Errani beats Kuznetsova to reach last eight

PARIS Sun Jun 3, 2012 8:22am EDT

1 of 4. Sara Errani of Italy reacts after winning her match against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

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PARIS (Reuters) - Italy's Sara Errani became the first woman into the French Open quarter-finals when she knocked out former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-0 7-5 on Sunday.

Claycourt specialist Errani, who had never gone beyond the second round at Roland Garros before this year, reeled off the first eight games before Kuznetsova won her first game, on a break.

Kuznetsova, the 2009 champion who had beaten Errani in all five previous meetings, hit a succession of shots into the net to give away matchpoint in the 12th game and then put a forehand wide.

The match, on the main Philippe Chatrier showcourt, began in front of a handful of spectators in chilly, overcast conditions with a threat of rain.

Kuznetsova, who sports tattoos on her arms reading "Pain doesn't kill me, I kill the pain", and "Only God is our judge", served for the second set at 5-4 but was broken to love after a run of errors.

Errani, seeded 21st, had beaten another former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic in the third round and will now meet 10th-seeded German left-hander Angelique Kerber.

Errani said she was determined to keep her focus after reaching the French last eight for the first time.

"I have played good games but I must stay concentrated," the 25-year-old Italian told a news conference.

"I am happy, I am curious to see how far I can go, what level I can get to."

Kuznetsova was the first to admit that her game had been below-par, saying: "It is really disappointing. I knew my chances but instead I didn't use them.

"I just have to go back and just have to work on my game," added the Russian, who started working Marat Safin's old coach Hernan Gumy a week ago.

"I still have to adjust some things. You cannot just start to work with a coach one week before the French Open."

(Reporting by Clare Fallon; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)