French Open 2013: Maria Sharapova books place in last eight

Updated: 04 June 2013 00:00 IST

Defending champion Maria Sharapova cantered into the quarter-finals at the French Open with a 6-4, 6-3 win over American 17th seed Sloane Stephens.

French Open 2013: Maria Sharapova books place in last eight
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Paris:

Defending champion Maria Sharapova cantered into the quarter-finals at the French Open with a 6-4, 6-3 win over American 17th seed Sloane Stephens.

Second seeded Sharapova triumphed in 1hr 29min and now faces either Serbian 18th seed Jelena Jankovic or US hope Jamie Hampton.

Sharapova, who in beating Sara Errani in last year's final became the sixth player in the Open era to complete a full collection of Grand Slams, overcame early resistance from a rival she had beaten twice in as many previous meetings as a crunching pair of forehands saw her take the opening set in 37min.

The pair traded breaks at the start of the second set before Stephens dug in to hold for a 2-1 lead.

But Sharapova stepped through the gears to see off the Australian Open semi-finalist as Floridian Stephens, 20, gifted her a final break by hitting long on match point.

"I knew this was going to be a really hard match so I'm delighted to be in the quarter-final," said Sharapova, who now has an extra day to relax.

"Am I pleased to have finished my match a day before my next opponent? We don't choose the scheduling, it just depends how it goes. I'm just pleased to be through to the next round."

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