Keep fighting, Kuznetsova tells young guns

Svetlana Kuznetsova (Getty Images)
Svetlana Kuznetsova (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Russian veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova has been there and done that and she offered some advice on Wednesday for the new generation - keep fighting.

The 31-year-old, in her 57th Grand Slam, eased into the third round at the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-1 thumping of Australian 17-year-old Jaimee Fourlis.

Kuznetsova, who won the first of her two Grand Slams as a 19-year-old, said it was important for today's young guns to stay focused and keep working hard.

"The most important thing is to stay there and to fight, no matter what, no matter how good, how bad," said the Russian, who is seeded eight in Melbourne.

"It doesn't matter how the year starts, it's important how you end. Every day work harder and harder."

Kuznetsova recently secured her 600th win on the professional tour and has amassed more than US$21 million in prize money in a career that has reaped 17 singles and 16 doubles titles.

But she still keeps coming back for more.

"I just enjoy it. I still have the passion," she said, while joking that she does miss having Christmas in Russia.

"My career has been too long. I've been to Australia 17 times," she said.

"I don't think I know how to celebrate the Christmas in Russia because I am always in Australia."

She next plays fellow old-timer Jelena Jankovic, with a potential quarter-final against warrior Venus Williams in her sights.

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