Kuznetsova battles scorching heat to outshine Wozniacki

Kuznetsova battles scorching heat to outshine Wozniacki

Former world number two Svetlana Kuznetsova defied sweltering heat that earlier prompted Agnieszka Radwanska to suggest it was too hot to play to beat seventh seed Caroline Wozniacki on Tuesday in the second round of the Sydney International.

Russia's Kuznetsova, a two-times Grand Slam champion who was knocked out in the first round in Auckland last week and had to qualify for the main draw in Sydney, beat the former world number one 7-6, 1-6, 6-2 in a match that lasted almost four hours.

Sydney had been forecast to hit a maximum of 43C on Tuesday as Australia swelters in a heatwave that has sparked raging bush fires.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reported a temperature high of 41.4 C at 15.30 (local) at Sydney's Olympic Park and women's top seed Radwanska had said earlier that play should have been abandoned until the temperature dropped.

The world number four, who was given a bye into the second round, played the opening match on centre court and beat Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals but even that early in the day the heat was effecting the players.

Former French Open champion Li Na, who followed Radwanska on to court, compared the heat to playing in a sauna, but she was good enough to speed through Japan's Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-0 in 52 minutes.

Kuznetsova, who will meet second-seeded German Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals, said she was not taking the win over the 10th-ranked Wozniacki as a turning point in her rehabilitation. "I just don't think about it when it's turning point and when it's not," she said. "I'm here. I'm doing the best I can. That's it.”