Agnieszka Radwanska is two-for-two against high-profile Russians in the third round of the last two Grand Slams.
Radwanska, the 18-year-old former Wimbledon and French Open junior champion, beat No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday at the Australian Open.
Last September, she ended defending champion Maria Sharapova's run in the third round at the U.S. Open.
"It was exactly the same match _ third round in the Grand Slam, playing No. 2 on center court," the Radwanska said. "A Russian player, and in both matches I had nothing to lose." Then 18-year-old player from Krakow, Poland said her win over Sharapova gave her added confidence against Kuznetsova on Saturday. "I'm very excited and happy," she said. "I lost against her (Kuznetsova) a few times already, but it was very close ... finally I did it."
Kuznetsova, who lost the U.S. Open final to Justine Henin last year and was 2004 champion at Flushing Meadow, led 3-0 in the opening set Saturday but Radwanska didn't panic.
"I've played many matches against top players, so I know how to play," she said "Aggressive and try my best even if I'm losing 3-love."
Kuznetsova said 29th-seeded Radwanska isn't flashy, but gets the job done.
"She plays well, but she doesn't have an unbelievable shot," said Kuznetsova. "She's consistent and makes you play every ball." Radwanska lost to Shahar Peer in the fourth round at the U.S. Open, and is hoping to get through to the quarterfinals here. She played her first full year on the WTA Tour in 2006 and won her first singles title last year in Stockholm.
Coached by her father, Robert, who travels with her, Radwanska will have another chance to beat a Russian in the fourth round. She'll play the winner of Saturday's later third-round match between Nadia Petrova and Ekaterina Makarova.
Last year, Radwanska, who has pet rats named Flippy and Floppy, was still taking high school courses. Having completed her studies, she's moved on to something as practical.
"Now I'm doing driving lessons," she said. "I have an exam after the Australian Open."