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Published: Saturday March 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday April 18, 2013 MYT 1:33:06 AM

Tennis: Quick change gives Kuznetsova leg up

INDIAN WELLS, California: Two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova's cold-weather wardrobe proved more trouble than the chilly temperatures on Friday at the Indian Wells ATP Masters and WTA tournament.

The Russian had to bounce back from being blanked in the opening set to beat former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic 0-6, 6-2, 7-5.

"I tried to play in the long tight pants first set. I cannot," said Kuznetsova, who advanced to a third-round meeting with ninth-seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli.

"I can practice in it without problem, but when I have matches I always start to lose and I have to take it off and then everything changes."

Kuznetsova stopped short of blaming her failure to win a game in the opening set on her leggings, which she wore to combat the cold.

However, she said she did move more freely once she took them off. "They are very tight, so they were kind of pushing my stomach so I was not so comfortable," she said.

"After I took it off, I was feeling a little bit looser."

Kuznetsova, winner of the 2004 US Open and the 2009 French Open, rose as high as No. 2 in the world in 2007.

But a knee injury saw her sidelined for much of last year. She was on crutches for two weeks and missed every tournament after Wimbledon.

She dropped to 85th in the world, but has climbed back to 46th with quarter-final appearances at Sydney and the Australian Open this year.

"I'm just very calm right now and just enjoying every moment," she said of her comeback mind-set.

"I start to enjoy tennis again. This is, for me, the most important." - AFP

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