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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 8:19 a.m., Saturday, June 2, 2007

Sharapova advances to fourth round at French Open

By Jerome Pugmire
Associated Press

PARIS — Maria Sharapova reached the fourth round of the French Open for the fourth time in her career today, coming back from 4-1 down in the second set to beat Alla Kudryavtseva 6-1, 6-4 despite an apparently bothersome right shoulder.

The second-seeded Russian needed only 28 minutes to win the first set, breaking her opponent's serve three times. But Sharapova was broken three consecutive times in the second set, before winning five straight games.

Sharapova lost in the fourth round last year and reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in 2004 and 2005.

Sharapova, who has 15 career titles and lost to Serena Williams in the final of the Australian Open, has yet to win a title this year.

Earlier in the tournament, she said she still felt soreness from a shoulder injury that caused her to miss about two months of action. Against Kudryavtseva, Sharapova stretched or flexed her right shoulder between points.

Also today, No. 7 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia advanced to the fourth round after beating qualifier Ioana Raluca Olaru of Romania 6-2, 6-0.

On Friday, Williams advanced to the fourth round by beating Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-4.

"For me, it's just another Slam," said Williams, who won her only French Open title in 2002. "I don't make it a big deal."

Serena's sister, Venus Williams, is one of 18 American men and women who have come and gone from the tournament. She lost to fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Justine Henin, trying to win her second straight French Open title and third overall, also won, and top-ranked Roger Federer eased into the fourth round of the men's draw by beating Potito Starace of Italy 6-2, 6-3, 6-0.