Fedex strolls past compatriot Wawrinka
Roger Federer continued his Bois de Boulogne stroll as he ambled past fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Sunday.
While the 16-times grand slam champion appeared to be floating through air as he produced some delectable shots to draw some "oohs" and "aahs" from the packed crowd, barely anyone noticed women's third seed Vera Zvonareva make an early exit.
Zvonareva had to play in front of rows and rows of empty seats on Court Philippe Chatrier as she was knocked out by fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6, 2-6, 6-2 in a forgettable fourth-round contest.
Image: Switzerland's Roger Federer returns the ball to compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka
Pavlyuchenkova stuns Zvonareva
The 14th seeded Pavlyuchenkova, at 19 the youngest woman left in the draw, reached her first grand slam quarter-final after winning a topsy-turvy match filled with unforced errors and lost opportunities.
She will meet either champion Francesca Schiavone or three-times Roland Garros semi-finalist Jelena Jankovic.
Zvonareva summed up the gloom surrounding women's tennis at this year's French Open, where none of the top three seeds reached the last eight for the first time since tennis turned professional in 1968, by saying: "It's not acceptable at this stage of the grand slam."
Image: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Federer yet to drop a set in Paris
Federer, who triggered a huge roar in the stands with a jaw-dropping sliced backhand passing shot down the line, came across a sticky patch, though, when he conceded an early break in the third set.
But he kept his cool to win six of the seven remaining games and sealed his opponent's exit with an ace before giving Wawrinka a sympathetic pat on the back.
Federer, whose remarkable run of reaching 23 consecutive grand slam semi-finals was snapped by Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals here 12 months ago, has yet to drop a set in Paris this year.
Next up for him will be either Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer or French ninth seed Gael Monfils.
Image: Roger Federer
Fognini first Italian to reach last eight at Roland Garros
Laid-back Fabio Fognini became the first Italian man to reach the last eight at Roland Garros since Renzo Furlan in 1995. He beat Spain's Alberto Montanes 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 in four hours 22 minutes.
Fognini saved five match points, one with a drop shot, as he fooled around on Court Suzanne Lenglen, notably pouring water on the trainer who came several times in the fifth set to massage and strap his left thigh.
The Roland Garros crowd, however, were waiting in anticipation for what could turn out to be the match of the tournament so far when local favourite Richard Gasquet takes on the seemingly unbeatable Novak Djokovic later on Sunday.
"Djoko is definitely the player who is in the best form so it will be difficult but (...) when Richard plays the big players, it boosts his level of play," Gasquet coach Riccardo Piatti, who formerly coached Djokovic, told Reuters earlier this week.
Image: Fabio Fognini of Italy returns the ball to Albert Montanes of Spain