Photo: Paul ZimmerMaria Sharapova (RUS)
PARIS, FRANCE: The top four seeds in the women's draw are all looking to take their allotted places in the Roland Garros semifinals and for defending champion Maria Sharapova it has been plain sailing.
The Russian, who won her first French Open title last year, has yet to drop a set and when faced with what should have been her first big test against No. 17 seed Sloane Stephens in the round of 16, it was a case of business as usual with a 64 63 victory.
Sharapova was joined in the last eight by compatriot Maria Kirilenko, who overcame the plucky American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 75 64 and will be rewarded for her efforts with a quarterfinal against world No. 3 Victoria Azarenka.
The Belarusian put on a masterclass against Francesca Schiavone, winning 63 60. The score was level at 3-3 in the first set before Azarenka pulled away.
Perhaps the most surprising name on the women's quarterfinal roster is that of Jelena Jankovic, who continued her fine form to defeat Jamie Hampton 60 62.
On the men's side it was a case of another comeback stealing the headlines. Stanislas Wawrinka was down two-sets-to-love against Richard Gasquet but the Swiss fought back to win 67(5) 46 64 75 86 in a thrilling encounter on Suzanne Lenglen.
Wawrinka will play seven-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal in the next round, after the Spaniard made light work of Japan's Kei Nishikori to win 64 61 63.
Novak Djokovic came back from a set down to defeat Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 46 63 64 64 and will now play 35-year-old Tommy Haas in the quarterfinals. Haas, who is projected to move just outside the top 10 after his superb run at this year's Roland Garros, overcame Mikhail Youzhny 61 61 63.
The International Tennis Federation provides men’s information to the media at Grand Slams. For a full list of this year’s notes click here.