U.S. Open: Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova upset in fourth round
Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won the 2004 U.S. Open and also has a French Open title on her resume, left earlier than she'd hoped from this U.S. Open. In Monday's fourth round. The 11th-seeded Kuznetsova lost to unseeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, 7-5, 7-6 (4).
Kuznetsova, 25, served 10 double faults and said, "I just didn't feel good today. I was very flat." Kuznetsova partly blamed scheduling on her listlessness. She had played a second night match two days ago then was scheduled first Monday on Arthur Ashe Stadium. "It was very hard for me to play one night, second night match, and then in one day to play at 11. But I was fighting with myself and was not doing all the time the things I was supposed to do."
In past years women were never scheduled for the second night match with the thinking that it's much harder to be ready after men who play best-of-five. Some of the men pointed out that since the women have gotten equal prize money at the Open that they should also have to sometimes play the unwanted second night match.
On Sunday fifth-seeded Samantha Stosur didn't complete her three-set victory over 12th-seeded Elena Dementieva until after 1 a.m. Monday.
"Someone is going to come off second best getting the short straw with the second night match," Stosur said. Stosur noted Kim Clijsters, her quarterfinal opponent, will have had about 14 extra hours of rest. "She played first, I played last," Stosur said. "I guess you've got to do what you can do and recover as best as I can and be back tomorrow and play again. It's just one of those things."
Cibulkova, 21 and ranked 45th in the world, reached her first U.S. Open quarterfinal. Her best Grand Slam finish was at the 2009 French Open semifinals. In the quarterfinals Cibulkova will play the winner of a match between top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and 14th-seeded Maria Sharapova, scheduled for later Monday.
-- Diane Pucin, reporting from New York
Photo: Svetlana Kuznetsova reaches for a backhard returns against Dominika Cibulkova during their match Monday at the U.S. Open. Credit: Andrew Burton / Getty Images