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Bouchard heads to French Open quarters with win over Kerber

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The Canadian Press
6/1/2014 1:51:17 PM
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PARIS - Eugenie Bouchard raced into the French Open quarterfinals by beating eighth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-1, 6-2 in 52 minutes on Sunday.

The 18th-seeded Canadian wasted no time, opening up a 5-0 lead in just 16 minutes. The Montreal native, who reached the Australian Open semifinals this year, next plays either No. 14-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain or the unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic. They were playing later Sunday.

"I just felt good out there, I executed my game plan really well, so I'm happy with that," said Bouchard. "There are always things to improve, and I'm just going to focus on that tomorrow and try to do even better my next match."

Kerber, a quarter-finalist at Roland Garros two years ago, made a string of unforced errors and Bouchard broke for a 2-1 lead in the second set when Kerber returned long from the back of the court.

Trailing 5-2, Kerber played with the strings of her racket as she hunched forward on her chair, her head bowed. Bouchard, by contrast, sat upright, taking a few deep breaths to compose herself before serving out the match. She clinched victory on her first match point when Kerber — a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist — made another unforced error, this time as her wild forehand sailed out.

"I'm confident and I really believe in my skills. I believe I can play with the best girls out there," Bouchard said. "She's top 10, so I respect her. She can play some really good tennis. I was really mentally prepared for anything, for a battle."

With the top three women's seeded players out, Maria Sharapova remains the favourite to win the tournament for the second time. The seventh-seeded Russian later played Samantha Stosur.

Bouchard`s dominant victory over Kerber stretched her winning streak to nine straight matches — the longest of her career. And it lifted her career record against top 10 opponents to 5-10.

Her victims this season have also included No.10 Sara Errani at Indian Wells in March and No.8 Jelen Jankovic last April in Charleston.

Men's eighth seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., was attempting to join Bouchard in the last eight as he faced Spain's Marcel Granollers. Raonic is the first Canadian man to play in the fourth round at Roland Garros.

In men's fourth-round action later Sunday, second-seeded Novak Djokovic was playing No. 13-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga; fourth-seeded Roger Federer took on Ernests Gulbis; and sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych faced No. 10-seeded John Isner.

There were two third-round matches remaining, with seventh-seeded Andy Murray and No. 28 Philipp Kohlschreiber deep into a fifth set, and No. 12-seeded Richard Gasquet up against Fernando Verdasco.

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With files from The Canadian Press



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