Sharapova, Azarenka reach fourth round at French Open

9:35 AM, Jun 1, 2013   |    comments
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Paris, France (Sports Network) - Reigning champion Maria Sharapova and her fellow former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka were a pair of third-round winners Saturday at the French Open.

The second-seeded Sharapova got past China's Zheng Jie 6-1, 7-5, while the third-seeded Australian Open titlist Azarenka needed all three sets to hold off 31st-seeded French crowd favorite Alize Cornet 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 on the famed red clay at Roland Garros. Cornet was fresh off her clay-court title in Strasbourg last week.

Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam by beating Italian Sara Errani in last year's French Open final.

Up next for the Russian superstar will be 17th-seeded American Sloane Stephens, while Azarenka's fourth-round opponent will be French Open- loving Italian Francesca Schiavone, who upset 13th-seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli 6-2, 6-1 on Day 7 of the fortnight. Schiavone titled here in 2010, was the Roland Garros runner-up in 2011, and is now 18-2 in Paris in her last four trips.

Americans Stephens and Bethanie Mattek-Sands reached the round of 16, as Stephens outlasted New Zealand's Marina Erakovic 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 on Court 1, while Mattek-Sands overcame Argentine Paula Ormaechea 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. Stephens is now 8-1 at the Grand Slams this year, having reached the Aussie Open semifinals.

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