French Open favorite Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina, one of the hottest claycourt players this year, set up a quarterfinal meeting on Monday with wins at Roland Garros. That was a match Halep has blown in the past, and it was nice to see her dig deep and find a way to come through with the victory.
Simona Halep dropped off only two games to Carla Suarez Navarro, beating her 6/1 6/1.
Again Halep showed her mettle to stay alive but it still seemed in vain until she levelled at 5-5 and then went 40-0 up on Svitolina's serve before the Ukrainian rallied to take the set into a tiebreak.
Garcia had never been beyond the third round of a grand slam before this tournament on home soil and was left with mixed feelings after going out.
None of the women quarter-finalists have won a title at any Major tournament, but Halep reached the final here in 2014.
But the Romanian won five consecutive games and then saved match point to take it to a decider, which she finished off easily.
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Things started off pretty comfortably for Halep in the opening rounds, with straight sets wins over both Jana Cepelova and Tatjana Maria seeing her safely make the third round.
Halep is one of the favourites to win the title in Paris and swept aside her 21st-seeded opponent in exactly one hour on Court Philippe Chatrier.
"Before this tournament I was struggling on clay with nearly everything", Pliskova said afterwards. "I didn't realize during the match".
Halep revealed that her highly respected coach and television analyst Darren Cahill - formerly in the corners of Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt - stopped traveling with her following a tough loss to Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open in March. Halep fought it off, and struck a netcord victor that barely floated over and into the court to sent the match into a deciding set.
After Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova lost Sunday, the French Open - which is missing Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka - is guaranteed of producing a first-time grand slam victor. It's not like you're going to get it for free. "I didn't really know what I was doing, but I worked hard, I kept believing in what I was doing".
In the other half of the draw Latvian teenager Jelena Ostapenko will take on Swiss Timea Bacsinszky for a spot in the final. Players of her age just aren't fretting about career turning points or last best chances.