Toronto, Canada – By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova charged into the third round of the Australian Open with a commanding 6-2 6-2 win over fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Wednesday.
Kuznetsova dropped her first service game, but it was all smooth sailing after that as she wrapped up the match in an hour and nine minutes.
"I came to the match, I was aggressive. I think I played well," Kuznetsova told reporters.
Kuznetsova came into Melbourne Park worried about some woeful lead-up form after an early exit at the Sydney International last week, her only warm-up tournament.
But two straight-sets victories, the first against Australia's Anastasia Rodionova on Monday, have brought the spring back to her step, and brought her uninterrupted tally of round-three appearances at grand slams to 17.
"I just get extra motivation when I play slams. This is how I explain it," Kuznetsova told reporters after dispatching Pavlyuchenkova, a two-time Australian Open junior champion.
"Doesn't matter how bad you play, you come to grand slams, you just get there, and you're like, 'Oh, grand slam, it's special, this is for what I work for, what I play.' You just enjoy it so much."
The only concern for Kuznetsova was her first serve, which frequently missed the mark during the first set.
"I had very low percentage, 40 percent. I don't think is good enough," said Kuznetsova, who won the U.S. Open as a teenager in 2004.
She next plays either Aravane Rezai of France or Germany's Angelique Kerber before a potential fourth-round encounter against Kim Clijsters.
The Russian said she had been working on "a little bit of everything" to prepare her for a tilt at her third grand slam.
"For sure I work on movement, fitness condition, yes. Especially I worked on coming a little bit more to the net ... I want to be an all-zones player. I think I have a potential to do that."
(Editing by Alastair Himmer)