Australian Upsets Justin Henin In French Open, To Meet SerenaSeventh-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur provided the big story at the French Open on Monday, as she knocked out four-time former champion Justine Henin 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 on the Belgian's comeback to the event. Stosur will
Seventh-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur provided the big story at the French Open on Monday, as she knocked out four-time former champion Justine Henin 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 on the Belgian's comeback to the event.
Stosur will play top seed Serena Williams in the quarter-finals after she beat Israel's Shahar Peer 6-2, 6-2 - meanwhile, fourth seed Jelena Jankovic also progressed in the women's draw with an easy 6-4, 6-2 win over Daniela Hantuchova.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, respectively the second and third men's seeds, also completed fourth-round wins, with Nadal, also a four-time champion, putting out Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.
The skies over Roland Garros were fairly grey at the start of day nine of the French Open. Men's third seed Novak Djokovic - a man struggling with his serve - was first on Philippe Chatrier court against former US Open semi-finalist Robby Ginepri.
American Ginepri gave a good account of himself in the first two sets - but the Serb moved up a gear to win 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 in two hours and 17 minutes.
He will now face Jurgen Melzer, who put out Russian world number 114 Teimuraz Gabashvili, a conqueror of Andy Roddick in the previous round, to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final. A 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 success also made Melzer the first Austrian to reach the last eight at Roland Garros since former winner Thomas Muster in 1998.
In the women's draw, world number one Serena Williams - watched by her ousted sister Venus - was up against Israel's Shahar Peer, seeded 18th.
Peer broke in the opening game, and made up for an early break in the second set, but Williams proved the more clinical player to take the match 6-2, 6-2 after one hour and seven minutes.
The top-seeded American's fifth French Open quarter-final will also feature Samantha Stosur. A semi-finalist here last year, the seventh-seeded Australian inflicted defeat on four-time champion Justine Henin.
Making her return to the event following a 20-month retirement, Henin recovered from a break down to lead 4-3 in the deciding set. But Stosur came through 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, as the Belgian tasted defeat at Roland Garros for the first time in 25 matches, dating back to 2004. Like Henin, Rafael Nadal is a four-time champion at this Major. The Spaniard faced a spirited opponent in round four in Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, who was seeded 24th.
Bellucci strung out the second set to 61 minutes, but Nadal - beaten only once here in his whole career - closed out a 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 victory. He will now face compatriot Nicolas Almagro, seeded 19th, after he avenged last year's third-round loss at the hands of Fernando Verdasco.
In the all-Spanish battle, Verdasco, seeded seventh, steadied himself a little after his opponent comfortably took the opening set. But Almagro charged into a five-love lead in the the third set, and recorded a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win when Verdasco's forehand return just missed the baseline.
Back in the women's last 16, fourth seed Jelena Jankovic was dominant against Daniela Hantuchova. The Serbian committed 11 unforced errors as she breezed through 6-4, 6-2 against the 23rd-seeded Slovakian. Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova lies in wait for Jankovic in the next round.
Shvedova became a Grand Slam quarter-finalist for the first time by beating another Slovak, wild card Jarmila Groth, 6-4, 6-3. AP