MELBOURNE, Australia—Svetlana Kuznetsova, who needed three-and-a-half hours to beat Jelena Jankovic in the third round at the Australian Open, said she had trouble concentrating during the match because the Serb and her team were talking to each other.
“Tennis is one and one,” Kuznetsova said. “You face your opponent. It's a bit frustrating. [Jankovic] was talking to her [her brother, Marko] and hitting partner, and each one of them was sitting [on] different sides. It's a bit frustrating. I'm not saying she was getting coach[ed]. I have no idea what they were talking about. It's consistently high … [the] talk was a little bit disturbing.
"But, I mean, I was trying not to react and just play my game.”
Kuznetsova dropped the second set and was down in the beginning of the third, but she didn’t give it away.
“It was crazy,” said the 31-year-old Kuznetsova, who won, 6-4, 5-7, 9-7. “So it's been a bit insane. But it's a tennis match, anything can happen. In the third set, I felt like Jelena was in total control of the game, but it's never done until you shake the hand. So I was trying to fight and stay in there. I was not playing my best, but I fight hard and in the end I won. So I'm pretty happy.”
Jankovic, who once reached No. 1, admitted that she got too tired.
"I still have to work hard to get back to my best level, but at the end, Sveta was fitter than me in the end,” she said. “I tried so hard, but I couldn't move anymore and she was the one still standing."