Kuznetsova sets up Azarenka showdown

21 January 2013 03:54:14 EST

Svetlana Kuznetsova set up a quarter-final clash at the Australian Open with the world number one Victoria Azarenka by beating Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki in three sets.

It was a superb display by the Russian, who was playing in her first Grand Slam since missing the second half of last season with a knee injury.

If you asked me before coming to Australia if I would be in the quarter-finals, I would say - well I would laugh, definitely.

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Kuznetsova has slipped to 75 in the world rankings as a result of the injury, but showed her class in a two-and-a-half hour encounter that she eventually edged 6-2 2-6 7-5.

Kuznetsova said afterwards: "It's amazing. It's my best result. I have been to the quarter-finals here two times, so I'm just kind of replaying that. It's a very good result for my first Grand Slam tournament back.

"If you asked me before coming to Australia if I would be in the quarter-finals, I would say - well I would laugh, definitely. I wouldn't be so sure about it."

Kuznetsova, who won the 2004 US Open and the 2009 French Open, is 1212/1 to win this year's Australian Open while Azarenka can be backed at 11/10 and Serena Williams at 1212/1.

Meanwhile, Azarenka saw off Elena Vesnina 6-1 6-1 in less than an hour and looks to be in ominous form as she attempts to win the title in Melbourne for a second successive year.

The Belarusian said afterwards: "I was focused and in control from the beginning. That was important for me. I feel like I'm improving from match to match. I just want to keep going the same way."

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