On the one hand, it was a great match to watch--filled with tension, swinging momentum and wonderful shot-making. On the other, it was a tough one for me to watch because I couldn't bear to see either Jelena Jankovic or defending champion Francesca Schiavone lose. One of them had to, however, and 10th seed Jankovic lost more than the match: She will now go out of the top 10 for the first time in over four years.
Schiavone, seeded 5th, defeated Jankovic 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. There was a time when you could all but guarantee that Jankovic would win any match that went to three sets; these days, the opposite seems to be the case. The stylish Italian struggled with some things during the match, but she kept her serve strong, and she brought the emotional energy that she's kept bottled up for a long time. The match lasted two hours and 38 minutes, and it would have made a great final. Schiavone and Jankovic going at each other is somewhat different than the drama of Schiavone and Kuznetsova going at each other (and we may get to see that again), but quite entertaining, nonetheless.
Some of us thought Jankovic would one day win the French Open, but--well, that's a discussion for another day.
Kuznetsova, a former French Open champion, also advanced to the quarterfinals. She defeated Daniela Hantuchova 6-7, 6-3, 6-2, and will play Marion Bartoli in the quarterfinals. Bartoli's opponent, Gisela Dulko, retired shortly after the second set began. Dulko took a medical timeout at 3-4 in the first set, had her thigh worked on and wrapped, and returned to holdthen and break for 5-all. Bartoli broke and won the set 7-5, and after only one game was played in the second set, she had to stop. Almost any player benefits from a retirement at this point in a big tournament, but Bartoli--who has a history of physical fragility--may be especially fortunate.
In the other round of 16 match played today, 14th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reached her first major quarterfinal by upsetting 3rd seed and countrywoman Vera Zvonareva. Zvonareva just hasn't looked too comfortable in Paris, so her upset isn't altogether a surprise. Pavlyuchenkova defeated her 7-6, 2-6, 6-2. The young Russian will play Schiavone in the next round.
Two-time French Open doubles champion Anabel Medina Garrigues and her partner, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, seeded 11th, were defeated today in the third round by 7th seeds Elena Vesnina and Sania Mirza.