Petra Kvitova reaches first French Open quarterfinal

Czech left-hander Petra Kvitova reached the French Open quarterfinals for the first time in eight years as she overpowered China's Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-4.

Petra Kvitova plays a shot during her fourth round match against China's Zhang Shuai.   -  AP Photo

Czech left-hander Petra Kvitova reached the French Open quarterfinals for the first time in eight years as she overpowered China's Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-4 on Monday.

On yet another chilly day in the French capital, seventh seed Kvitova's superior firepower proved decisive as she posted her fourth successive straight-sets victory.

With so many big names already out, twice Wimbledon champion Kvitova will sense a golden title opportunity as she heads into a quarterfinal against unseeded German Laura Siegemund.

“It was a great one today for sure,” said Kvitova, who returned to action at the 2017 French Open following a knife attack six months earlier that left her with career-threatening hand injuries.

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“To be back on the same court that I made my comeback and to make the quarterfinal is something I didn't expect. I'm trying to play faster here and play aggressive off the returns,” she told Eurosport.

The 30-year-old, whose best finish here was reaching the 2012 semifinals, made her intentions clear from the start as she seized on anything short to dominate from the baseline, moving 4-0 ahead in 15 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Zhang, in the fourth round of a Slam for only the third time in 33 attempts having also not dropped a set so far, finally began to dig her heels in as Kvitova's error-count increased but she was unable to turn the tide.

Kvitova had to wait around in the cold as Zhang took a medical timeout at the end of the first set, but she turned up the heat to get an early break in the second set.

She broke again to lead 5-2 but some wild errors allowed the Chinese to win two straight games and create some tension.

Kvitova regained her focus though to seal victory with a love service hold.

Siegemund overcomes spirited Badosa

Meanwhile, unseeded German Laura Siegemund came through a tight opening set before cruising past Spaniard Paula Badosa 7-5, 6-2 to reach her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros on Monday.

Both players struggled on serve in the opening set of their see-sawing fourth-round meeting on Court Simonne Mathieu, before Siegemund switched gears at 5-5 to claim the decisive break and take the early advantage in the contest.

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Badosa, a former junior champion who knocked out 2017 winner Jelena Ostapenko in the previous round and 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens in her second match, found herself down 3-1 in the second set as Siegemund turned up the heat.

World number 66 Siegemund fought off a spirited comeback attempt from Badosa to stretch the lead further with a break in the seventh game of the second set, before closing out her victory in style.

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