Svetlana Kuznetsova’s Visa Problems Triggers Protest From Russian Government - UBITENNIS
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Svetlana Kuznetsova’s Visa Problems Triggers Protest From Russian Government

The veteran player is currently not allowed to enter America.

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The Russian Embassy in the United States has submitted a letter of protest to the US state department after Svetlana Kuznetsova was forced to withdraw from the Washington Open.

 

Kuznetsova was set to defend her title at the tournament next week, but isn’t allowed to enter the country because she is yet to receive her visa. Even though she applied for one back in February and there is yet to be any explanation as to why it is taking so long. Kuznetsova is a former US Open champion and has won a total of six WTA titles in America so far in her career.

“Unfortunately I had to pull out of Washington due to my problems with US visa.” The former top 10 player wrote on Instagram.
“Wanted to apologize to all my fans who were waiting for me there. Never had issues like this in my life, hopefully one day I can finally get a visa and play at list [sic] some events of the US swing!”

In a statement issued to the Tass News Agency, the Russian embassy said Kuznetsova is a victim of the ‘dragged-out administrative procedures’ to acquire a US visa.’ In recent months there has been heightened political tensions between the two countries. Resulting in more scrutiny in the visa application process.

“We have filed a note of protest with the Department of State demanding to stop a discriminatory policy regarding an issuance of visas for Russian participants of international sports tournaments,” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, the Russian diplomatic mission has accused America of deliberately blocking their athletes from entering the country.

“We resent the continuous practice of obstructing the participation of our athletes in major sports tournaments, which are held on the territory of the United States.” They said.

In a separate report published by Sputnik News, officials said they are unable to discuss individual visa applications in accordance with US law. This is the first year Kuznetsova has ever encountered such problems.

“I have always applied for a visa in Moscow and had no problems. Since when I was 16 years old, I have always participated in the tournaments on the US soil. I would not like to give any interpretations. I believe that the sports are far from politics,” She said.

The WTA and USTA are both aware of the current situation.

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Ahsleigh Barty overcomes Garbine Muguruza to reach the semifinals in Doha

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Ashleigh Barty fought back from losing the second set to beat Garbine Muguruza 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 after 1 hour and 51 minutes at the Qatar Total Open on Centre Court in Doha.

 

Barty and Muguruza were level at 1-1 in their two previous head-to-head matches, which went to the third set.

Barty received a walkover into the quarter final as Elena Rybakina pulled out injured after reaching two consecutive Premier-level finals in St. Petersburg and Dubai.

Barty broke twice in the second and sixth games and did not face a break point to win the first set 6-1.

Muguruza earned the first break of the second set in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Barty broke straight back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4 to force the second set to the tie-break. Muguruza raced out to a 5-0 lead. Barty came back by winning four of the next five games, but Muguruza clinched the second set on their second set point.

Barty saved a break point in the first game of the third set and opened up a 5-2 lead after a streak of three consecutive breaks. The Australian player came back from 15-40 down in the last game and forced a backhand into the net from Muguruza on return to earn a match point and sealed the win with a break, as Muguruza sent her forehand wide.  Barty sets up a semifinal against Petra Kvitova in a re-match of the Australian Open quarter finals.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova and Petra Kvitova reach the semifinals in Doha

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Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and 36 minutes to advance to the semifinal at the Doha Total Qatar Open. Kuznetsova took a re-match against the Swiss player, who won their previous head-to-head match in St. Petersburg earlier this month by the scoreline of 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. Kuznetsova reached two finals in Doha in 2004 and 2007 in his 11 previous appearances in Doha.

 

Kuznetsova wasted eight break points in the first set before breaking serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead with a backhand down the line winner. Kuznetsova earned a double break to open up a 4-1 lead, as Bencic hit a volley into the net. Bencic pulled one of the breaks back in the sixth game. Kuznetsova saved a double break-back in the eighth game to open up a 5-3 lead with her sixth ace. Bencic fended off one match serving at 4-5 as Kuznetsova netted a forehand. Bencic took a 0-30 lead as Kuznetsova was serving out for the match. Kuznetsova won the final four points to clinch the second set 6-4 setting up a semifinal match against Aryna Sabalenka.

Petra Kvitova battled past Ons Jabeur 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 44 minutes. Kvitova went down a break in the second set and saved two set points before clinching her ninth consecutive win in Doha.

Kvitova raced to a 4-0 lead with a double break in the opening set. Jabeur pulled back both breaks to draw level to 4-4 and broke Kvitova, as she was serving for the set to force a tie-break.

Kvitova earned a decisive mini-break and won the final five points from 2-2 to clinch the first set tie-break.

Jabeur broke at the start of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead. Kvitova broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both players traded breaks in the 11th and 12th games to set up a second tie-break.

Kvitova raced out to a 6-2 lead in the tie-break. Jabeur saved two match points but Kvitova closed it out at his third opportunity setting up a semifinal against either Gabrine Muguruza or Ashleigh Barty.

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Aryna Sabalenka comes back from a set down to beat Zheng Saisai on a windy day in Doha

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Aryna Sabalenka came back from a set down and a break down in the third set to beat unseeded Chinese player Zheng Saisai 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 2 hours and 21 minutes on a windy day at the Qatar Total Open in Doha. Sabalenka took a re-match against Zheng, who won their first head-to-head match in San José last August.

 

Zheng saved three break points in her first service game. After a trade of breaks in the fifth and sixth games, Zheng came back from 40-0 down to break serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead after saving six game points. Zheng held serve for 5-3 before breaking serve for the third time in the ninth game, as Sabalenka made her sixth double fault.

Sabalenka broke serve in the third game at 30 to take a 2-1 lead. Zheng broke straight back after a backhand pass followed by a volley error from Sabalenka.

Sabalenka saved a break point in the sixth game with a service winner. Both players held serve in the next eight consecutive games to force the second set to the tie-break. Sabalenka raced out to a 3-0 lead with two volley winners and sealed the tie-break 7-2 with a croscourt backhand forcing the match to the third set.

Zheng earned the first break of the third set with a backhand winner down the line in the first game. Sabalenka broke back in a four-deuce sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Sabalenka reeled off 15 of the final 16 points to win the final three games with a break in the eighth game. The Belarusian player sealed the win with an ace setting up a semifinal against either Belinda Bencic or Svetlana Kuznetsova.

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