Halep, Errani land in French quarters

 

The Sports Network

Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Fourth seed Simona Halep and former finalist Sara Errani secured berths in the quarterfinals at the French Open on Monday.

The highest-remaining seed Halep humbled 15th-seeded Sloane Stephens, 6-4, 6-3. The 21-year-old Stephens, who was the last American standing, men's or women's, is the only woman to have reached the second week at the last six Grand Slam events.

The 22-year-old Halep will now appear in her first-ever French Open quarterfinal. She reached her first Grand Slam quarter at this year's Australian Open.

Meanwhile, the 10th-seeded gritty Italian Errani landed a bevy of drop shots in upending sixth-seeded former U.S. Open runner-up Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in just under two hours on Day 9 of this clay court fortnight.

Errani blew a 4-1 lead in the first set when Jankovic stormed back to win four straight games to take the lead, at 5-4, but the Italian broke the Serb to level the stanza at 5-5. Jankovic grabbed another lead at 6-5 and had a set point, but Errani saved it and eventually forced a tiebreak, which she won to assume control.

The second set was all Errani, who will now appear in a third straight quarterfinal at this Parisian major. She was the 2012 Roland Garros runner-up to Maria Sharapova.

Her round-of-eight opponent will be 28th-seeded German and former top-10 star Andrea Petkovic, who came from behind to beat Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens, 1-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Petkovic reached the quarters here three years ago before missing the 2012 and 2013 French Opens due to injury. She'd considered retiring from tennis after a succession of ailments saw her drop out of the top 10 and plummet to 143rd.

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