PARIS -- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova knocked out the highest
seeded player remaining in the women's draw at the French Open,
beating No. 3 Vera Zvonareva 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2 Sunday to earn a
spot in the quarterfinals.
The third-seeded Zvonareva followed No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and
No. 2 Kim Clijsters out of the tournament. They both lost in the
third round. Fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus is now the
highest seeded player left.
Pavlyuchenkova, at 19 the youngest player still in the
tournament, won the final five games after having her serve broken
early in the third set.
"I'm just trying to do my thing, focusing on me. ... The rest,
I don't really care," Pavlyuchenkova said, referring to the latest
upset of a top contender.
It is only the third time that none of the top three seeded
women has reached the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam in the Open
era, which began in 1968, and the first time at the French Open. It
also happened at Wimbledon in 2008 -- when the top four were
eliminated by the end of the fourth round -- and at the Australian
Open in 1997.
"Everyone is (saying) that we don't really have a leader right now in (women's) tennis, because, it's, like, up and down, I mean, in terms of results," said Pavlyuchenkova. "It's not like No. 1, or top five, are winning, like in (men's) tennis."
Zvonareva reached the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals last year
and the Australian Open semifinals in January. She saved two match
points in the final game against Pavlyuchenkova before hitting a
forehand long on the third.
"Well, that's, I guess, part of the game. I know what I have to
work on and what I have to improve," said Zvonareva, who saved a
match point in the second round before advancing. "Of course when
you play less than 50 percent of your potential, it's very tough to
win the fourth round of a Grand Slam."
For the 14th-seeded Pavlyuchenkova, the result is her best at a
Grand Slam tournament. Previously, she reached the fourth round at
least year's U.S. Open.
"She (Zvonareva) was up with a break, so I think maybe in the
past or last year I wouldn't believe I can win this match against
that top player," Pavlyuchenkova said. "This time I think that
was the main key."
Schiavone broke Jankovic to go ahead 5-4 in the third set, then served out the victory. When it ended, Schiavone reprised her postmatch ritual from 2010, kneeling down and giving a kiss to the clay court.
Schiavone is the only Italian woman to win a Grand Slam title. She's making her 43rd consecutive appearance in the main draw of a major tournament.
Jankovic had reached the semifinals at Roland Garros in three of the past four years.
Dulko received treatment on her left leg during the first set, and then continued playing with a bandage.
The 11th-seeded Bartoli broke Dulko to take the first set, and then held in the first game of the second before the Argentine quit.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.