French Open: Haas Making History, Nadal Celebrates With Victory, Sharapova Advances

HAAS TRIUMPHS Tommy Haas' resurgence at age 35 reached a new peak Monday, when he became the oldest French Open men's quarterfinalist since 1971 by beating Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.Haas also became the oldest man to reach the quarters at any major event since Andre Agassi at the 2005 U.S. Open. Seeded No. 12, Haas needed 13 match points to beat John Isner in a third-round marathon, but the victory over Youzhny took less than 90 minutes. By the second set Youzhny was so frustrated he demolished his racket by banging it nine times against his changeover chair.Haas served well and dominated with his returns, winning 25 of 41 points on Youzhny's first serve and breaking eight times. AZARENKA ADVANCES No. 3 women's seed Victoria Azarenka swept the final nine games and advanced to the quarterfinals by beating 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 6-0.Azarenka improves to 26-2 in 2013. She has won the Australian Open each of the past two years, and Roland Garros is the only major tournament where she has yet to reach the semifinals. Play on center court began in weather so cool both players dressed in long sleeves, and Azarenka wore leggings under her skirt. There were four consecutive service breaks before Azarenka took the lead for good, holding to make it 4-3. The superior pace and depth of her shots began to wear on the unseeded Schiavone. MATTEK-SANDS FALLS Russia's Maria Kirilenko reached her first French Open quarterfinal by ending the surprising run of 67th-ranked American Bethanie Mattek-Sands with a 7-5, 6-4 victory. The 12th-seeded Kirilenko lost in the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2010 and 2011. She trailed 4-1 at the start against Mattek-Sands, who stunned 2011 French Open champion Li Na in the second round. But Mattek-Sands' lead began slipping away, and while ahead 5-4, she asked for medical attention. From there, Kirilenko won four games in a row. Kirilenko, who is engaged to two-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, also was visited by a trainer, getting a massage on her right shoulder in the second set. Kirilenko held on, though, and faces two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka next. DJOKOVICH RALLIES Novak Djokovic overcame a slow start to reach his 16th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal at the French Open by beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. After losing a set for the first time in the tournament, Djokovic became more aggressive, punctuating winners with lots of fist-pumping as he pulled away. He repeatedly escaped trouble with his serve, erasing 11 of the 13 break points he faced. Djokovic will next play Tommy Haas. Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam that Djokovic has yet to win. NADAL CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY WITH WIN Rafael Nadal celebrated his 27th birthday by advancing to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Kei Nishikori. Nadal is seeking to become the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event. He won a record seventh French Open championship last year and is 56-1 at Roland Garros. Seeded No. 3, Nadal trailed early in each of his first three matches. But he played from ahead against Nishikori, the first Japanese man to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros since 1938. Since returning in February from a seven-month layoff because of a left knee injury, Nadal is 40-2. His opponent Wednesday will be No. 9-seeded Stanislaus Wrawinkra. SHARAPOVA STOPS STEPHENS Defending champion Maria Sharapova returned to the French Open quarterfinals by beating 17th-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States 6-4, 6-3. The second-seeded Sharapova handled Stephens' strong serve well, accumulating 12 break points and converting eight. In 2012, Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam at Roland Garros, adding that trophy to ones from Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. Sharapova has won all eight sets she's played so far this year and will face No. 18 Jelena Jankovic or 54th-ranked Jamie Hampton in the quarterfinals. Stephens, a semifinalist at the Australian Open in January, lost in the French Open's fourth round for the second year in a row. She's 1-8 against women ranked in the top five. WAWRINKA OUTLASTS GASQUET Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland overcame a two-set deficit to beat Richard Gasquet 6-7 (5), 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 8-6 onto reach the French Open quarterfinals for the first time. The seventh-seeded Frenchman appeared on the way to a win, especially when the ninth-seeded Wawrinka's temper frayed in the third set. Wawrinka ranted at the umpire several times for the line judge to be changed. Wawrinka converted only four of his 20 break-point chances, but the last of those took him to victory. With Gasquet under pressure on his second serve, Wawrinka unleashed a powerful forehand winner down the line.

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