Serena Williams Condemns Dubai’s Treatment of Kuznetsova
epa03550903 Serena Williams of the US hits a backhand during her quarter final match against Sloane Stephens of the US at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 23 January 2013. EPA/Barbara Walton |
Serena Williams admits that she would not have taken the treatment dished out to two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Dubai Open, with the locally-based Russian denied a wild card into what could be considered her “home” event.
Instead, Kuznetsova, who has rebuilt her ranking after missing six months of last season and now stands 48th, fought her way through qualifying but lost in the first round of the main draw to Roberta Vinci. Williams, presented with a similar theoretical scenario, said she would not have bothered with qualie rounds in the first place.
Instead of awarding Kuznetsova a wild card, the event gave theirs to youngsters Laura Robson and Yulia Putintsova. “I definitely think it’s tough,” Williams said the Kuznetsova situation. “She’s been such a great player, and she got injured. She’s won a couple of Grand Slams, so how can such a great player not get a wild card? It’s kind of weird.”
Kuznetsova said that she played qualies just to get match experience. “In my situation, I just have to go through this patch. I see another way, that I have to still be humble.
“I still have to prove that I can do it and that I can go through qualifiers. It’s very weird, believe me, to play qualifiers. You’re like you cannot turn yourself on, like where I am? Am I playing qualifiers for real?
“I do feel that I deserve a wild card, but, sometimes there are hard situations. But I appreciate the support of Serena.”
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