Kuznetsova out of French Open after defeat in 3rd round
PARIS: Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova''s luck finally ran out at the French Open on Friday as superstars Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova set up a headline-grabbing third-round clash.
Sixth seed Kuznetsova lost 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to 30th-seeded Russian compatriot Maria Kirilenko in the third round, having already survived four match points in her second-round win over Germany''s Andrea Petkovic.
Kirilenko will meet 17th seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy for a last-eight berth.
Four-time champion Henin and former world number one Sharapova will contest a place in the last 16 on Saturday after comfortably winning second-round matches that had been held over because of rain on Thursday.
Henin, the 22nd seed, finished off a straightforward 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Czech Klara Zakopalova, with 12th seed Sharapova completing a victory over Henin''s Belgian countrywoman Kirsten Flipkens by the same score.
In third-round matches, Russian fifth seed Elena Dementieva, a losing finalist here in 2004, dug deep to grind out a gruelling 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4 win over Canada''s Aleksandra Wozniak.
Dementieva sank to her knees in relief at the end of the 2hr 43min match and will now tackle South African qualifier Chanelle Scheepers, who is the first woman from her country to reach the last 16 here since Amanda Coetzer in 1997.
Third seed Caroline Wozniacki also produced a determined performance to reach the fourth round after winning 6-3, 6-4 against Romanian 31st seed Alexandra Dulgheru, who won in Warsaw last week.
The 19-year-old Dane fought back from 3-1 down in the first set and 4-1 down in the second to set up a last-16 clash with Italian 14th seed Flavia Pennetta.
With unbroken sunshine replacing the rain and gloom of the previous two days, second seed Venus Williams was the first woman to reach the last 16 following a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Slovakian 26th seed Dominika Cibulkova.
The American will face either rising French star Aravane Rezai, the 15th seed, or Russian 19th seed Nadia Petrova for a quarter-final berth, after their match was suspended because of fading light at 7-7 in the last set.
Top seed Serena Williams demolished German world number 77 Julia Goerges 6-1, 6-1 in just 55 minutes and will face Russian 29th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in round three.