No. 3 set to play spoiler

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

She hasn't had to be play the role of giant killer yet at this Rogers Cup. Not even close, in fact.

But if it gets to that point, Svetlana Kuznetsova has some motivational ammunition to draw on.

The Russian, who is the third seed here and No. 5 in the world, had little trouble advancing to the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-2 win over American Meghann Shaugnessy.

The challenge will get steeper from here, of course, but when it does, Kuznetsova can be especially dangerous. Four times in her career, the 22-year-old has defeated reigning world No. 1, including a pair over current top dog, Justine Henin.

BIG CHALLENGE

"Really it's 14-2 (against Henin) but last time I won so it's good for me," Kuznetsova said. "I have respect for her game and it's always a big challenge to play her.

"They're number one, but I'm five or four or three or whatever I am (at the time), so it's not that big a difference."

Separated on opposite sides of the draw, which is down to eight, Henin and Kuznetsova could meet in Sunday's final if they continue to mow down opponents with ease.

But Kuznetsova, who defeated Henin in a semi-final at Berlin earlier this year, is still seeking her first win of 2007.

"That is extra motivation for me," said Kuznetsova, who faces Tatiana Golovin of France today in a quarter-final. "I've done everything but not quite all together yet. (I need) just a little bit more determination."

Before a possible shot at Henin, however, the daughter of a former Russian Olympic cycling coach is on a collisiion course with No. 2 seed Jelena Jankovic. The powerful Serb had little problem with No. 12 Sybille Bammer of Russia last night, rolling to a 6-2, 6-3 win.

In other action yesterday, China's Zi Yan continues her unlikely run. A day after knocking off defending champion Ana Ivanovic, the No. 169th ranked player in the world moved into the quarters with a tough 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5) victory over Eleni Danilidou of Greece.


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