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Safina stuns Sharapova, throwing title chase open

Latest update : 2009-05-25

Monfils and Federer reach the quarter-finals of the French Open while number one Sharapova was defeated by her compatriot Safina.

REUTERS - Men's singles 


Top seed Roger Federer set up a French Open quarter-final against old rival Fernando Gonzalez on Monday but he was below par in a rain-hit 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 win over Frenchman Julien Benneteau.


Gonzalez had looked impressive earlier in the day when he swept past the final American, Robby Ginepri, in straight sets 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-1.


French representation in the last eight was assured when former world junior champion Gael Monfils defeated Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a bruising battle of big servers.


He will play the winner of the tie between fifth seed David Ferrer and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic with a semi-final berth going to the winner.


Federer has dropped just one set en route to the last eight, but he will have cause for concern over how he struggled to kill off his lowly-ranked opponent.


"I couldn't serve it out the way I wanted to in the first and second sets, but I felt okay out there," Federer said. "But it was tough conditions with the rain delay.



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


4th rd


Fernando Gonzalez (CHI x24) bt Robby Ginepri (USA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-1


Roger Federer (SUI x1) bt Julien Benneteau (FRA) 6-4, 7-5, 7-5


Gael Monfils (FRA) bt Ivan Ljubicic (CRO x28) 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2


David Ferrer (ESP x5) bt Radek Stepanek (CZE x21) 4-6, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3






Women's singles


Dinara Safina sent top seed Maria Sharapova crashing out of the French Open on Monday to throw the Roland Garros title chase wide open.


Safina battled back from a set and 2-5 down, and also saved a match point, to see off her Russian compatriot 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 and reach the quarter-finals for the second time where she will meet countrywoman Elena Dementieva.


Seventh seed Dementieva, who was runner-up to Anastasia Myskina in 2004, made the last eight with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 win over yet another Russian Vera Zvonareva.


In the day's two remaining fourth round ties, Svetlana Kuznetsova, the Russian fourth seed, was leading Belarussian 16th seed Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 2-2 when fading light caused a suspension until Tuesday.


Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and Estonia's Kaia Kanepi were level at 3-6, 6-3 when play was also halted for the day.


Monday's famous victory was Safina's third win in six career meetings against her fellow Russian and postponed, at least for another year, Sharapova's dreams of winning the only Grand Slam title to have eluded her.




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


4th rd


Elena Dementieva (RUS x7) bt Vera Zvonareva (RUS x11) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2


Dinara Safina (RUS x13) bt Maria Sharapova (RUS x1) 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/5), 6-2


To finish:


Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x4) leads Victoria Azarenka (BLR x16) 6-2, 2-2


Petra Kvitova (CZE) level with Kaia Kanepi (EST) 3-6, 6-3



Men's doubles




Pablo Cuevas/Luis Horna (URU/PER) bt Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA/USA x1) 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7/1)


Bruno Soares/Dusan Vemic (BRA/SRB) bt Jonas Bjorkman/Kevin Ullyett (SWE/ZIM x8) 7-5, 6-3


Date created : 2008-06-02