Halep, Stephens storm into fourth round

Halep, Stephens storm into fourth round

No wonder Harry Potter is her bedside book – Simona Halep had too many tricks up her sleeve for Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor as the fourth seed glided into the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-3, 6-0 win on Saturday.

The wily Romanian, the highest seed left in the draw after Serena Williams, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska were knocked out early, found perfect angles and defended superbly to counter Torro-Flor's powerful forehand in Paris.

"It's not a surprise because I'm more confident now in myself, and I feel the ball really good here at the French Open," said Halep, who has won more titles in the last 12 months than any other woman except Williams.

Halep, who has dropped only 11 games in three straight-set wins, will next meet American 15th seed Sloane Stephens for a place in the quarterfinals.

Stephens was in less devastating form than in her first two matches but she was still too strong for Ekaterina Makarova in a 6-3, 6-4 win over the Russian left-hander.

Makarova hit a return of serve wide to lose the first set and Stephens broke in the first game of the second set to set up the platform for a straightforward victory, even if she did have her serve broken later in the set.

Roland Garros has not been a happy hunting ground for Ana Ivanovic since she won the title in 2008 and the popular Serbian failed to break that jinx on Saturday as she lost 6-3, 6-3 to Czech Lucie Safarova.

Safarova will face another champion in 2009 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova after the Russian 27th seed beat Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 9-7 in three hours 13 minutes on court Philippe Chatrier.

Italian 10th seed Sara Errani, runner-up in 2012, won 20 points in succession during her 6-0, 6-1 demolition of Israel's Julia Glushko. She set up a meeting with Serbian sixth seed Jelena Jankovic who demolished Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 6-2.

Last year's runner-up David Ferrer of Spain continued his stroll towards a possible quarterfinal clash against Rafael Nadal with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 third-round win against Italian Andreas Seppi.

Cara-Sania advance

Meanwhile, Sania Mirza and Cara Black trounced Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska 6-1, 6-2 to move to the pre-quarterfinals of the French Open women’s doubles event on Saturday.

Results (third round, prefix denotes seedings): Men: Marcel Granollers (Esp) bt Martin Klizan (Svk) 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5; 5-David Ferrer (Esp) bt 32-Andreas Seppi (Ita) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, Dusan Lajovic (Srb) bt Jack Sock (US) 6-4, 7-5, 6-3; 19-Kevin Anderson (RSA) bt Ivo Karlovic (Cro) 6-3 retired.

Women: 6-Jelena Jankovic (Srb) bt 26-Sorana Cirstea (Rou) 6-1, 6-2; 10-Sara Errani (Ita) bt Julia Glushko (Isr) 6-0, 6-1; 27-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) bt 5-Petra Kvitova (Cze) 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 9-7; 23-Lucie Safarova (Cze) bt 11-Ana Ivanovic (Srb) 6-3, 6-3; 15-Sloane Stephens (US) bt 22-Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) 6-3, 6-4; 4-Simona Halep (Romania) bt Maria Teresa Torro (Spain) 6-3, 6-0.

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