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Kuznetsova overcomes coaching controversy to set up Serena showdown

Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 3/7/16 Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova celebrates winning her match against USA's Sloane Stephens REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 3/7/16 Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova celebrates winning her match against USA's Sloane Stephens REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - Svetlana Kuznetsova shrugged off a code violation for on-court coaching as she produced a stirring comeback to reach the Wimbledon fourth round for the first time in eight years with a 6-7(1) 6-2 8-6 win over American Sloane Stephens.

After Stephens had taken a 2-1 lead in the deciding set, the Russian lost her temper with umpire Marijana Veljovic when the Serbian official accused Kuznetsova of receiving illegal coaching from Carlos Martinez, who was sitting in the players' box.

"I bet you all my prize money he didn't say anything," Kuznetsova yelled.

The exchange continued well into the change of ends with the 13th seed declaring: "You're not doing well."

The distraction appeared to have completely thrown Kuznetsova off stride as she allowed Stephens, seeded 18th, to take a 5-2 lead.

But just when it seemed as if the controversy would cost her dear, Kuznetsova produced the kind of form that carried her to two grand slam titles and booked a last-16 showdown with defending champion and world number one Serena Williams.

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ed Osmond)

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