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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kuznetsova Stunned by Federer's Compliment

PARIS -- Thinking people were making it up, Svetlana Kuznetsova logged on to the Internet to read the evidence herself.

When she saw it written in plain English, she had to pinch herself -- Roger Federer had picked out the Russian as his favorite player on the women's tour.

"I like her game, she plays well," Federer declared earlier in the week.

It sent Kuznetsova into a spin. "The Russian press told me, and I thought 'No, it was a joke.' So I wanted to check it myself and read this on the Internet," the third seed said Sunday after beating No. 15 Shahar Peer of Israel 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals at the French Open.

"If I would have to choose a compliment from anybody, it's definitely the best I ever heard. Roger is a legend and to hear him say that is almost a dream.

"It's unbelievable to hear my hero say this about my tennis."

A runner-up in Paris a year ago, Kuznetsova is now eager to back up Federer's endorsement by winning the title Saturday.

"If he likes my game, I would like to prove it more," she said.

She will next face rising Serb Ana Ivanovic for a place in the semifinals.

It won't be easy, though. Ivanovic beat Kuznetsova in the final of the German Open last month. "I lost to her in Berlin 7-6 in the third," Kuznetsova said. "I will try to get revenge."

Kuznetsova is known for suffering from nerves in big matches. Next time she's under pressure, she could do worse than remember Federer's words of praise.