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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, February 27, 2020

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Svetlana Kuznetsova swept Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-4 to power into the Doha semifinals with her record 19th Qatar Total Open victory.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Svetlana Kuznetsova keeps adding achievements to her distinguished career.

Kuznetsova powered past Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-4 into the Doha semifinals with her record 19th Qatar Total Open victory.

More: Maria Sharapova Retires at Age 32

The two-time Grand Slam champion cracked 39 winners sweeping the fourth-seeded Swiss weeks after Bencic beat Kuznetsova 7-6(4), 6-4 in the St. Petersburg round of 16.

The 34-year-old Russian raised her Doha record to 19-10, breaking the tournament win record she shared with former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.

Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty conquered two-time Grand Slam champion GarbiƱe Muguruza 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-2 to set up a semifinal vs. two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova

Earlier, the eighth-seeded Kvitova edged wild card Ons Jabeur 
7-6(2), 7-6(4).

It's the first time in five career meetings Kuznetsova has completed a victory vs. Benic. The two-time Doha finalist's lone prior win against the Swiss came via retirement at the 2016 Wuhan.

The oldest woman still standing in the singles field broke at 30 for a 5-4 lead in the opener. Kuznetsova cruised through 12 of the final 13 points played on her serve in snatching a one-set lead.

Strong serving sparked a five-game run that saw Kuznetsova break to start the second set then back up the break for 2-0.

The 2004 US Open champion scored her third straight stretching her lead to 4-1. Kuznetsova scalded her seventh ace for match point and blistered a serve winner to roll into her third Doha semifinal without surrendering a set.

Continuing her quest for a 19th career title, Kuznetsova will face Aryna Sabalenka for a spot in the final.

Sabalenka stormed back from 1-3 down in the decisive set tearing through five straight game to stop Zheng Saisai 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3. 

The ninth-seeded Sabalenka improved to 10-5 on the season.

World No. 46 Kuznetsova has split two prior meetings with Sabalenka.


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