by Helen Earnshaw |
Maria Sharapova booked her place in the quarter finals of the French Open as she saw off Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets.
The former world number one is looking to complete the career grand slam at Roland Garros as the French Open is the only slam title that is missing from her collection.
The seventh seed found herself in trouble in the first set when she went 4-1 behind as she struggled to keep her unforced errors count down.
But she hit back to get the set back on level terms and a tie break was needed to settle the opener - Sharapova took the tie break 7-4.
Sharapova fell behind again in the second set and had to save five set points before once again hitting back.
She wrapped up a tight 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 win to progress into the final eight.
Speaking to the BBC after the match she said: "From the beginning, I had quite a slow start today.
"I think the one thing that saved me in the first set was the fact that I served really well and kept her off balance.
"It gave me confidence and gave me a chance to be up in the second set.
"She had so many chances. It was really tough but I played smart when I had to be smart and I was patient."
She will now face Andrea Petkovic who saw off a fight back from Maria Kirilenko to win in three sets.
Despite taking the opening set 6-2 Kirilenko hit back to take the second before Petkovic finally regained control.
Li Na also progressed into the quarter final as she saw off talented youngster Petra Kvitova in three sets.
The powerful game of Kvitova was too much for Na, who is the seventh seed at Roland Garros, who managed to get just two games on the board during that first set.
Na finally looked to be turning the match a round in the second set as she finally broke serve, on what was her ninth break point chance, to lead 3-1.
She broke for a second time at the end of the set to level the match at a set a piece and take it to a decider.
Li was broken early in that third set as Kvitova went 3-0 ahead. But Li's experience began to show as she took six games on the bounce as Kvitova began to struggle emotionally.
She finally came through 2-6 6-1 6-3 to become the first Chinese player to reach the last eight at the French Open.
She will now face fourth seed, and the highest ranked player left in the draw, Victoria Azarenka as she continued to impress against Ekaterina Makarova.
Azarenka came through 6-2 6-3.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw