Paris, France (Sports Network) - Former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova was a
hard-fought fourth-round winner, while defending champion Li Na was stunned by
a qualifier Monday at the French Open.
The second-seeded Sharapova was tested in a 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2 victory over
game Czech veteran Klara Zakopalova on Court Chatrier at Stade Roland Garros.
Sharapova converted on her first match point when the 30-year-old Zakopalova
double faulted to end the 3-hour, 11-minute match that featured 21 services
Sharapova's power was diffused on the red clay amid heavy playing conditions
on Day 9, but she still had enough game to stave off the Zakopalova challenge
and improve to 19-1 in three-set matches over the last two seasons.
The 25-year-old three-time major champion Sharapova, who's now 33-5 this year,
still needs a French Open title to complete a career Grand Slam. She reached
semifinals here last year and in 2007.
The reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon runner-up Sharapova will meet the
Kaia Kanepi-Arantxa Rus winner in the quarters this week.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova was beaten easily in the first set
before roaring back to win 12-of-14 games in a 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 stunner against
the seventh-seeded 30-year-old Li.
Last year, the Chinese Li reached the Aussie Open final and then captured
the French Open title to become the first-ever Asian player to win a Grand
Slam tennis event.
The 24-year-old Shvedova will now appear her second Roland Garros quarterfinal
in three years. This is the only major tournament where she has reached the
round of eight.
The Sports Network