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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January, 2004, 10:42 GMT
30 Svetlana Kuznetsova
Svetlana Kuznetsova
Born: 27/6/85
Nationality: Russian
Seeded: 30
World ranking: 33
Australian Open best:
2nd round (2002)
Recent record:
2003: 1st round
2002: 2nd round
2001: N/A

Kuznetsova is seeded at the Australian Open for the first time after a rapid rise up the world rankings in the last 18 months.

The 18-year-old began to make an impression on the tennis world in 2002 when she won her first tour titles in Helsinki and Bali.

That year she was named the WTA's Newcomer of the Year after jumping from 259 to 43 in the world rankings.

Last year she consolidated without making the big step up but age is still on her side.

She notably reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the doubles final at the US Open with Martina Navratilova.

Her partnership with Navratilova has proved successful, and the pair picked up five titles in 2003, with Kuznetsova's doubles ranking peaking at seven in the world back in September.

She has already picked up her first doubles title of 2004, winning the title in the Gold Coast this time in tandem with Elena Likhovtseva.

In 2002 she made her first ever Grand Slam appearance in Melbourne and reached the second round as a qualifier.

Last year she was beaten by second seed Venus Williams in the first round, but only after giving the American a scare.

Kuznetsova was a point away from a 4-0 lead in the first set before eventually falling to a 6-4 6-2 defeat.

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