Azarenka roars past Schiavone; Haas soldiers on

Tennis French Open: Djokovic storms into quarterfinals

Azarenka roars past Schiavone;  Haas soldiers on

There are no trophies on offer for reaching the second Monday of the French Open but if there were, Victoria Azarenka would have been declared the 'best wailer', Tommy Haas the 'best golden oldie' and Mikhail Youzhny the 'best racquet basher'.

Australian Open champion Azarenka's clash with 2010 Roland Garros winner Francesca Schiavone had been billed as the pick of the women's fourth round showdowns but it failed to draw in the crowds.

The discerning Parisian fans chose to turn a deaf year to the ear-splitting sounds that emitted out of Philippe Chatrier Court first thing in the morning as third seed Azarenka completed a 6-3, 6-0 win over the Italian in front of a quarter full arena.

Over the years the Belarussian's sound effects have been compared to those made by jet liners or even women giving birth but with Schiavone also chipping in with her kung-fu style yelps, it was definitely not a contest for the purists.

It was only when a victorious Azarenka twirled around to blow kisses to the four corners of the court that fans started arriving -- in anticipation of Novak Djokovic's meeting with Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Kohlschreiber earned the distinction of becoming the first player to win a set off Djokovic at the tournament but that was as good as it got for the German.

Djokovic, who left Roland Garros in tears two days ago after learning about the death of his first coach, kept his emotions in check for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

A short hop away on Suzanne Lenglen Court, another German, Tommy Haas, was proving that there was plenty of life left in his 35-year-old limbs as he raced past a tortured and tormented Youzhny 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 to become the oldest Roland Garros quarterfinalist since Istvan Gulyas in 1971.

Haas tops a list of 30-somethings to reach the last eight after he joined a trio of 31-year-old campaigners -- Roger Federer and Spanish warriors Tommy Robredo and David Ferrer -- with his 84-minute demolition job over Youzhny.

While it is the first time in 44 years that four men on the wrong side of 30 have made it so far at Roland Garros, the quartet have still some way to go if they are to match the feat of Australia's Ken Rosewall, who won the last of his eight Grand Slam singles title aged 37.

"I think we all just are smarter, about how you train, about how you eat, about how you do your recovery," said 12th seed Haas, who was ranked second in the world in 2002 before injuries ravaged his body.

"The physical and fitness areas have improved a lot in sports in general. I think that's why you see maybe more people also in the early, mid 30s doing well."

The German, who in the past 12 months has recorded wins over Federer and World No1 Djokovic, appeared to resemble a player half his age as he blew Youzhny away on a blustery court.

A year after scratching the word "SORRY!" into the Roland Garros clay during a third-round bashing by Ferrer, the Russian suffered yet another meltdown and took out his frustrations by subjecting his racquet to an almighty battering.

Thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack, thwack echoed around the arena -- nine times in total -- during a changeover as Youzhny reduced his racquet to a mangled mess by hammering it against his pristine white bench.

With Djokovic, Haas, Youzhny and Azarenka grabbing all the limelight, barely anyone noticed 12th seed Russian Maria Kirilenko setting up a last-eight meeting with the Belarussian following a 7-5, 6-4 win over American Bethanie Mattek Sands.
Paes-Jankovic win

Leander Paes kept the Indian challenge alive in the French Open mixed doubles by moving into the second round along with Jelena Jankovic.

The unseeded Indo-Serbian pair registered a 7-5, 6-3 win over Galina Voskoboeva and Daniele Bracciali in one hour and 16 minutes.

In the next round they face eighth seeded pair of American Liezel Huber and Brazilian Marcelo Melo.

Fourth round results (prefix denotes seeding): Men’s singles: 1-Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt 16-Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; 12-Tommy Haas (Ger) bt 29-Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.

Women’s singles: 12-Maria Kirilenko (Rus) bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands (US) 7-5, 6-4; 3-Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Francesca Schiavone (Ita) 6-3, 6-0.

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