Azarenka, Li restore order at French Open

Updated: 28 May 2011 22:42 IST

Victoria Azarenka and Li Na restored order at the French Open on Saturday after Roland Garros had lost its top two seeds before the fourth round, a 40-year low point for Paris.

Azarenka, Li restore order at French Open
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Paris:

Victoria Azarenka and Li Na restored order at the French Open on Saturday after Roland Garros had lost its top two seeds before the fourth round, a 40-year low point for Paris.

Belarusian fourth seed Azarenka, a 2009 quarter-finalist, reached the last 16 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Italian 30th seed Roberta Vinci while Li, the Chinese sixth seed, enjoyed a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 win over Romania's Sorana Cirstea.

Their wins came a day after top seed Caroline Wozniacki as well as 2010 runner-up Samantha Stosur were knocked out in the last 32 while second seeded Kim Clijsters exited the day before in the second round stage.

It was the first time since 1971 that the top two seeds had failed to get beyond the third round.

"The players that they lost to, you have to give them credit," said Azarenka. "They must have been playing damn good if they beat such tough opponents."

The 21-year-old Azarenka, who next faces Ekaterina Makarova of Russia for a place in the quarter-finals, said she still had improvements to make in her game.

That's despite her playing in Paris at a career-high number four in the world and having won back-to-back titles in Miami and Marbella this year.

"Being the fourth seed gives me extra confidence, but it's just a number. I can improve. I try to do the best possible. I could do some things better," she said.

Li reached the fourth round for the second time and will next face dangerous Czech ninth seed Petra Kvitova who ended American interest in the tournament with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Vania King.

Li, who made history this year when she became the first Chinese player to make a Grand Slam final at the Australian Open, had little trouble in seeing off the 21-year-old Cirstea, a 2009 quarter-finalist.

The 29-year-old clinched breaks in the first and third games of the opening set.

The second set followed a similar pattern with the Chinese player breaking in the first and fifth games on her way to an easy 61-minute victory.

Later Saturday, seventh seeded Russian Maria Sharapova, whose best Paris performance remains a 2007 run to the semi-finals, faces Taiwan qualifier Chan Yung-Jan, the world number 129.

Sharapova had to battle back from a set and 1-4 down to defeat French 17-year-old, and world 188, Caroline Garcia 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 to reach the last 32 on Thursday.

Andrea Petkovic, the German 15th seed, also went into last 16 with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win over Jarmila Gajdosova, the last Australian in the event.

"I'm really proud of myself. I was composed and fought well in the third set. I had chances to finish it in two sets, but I missed three or four times just by centimetres," said 23-year-old Petkovic.

Petkovic, who reached ther first Grand Slam quarter-final in Australia, will face either Maria Kirilenko of Russia or Dutchwoman Aranxta Rus, the conqueror of Clijsters, for a last eight spot.

Topics : Tennis Victoria Azarenka Venus Williams Novak Djokovic Na Li Andy Murray Juan Martin del Potro French Open 2011 French Open 2011
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