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No sweat for top seeds at French Open

Latest update : 2009-05-25

The seventh day was a good day at Roland Garros for the French men, with five qualifying for the second week of play. However, there won't be any French women in the fourth round.

AFP - Top seeds Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova both moved smoothly into the last 16 at the French Open on Saturday.

Federer outplayed close friend Mario Ancic of Croatia winning 6-3, 6-4 6-2 in cool, rainy, evening conditions on the Philippe Chatrier Centre Court

Earlier in the day Sharapova needed a set to get going, but she finally found her form to defeat Italy's Karin Knapp 7-6 (7/4), 6-0.

In men's third round action the main upset came when back-to-form Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia battled from two sets down to oust fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

Federer went through for a fourth round matchup against Frenchman Julian Benneteau who had two points against him in a tie-break to go two sets down before hitting back to defeat Robin Soderling of Sweden 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0, 6-1.

The French flag was flying also for former world junior champion Gael Monfils whose superior fitness helped him see off Jurgen Melzer of Austria 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2.

Fifth-seed David Ferrer of Spain also slugged it out over five sets with Australia's Lleyton Hewitt before winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, but Davydenko became the highest seed to fall in the tournament with his loss to Ljubicic.

Ferrer will next take on the much-improved Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic whose unpredictable game was too much for Spanish claycourter Tommy Robredo winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-1

Robby Ginepri became the first American player to reach the fourth round  since Andre Agassi in 2003 with an impressive 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 trouncing of Florent Serra of France.

He moved through to take on Chile's Fernando Gonzalez, who also fought back from two sets down to beat ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Safina made it through to the fourth round in Paris for the third straight year with a 6-2, 7-5 win over China's last representative Zheng Jie.

Following the two of them into the last 16 was 2006 runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova who comfortably saw off another Russian, Nadia Petrova 6-2, 6-1.

The fourth seed said that she had come into Paris in poor form but that just playing in a Grand Slam event had given her the boost she needed and she felt that she has the chance to go all the way this year.

She next takes on rising star Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, a player she has beaten on two previous occasions. The 18-year-old former world junior champion crushed Italian veteran Francesa Schiavone 6-1, 6-1 and she has lost only two games in her last two matches.

Also into the last 16 was the third seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia who defeated Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-5, 6-3 in a game held over from late Friday with Jankovic a set and 4-2 ahead.   

French Open results on Saturday, the seventh day of the second Grand Slam tournament of the season at Roland Garros (x denotes seeded player):

Men third round

Radek Stepanek (CZE x21) bt Tommy Robredo (ESP x12) 6-3, 6-2, 6-1

David Ferrer (ESP x5) bt Lleyton Hewitt (AUS x25) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4

Robby Ginepri (USA) bt Florent Serra (FRA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Fernando Gonzalez (CHI x24) bt Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Ivan Ljubicic (CRO x28) bt Nikolay Davydenko (RUS x4) 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Gael Monfils (FRA) bt Jurgen Melzer (AUT) 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2

Roger Federer (SUI x1) bt Mario Ancic (CRO) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Julien Benneteau (FRA) bt Robin Soderling (SWE) 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0, 6-1

Women third round

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x4) bt Nadia Petrova (RUS x25) 6-2, 6-1

Victoria Azarenka (BLR x16) bt Francesca Schiavone (ITA x18) 6-1, 6-1

Dinara Safina (RUS x13) bt Zheng Jie (CHN) 6-2, 7-5

Maria Sharapova (RUS x1) bt Karin Knapp (ITA x32) 7-6 (7/4), 6-0

Jelena Jankovic (SRB x3) bt Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x28) 7-5, 6-3

Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP x29) 6-1, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5

Vera Zvonareva (RUS x11) bt Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 6-2, 6-2

Elena Dementieva (RUS x7) bt Olga Govortsova (BLR) 6-0, 6-4

Fourth round match-ups in the men's singles at the French Open (x denotes seeded player):

Roger Federer (SUI x1) v Julien Benneteau (FRA)

Fernando Gonzalez (CHI x24) v Robby Ginepri (USA)

Ivan Ljubicic (CRO x28) v Gael Monfils (FRA)

Radek Stepanek (CZE x21) v David Ferrer (ESP x5)

Ernests Gulbis (LAT) v Michael Llodra (FRA)

Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA x18) v Novak Djokovic (SRB x3)

Jeremy Chardy (FRA) v Nicolas Almagro (ESP x19)

Fernando Verdasco (ESP x22) v Rafael Nadal (ESP x2)  

Date created : 2008-05-31