Last week it was Serena Williams who won when five other Grand Slam champions lost in Toronto, and on Thursday in Cincinnati Maria Sharapova was sole such winner. To reach the quarterfinals Sharapova defeated US Open and Roland Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, and three other Grand Slam champions lost their third-round matches.
In the first set Sharapova broke Kuznetsova for a 3-2 lead and then won five straight games until 2-0 in the second set. Late in the second set Kuznetsova broke Sharapova’s serve, but Sharapova soon advanced with a 6-2 6-3 victory.
Other Grand Slam champions in action, Petra Kvitova, Francesca Schiavone and Li Na, didn’t advance to the quarterfinals. Kvitova, the winner of Wimbledon 2011, fell to Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-3. Roland Garros 2010 champion Schiavone lost to Jelena Jankovic 6-3 5-7 6-4. Jankovic revealed that laziness played a role in her bad results. Reigning Roland Garros champion Li was defeated by Samantha Stosur 6-4 3-6 6-4.
Sharapova’s opponent in the quarterfinals will be Samantha Stosur, against whom she has an impressive 8-0 head-to-head record. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)