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Djokovic, Federer battle into last 16 at Roland Garros, Sharapova on cruise control

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Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer dropped a set each, but advanced to the fourth round of the French Open with hard earned wins at Roland Garros on Friday. Djokovic slugged it out with 25th seed Marin Cilic for over 3 hours before eventually prevailing 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-4 while Federer was made to work a little harder at the start of his match with 31st seeded Russian Dmitry Tursunov before advancing courtesy of a 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-4 scoreline.

The one lady who didn't put in too long a shift was the new favourite for the French Open title, Maria Sharapova, who delivered a double bagel to Paula Ormaechea of Argentina, recording an easy 6-0, 6-0 win. Sharapova's run to the title in Paris was made even easier yesterday with the third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland falling to Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia, 6-4, 6-4.

Two Canadians still alive in the tournament are through to the second week at Roland Garros after Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic both won their third round matches on Friday in Paris.

Bouchard took on Sweden’s Johanna Larsson who upset twelfth-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy. It was the first meeting between the two players. Bouchard faced deficits early in both sets, but was able to overcome a tough opponent in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. In victory, her eighth consecutive, Bouchard, seeded no. 18, hit 27 winners compared to 30 unforced errors. The 20-year-old advances to the Round of 16 at Roland-Garros for the first time in her career and the second time at a Grand Slam after reaching the Australian Open semifinals in January. On Sunday, Bouchard will face eighth-seeded German Angelique Kerber for a spot in the quarter-finals. Kerber defeated Bouchard in three sets at the U.S. Open last year and squeezed past veteran Daniela Hantuchova, 7-5, 6-3 yesterday,

After getting through his first two matches comfortably, Raonic faced a real test going up against world no. 30 Gilles Simon of France. The two players battled for more than three hours over five sets until the 23-year-old Canadian finished off a 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory. Raonic showed his character in overcoming a two sets to one deficit. He served for the match at 5-4 in the fifth set, but was broken by Simon. He regrouped quickly to break right away at 5-5 and successfully served out the match on his second try. Raonic becomes the first Canadian man in the Open Era to reach the Round of 16 at the French Open. The tournament’s eighth seed awaits the winner of the match between Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Martin Klizan. Granollers is currently up two sets to one in that match.