Kuznetsova cuts own hair on way to win at WTA Finals

Svetlana Kuznetsova

Kuznetsova – who has a tattoo bearing the words ‘Pain doesn’t kill me, I kill the pain’ on her right bicep – takes to her own hair

Svetlana Kuznetsova hacked off part of her own hair at a changeover as she beat defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska at the WTA Finals.

The 31-year-old Russian, who qualified for the event ahead of Britain’s Johanna Konta, cut her ponytail with scissors at the start of the third set.

“It was bothering me a lot. When I was hitting the forehands I hit a good shot and it would hit my eye,” she said.

“I thought, ‘what’s more important? My hair, which can grow, or the match?'”


Kuznetsova was left clutching a handful of her own hair

Kuznetsova asked the umpire to supply her with a pair of scissors to carry out her impromptu haircut.

Radwanska said she was unaware of the incident, but agreed with her opponent’s priorities.

“I didn’t even know that,” said the Pole. “Good thing she didn’t cut her anything else. I think hair is not very important.”


Kuznetsova sports the before (left) and after (right) looks in her match against Radwanska

It was just one dramatic moment in a three-hour match in which Kuznetsova recovered from 4-1 down to take the first set, saved a match point in the third and was tearful at a changeover before prevailing 7-5 1-6 7-5.

Kuznetsova endured a hectic build-up to the season finale, winning the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Saturday to collect the ranking points she needed to edge out Konta in the race for the eighth and final qualifying spot before flying to Singapore.


Andy Murray’s barber skills couldn’t prevent him slipping to a straight-sets defeat to Rafael Nadal in 2015

It is not the first time a tennis player has taken action after being distracted by their own locks on court. Britain’s Andy Murray snipped his fringe during his defeat by Rafael Nadal at last season’s ATP Finals.

In the White Group’s other match in Singapore, Karolina Pliskova also saved a match point as she overcame French Open champion Garbine Muguruza 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 7-5.

World number one Angelique Kerber, who beat Dominika Cibulkova in her Red Group opener on Monday, takes on Simona Halep in the pick of Tuesday’s matches, with Cibulkova playing Madison Keys in the other match.

Two players will progress from both the Red and White Groups to contest the semi-finals.

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