Sharapova, Azarenka survive Paris fault lines

Paris, June 1: Defending champion Maria Sharapova and third-seeded Victoria Azarenka reached the French Open last-16 on Saturday, but piled up a combined 18 double faults and 65 unforced errors between them.
World number two Sharapova clinched a 6-1, 7-5 win over China’s Zheng Jie, the world number 43, in a third round clash which witnessed 11 breaks of serve.

The second seeded Russian will take on America’s Sloane Stephens, who she beat comfortably on clay in Rome two weeks ago, for a place in the quarter-finals.
But the 26-year-old has work to do after firing down 34 unforced errors, an ugly tally which was at least partially soothed by her 25 winners.
Meanwhile, Azarenka overcame 10 double faults and 31 errors on her way to defeating France’s Alize Cornet, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
The 23-year-old Australian Open champion reeled off the last six games of the match and goes on to face Italy’s 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the conqueror of 2011 champion Li Na in the second round, made the last 16 for the first time with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over Argentine qualifier Paula Ormaechea.
With top seed Serena Williams already through, the United States could have four players in the last-16 if Jamie Hampton, the world number 54, can get past Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova.

History lesson confounds Nishikori
Fumiteru Nakano and his exploits at Roland Garros 75 years ago came as a shock to Kei Nishikori after the Japanese star reached the last 16 of the French Open for the first time on Saturday.
Nakano was the last male player from Japan to achieve that feat in Paris in 1938, the year when Don Budge pulled off the first ever Grand Slam of tennis.
Asked if he had heard of Nakano, Nishikori pulled a puzzled expression before saying: “No, Sorry?”
When told he was the last Japanese player to get to the fourth round on the Paris claycourts, Nishikori admitted with a bowed head: “Sorry, I’m not good at the history.”
But he soon brightened up to add: “Yeah, I’m happy to create another history and, yeah, happy to break another record.”
Totally oblivious of the weight of history weighing down on his shoulders, Nishikori had just beaten Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-1 in a third round match.

Paes, Melzer out
India’s campaign came to an end in the men’s doubles event when Leander Paes and his Austrian partner Jurgen Melzer crashed out in the second round.
Seeded ninth, Paes and Melzer fought hard before going down 7-5, 4-6, 6-7(6) against unseeded Uruguan-Argentine duo of Pablo Cuevas and Horacio Zeballos.

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