Defending champion Maria Sharapova won her ninth straight match at the French Open defeating former finalist Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-3. The two met a year ago in the fourth round with Sharapova overcoming a set and a break down to win. This time, it was much easier for the 2-time French Open champion.
“I was just really happy to win this one,” Sharapova said. “I knew it was going to be a tough one going into the match. I just wanted to be as ready as I could, and I was really happy I was able to win it.
“Against Sam I know I have to take care of my service games because she’s capable of serving really well. I’m also a tall girl, so the kick she’s able to give on the second serve maybe doesn’t bother me as much as other players. I quite like that ball. But we’ve had many tough matches despite my record, and it’s not something I look at very lightly when I go up to that match. I know that I have to beat a good player.
“She’s been playing really well and loves playing here. So I thought it was a great result for me.”
Sharapova now meets lefty Lucie Safarova in the fourth round on Sunday.
Former champion Ana Ivanovic was also a winner, dominating 18-year-old Donna Vekic 6-0, 6-3. She’ll now face Ekatarina Makarova, who beat her doubles partner.
Alize Cornet thrilled the French crowd outlasting former teen prodigy Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
“The crowd was amazing once more today. They really helped me get through the tough times on the court,” Cornet said. “Mirjana was playing very aggressively and I had to play with all my heart, and the crowd behind me like that was helping me a lot, giving me a lot of energy to keep going and not let go.
“I owe them a lot today, because I think I went over my limits.”
It’s Cornet’s first French Open fourth round. She’ll face Elina Svitolina next.
Garbine Muguruza also advanced, she’ll Flavia Pennetta who upset the hot-handed Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
“First of all, Flavia played really well today,” the World No.8 said. “Of course it’s disappointing to lose, but Flavia is a really good player. She works really hard and is playing really good tennis.
“She’s playing good matches here and could go through to the quarterfinals or semifinals.”
Tomorrow, it’s the 19th meeting between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. Serena leads 15-3 including an incredible win earlier this month in Madrid where Azarenka served for the match at 6-5, 40-0 in the third set before imploding losing 12 of the last 13 points.
“Out of all of the top players, for whatever reason, she’s given me some particular troubles,” Serena said of Vika. “She’s great at what she does. She fights hard and never gives up, and she’s really feisty. I think that’s obviously why she’s been able to be a Grand Slam champion, not just on one occasion. Those players aren’t the easiest to play; they also get you excited to play those matches.”
Petra Kvitova and former finalist Sara Errani are also in action as is Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys.
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