Schiavone knocked out of French Open
Former champion Francesca Schiavone made a third-round exit from the French Open on Saturday when she was beaten, for the second time in a month, by American left-hander Varvara Lepchenko.
Lepchenko, ranked 63rd in the world, beat the 2010 winner and 2011 runner-up 3-6, 6-3, 8-6 in a match full of long rallies in the midday sun on Court One, where the temperature reached 29 degrees Celsius.
Italian Schiavone, the 14th seed, lost in the first round to the Uzbekistan-born Lepchenko on Madrid's blue clay last month, and said before Saturday's game that she found playing left-handers troublesome.
After three exchanges of break in the third set, Lepchenko broke again to go 7-6 up and then saved four break points before smashing a winner on match point. She will now play fourth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova.
Image: Varvara Lepchenko of the U.S. returns the ball to Francesca Schiavone of Italy during the French Open
Kvitova fights past battling Bratchikova
Fourth seed Petra Kvitova moved into the French Open fourth round with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 victory over Russian Nina Bratchikova on Saturday, but the Czech was forced to toil in the piercing Parisian sunshine to overcome her opponent.
Peppering the baseline with a series of snappy and accurate groundstrokes, Kvitova had looked to be on course for a smooth passage into the next round when she claimed the first set in just 28 minutes.
The Russian, however, upped her intensity in the second, forcing the match to a decider before Kvitova regained the upper hand to close it out with a double break.
Image: Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic (R) shakes hands with Nina Bratchikova of Russia after winning her match during the French Open
Youzhny in a sorry state after Ferrer roasting
If there was any doubt about how tormented Mikhail Youzhny felt as he was being bullied into a 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 submission by David Ferrer, the single word "SORRY" etched into the red clay by the Russian said it all on Saturday.
A disbelieving Youzhny was red-faced after winning only six points, all on his own serve, during the first eight games of the third-round contest against a man he had beaten four times in six previous meetings.
When he finally halted the run to win his first game after 30 minutes, he scraped "SORRY" into the red clay with the toe of his right shoe, drawing a loud round of sympathetic applause from the roasting fans on a sun-splashed Court Suzanne Lenglen.
The bearded Russian then tried every trick to halt Ferrer's charge - including between-the-leg shots and even berating the ball for not going over the net - but it was not meant to be his day.
He left Ferrer leaping and roaring for joy after hitting a forehand long on match point to bow out after one hour and 41 minutes of entertaining, yet one-sided, action.
Image: David Ferrer of Spain returns the ball to Mikhail Youzhny of Russia during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros
Li Na struggles into fourth round
Defending champion Li Na was made to work hard to see off 20-year-old American Christina McHale 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 to book her place in the last 16.
Chinese seventh seed Li, who last year became the first player from an Asian nation to win a singles grand-slam title, needed almost two hours on a sunsoaked Court Suzanne Lenglen to break the world number 36's resilience.
Li struggled with her serve and fell a break down in sixth game but immediately broke back. But McHale had more pace and broke again to bag the opening set after 48 minutes.
Li upped her game in the second, finding better angles to open a 4-1 lead and steal her the opponent's serve again to level the tie.
She reeled off five games in a row in the decider to wrap it up and set up a last-16 meeting with Kazakh qualifier Yaroslava Schvedova.
Image: Li Na of China waves after winning her match against McHale of the U.S. during the French Open
Murray eases into fourth round
Britain's Andy Murray shook off the effects of a back injury that had taken him to the brink of elimination to pummel his way into the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Colombia's Santiago Giraldo on Saturday.
The number four seed's tournament had looked to be over when he needed three massages to treat his back during his second-round match against Jarkko Nieminen, but he showed no signs of discomfort as he made light work of Giraldo.
He broke in the sixth game of the first set and never looked like relinquishing control as his never-say-die defence and a series of rip-roaring forehands gradually wore down his opponent's fragile resilience.
Image: Andy Murray of Britain reacts after winning his match against Giraldo of Colombia during the French Open
Sharapova pummels Peng to reach last 16
It was business as usual as Maria Sharapova breezed into the fourth round of the French Open by sweeping past Chinese Peng Shuai 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday.
Sharapova's outings have been fleeting this week as she has dropped just five games en route to the last 16, spending a total of two hours and 54 minutes on court over her three matches.
On Saturday, it took her 66 minutes to subdue her 28th-seeded opponent on a sunbathed Court Phlippe Chatrier with another display of power and accuracy.
Sharapova, twice a semi-finalist on Parisian clay, will next face the unseeded Czech Klara Zakopalova.
Image: Maria Sharapova of Russia waves to the crowd as she celebrates match point in her women's singles third round match against Shuai Peng of China
Photographs: Getty Images