop shot for triple break point. When Kuznetsova scattered a backhand wide, Wozniacki earned her third break of the set for 5-2.

Serving for the quarterfinals, Wozniacki wrapped up a strong win in two hours.

Nine times the woman who has beaten Kuznetsova has gone on to reach the French Open final.

Wozniacki will play 19-year-old Latvian Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the final four.




The 47th-ranked Ostapenko belted a backhand winner wrapping up a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over 2010 finalist Samantha Stosur. It is Ostapenko's first major quarterfinal in her eighth Grand Slam tournament appearance.

Contesting her 40th career Grand Slam, Wozniacki has one major aim in mind.

"Winning a Grand Slam is the only thing left on my resume, and that's what I'm working for," Wozniacki said.

 

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