Serena Williams is out, Agnieszka Radwanska is out, Victoria Azarenka is out, last year's runner-up and 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone is out and now defending champion Li Na also waved goodbye, while Maria Sharapova kept herself in the game, but only after digging deep into the Roland Garros clay.
The seventh-seeded Li won the first set against world No. 142 Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, but trailing 3-6 2-2 Shvedova won 10 straight games and sent the last year's titlist home 3-6 6-2 6-0 to reach the quarterfinals of Roland Garros. Two year's ago, Shvedova, then ranked No.36, was also a quarterfinalist in Paris, beating Sara Errani, Agnieszka Radwanska, Alisa Kleybanova and Jarmila Gajdosova on the way. Then Shvedova suffered a knee injury, had to undergo surgery, and more struggles in 2011 escorted her out of the Top 200 in singles. Now she's worked her way back and her next opponent will be either fourth seed Petra Kvitova or Varvara Lepchenko.
Li's exit leaves the French Open draw without former champions.
Second seed Maria Sharapova, after breezing through her first three matches, fought for three hours and 11 minutes before defeating Klara Zakopalova 6-4 6-7(5) 6-2 in a the fourth-round encounter that featured 30 games, 21 of which were breaks of serve. Therefore, it's pointless to even talk about who broke whom when. There were constant ups and downs. Interestingly, it was Zakopalova who finished the match with a better differential of winners to unforced errors, committing 48 unforced errors to Sharapova's 53, and 44 winners to Sharapova's 38.
Moreover, Sharapova served 12 double faults and Zakopalova 7. One of those double faults was on Sharapova's third set point (she wasted three opportunities to serve out the match), while Zakopalova ended the match with a double fault. Sharapova's quarterfinal opponent will be either seed No.23 Kaia Kanepi or Arantxa Rus. (photos: Tennis Buzz)