(4) Lucie Safarova vs (5) Svetlana Kuznetsova
A number of high profile, pre-tournament withdrawals have meant that interest levels in this years Kremlin Cup have been relatively low. However Friday’s quarter-final between Lucie Safarova and Svetlana Kuznetsova certainly stands out as a match to look forward to.
After receiving a bye into the second round, Lucie Safarova defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 6-2 in an impressive performance. Lucie served 15 aces and saved all 7 break points that she faced. This certainly wasn't a one off, Lucie has been serving well and saving break points throughout what has been one of her most consistent seasons on tour.
Svetlana Kuznetsova reached the quarter-finals in Moscow after surviving a real scare against Ukrainian youngster Kateryna Kozlova. Kuznetsova dropped the opening set 3-6 before a taking a lengthy break between the first and second sets. Kuznetsova managed to turn things around, eventually prevailing in marathon match 3-6 6-3 6-3 in 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Kuznetsova has a 4-3 head-to-head record over Lucie. Svetlana gained that positive head-to-head record by winning their most recent encounter, a 6-3 6-4 victory earlier this year at Roland Garros. Lucie has been refreshingly consistent this season; I suspect her newfound consistency will give her the edge in this match.
Prediction: Lucie Safarova to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2 sets