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News & Photos / Articles / Bartoli and Kuznetsova continue to quarters

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It was a beautiful day in Paris. As the sun shone brightly in the sky Marion Bartoli achieved her dream of reaching the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the first time in her career and became the first French woman to do so since 2000 champion Mary Pierce six years ago. Before today's encounter with Gisela Dulko, Geneva-based Bartoli had endured a bumpy path to the round of 16. Each of her previous matches had gone the three-set distance and there was every possibility her match against the world no.51 would go the same way.

After all, Dulko was in incredible form, having dispatched last year's runner up and no.8 seed Sam Stosur in the previous round. But as Bartoli raced to 5-2 lead it became apparent that all was not well with the Argentinean. Dulko was clutching her hip, the doctor was then called and the 26-year-old lay sprawled on the clay where she received treatment to her upper thigh.

The massage seemingly offered temporary relief and allowed Buenos Aires-based Dulko the flexibility to claw her way back into the match, but by the end of the set she was sporting industrial-strength strapping to her left thigh and the French hope had sneaked it 7-5. Trailing 1-0 in the second set, Dulko decided that discretion was the better part of valour and retired, allowing Bartoli through to her first Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2009 Australian Open.

Meanwhile, over on no.1 court, a three-set tussle was taking place between Daniela Hantuchova and 2009 French Open champion Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova. There was little to separate the two in the early going, with both women belting the ball with remarkable accuracy from the back of the court. A tie-break was the only way to decide the first set and it went the way of Slovak.

Kuznetsova, who had enjoyed a relatively easy run on her road to this match dropping only 11 games along the way, still had plenty left in the tank however. She got stronger as the match went on while her 28-year-old opponent appeared to wilt, and Kuznetsova duly fought back to take the match 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-2 to set up a quarter-final clash with Bartoli.

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