Coria, Henman in French Open quarter-finals
Guillermo Coria reached the quarter-finals of the French Open while Tim Henman had to battle down to the wire to make the last eight for the first time.
Title favourite Guillermo Coria reached the quarter-finals of the French Open on Sunday without breaking sweat while British comeback king Tim Henman had to battle down to the wire to make the last eight for the first time.
Third seed Coria, the top ranked player left after the defeat of Roger Federer and Andy Roddick, was leading Nicolas Escude 6-0 in his fourth round match when his opponent retired with an injured shoulder after just 25 minutes.
He now goes on to face 1998 champion Carlos Moya who swept past Spanish countryman Tommy Robredo 7-6 (10/8), 6-4, 6-2.
Meanwhile, in the women's draw Serena and Venus Williams moved effortlessly closer to a possible semi-final showdown while Russian trio Maria Sharapova, Elena Dementieva and Anastasia Myskina also booked quarter-final places.
Coria, who now has a clay court record of 46 wins in his last 48 matches, said he was surprised that Escude gave up.
"It was an amazing match because I was so surprised to see the trainer come on at 3-0 after just 10 minutes," said the 22-year-old.
In a dramatic contrast, ninth seeded Henman came back from two sets down for the second time in the tournament and saved a match point to defeat France's last hope Michael Llodra after 4hr 11min on the Suzanne Lenglen Court.
Henman, who had also fought back from two sets down in his opening day win over another Frenchman Cyril Saulnier, has now made the last eight of a Grand Slam event outside of Wimbledon for the first time.
He is also the first British player to reach the quarter-finals in Paris since Roger Taylor in 1973.
Henman next plays Juan Ignacio Chela, the 22nd seed from Argentina who defeated Olivier Mutis of France 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2.
"For an hour and 49 mins I was playing the wrong way and that's not a great sign, but to come through it and find a way to win, it's character building," said Henman.
The 2002 champion Albert Costa lost his third round match to Xavier Malisse.
The Spanish 26th seed wasted two match points in the fourth set to go down to a 6-4, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 8-6 defeat to the Belgian who now takes on Australia's Lleyton Hewitt in Monday's fourth round.
In the women's event, third-seeded Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo enjoyed a 6-2, 6-1 win over Bulgarian 21st seed Magdalena Maleeva.
Mauresmo now faces Russian ninth seed Dementieva, who put out America's fifth seeded Lindsay Davenport, for a place in the semi-finals.
"I was surprised by her score against Davenport," said Mauresmo.
"She is a player I know quite well. I have to make sure she doesn't take the initiative."
The Williams sisters moved menacingly into the last eight.
Second seed Serena, the champion in here in 2002, crushed Japan's Shinobu Asagoe 6-3, 6-1 to set up a last eight clash against either seventh seed Jennifer Capriati of the United States or Francesca Schiavone of Italy.
Fourth seed Venus had a 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) win over Fabiola Zuluaga, the 23rd seed from Colombia and will next meet Russia's Anastasia Myskina, the sixth seed.
Myskina saved two match point as she beat compatriot, and 11th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, 1-6 6-4, 8-6.
Dementieva and Sharapova took huge steps towards ending Russia's long wait for a French Open women's champion by joining Myskina in the last eight.
In the 107-year history of Roland Garros there has never been a Russian winner in the women's singles.
Sharapova, the 18th seed, now takes on 14th seeded Argentinian Paola Suarez who ended China's Zheng Jie's run to the last 16.
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