PARIS, France - Petra Kvitova and Kaia Kanepi finished strong on a chilly, windy day in Paris on Monday, wrapping up fourth round play and snapping up the last two berths in the quarterfinals of the 2012 French Open.
The No.4-seeded Kvitova was the first to advance, putting her power game on full display in a 60-minute, 62 61 triumph over Varvara Lepchenko. Lepchenko had taken out No.19 seed Jelena Jankovic and No.14 seed Francesca Schiavone en route to her first second week at a Slam, but was no match for Kvitova, particularly on the Czech's serve - she never even got to break point.
Kvitova is through to her fifth Grand Slam quarterfinal, going 3-1 in her first four. This will be her first quarterfinal here at the French Open, however.
The No.23-seeded Kanepi followed later with a see-saw 61 46 60 win over another first-timer in the second week of a Slam, Arantxa Rus. After a first set blowout Rus outsteadied Kanepi to win the second set, but the Estonian completely dominated the 20-minute decider, losing just five points in it.
Kanepi is in her fourth Slam quarterfinal, going 0-3 in her first three. This is her second time in the French Open quarterfinals, having done it in 2008 (her first Grand Slam quarterfinal - she lost that one to Svetlana Kuznetsova).
Next up for Kvitova will be Kazakh qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova, which will be a first-time meeting. Awaiting Kanepi in the next round is more of a known quantity in No.2 seed Maria Sharapova - although they have never played before, Kanepi has a pretty good idea of what she will be up against.
"I don't know her as a person, but I think she's a very good player, of course. She's a great fighter and hits the ball really hard," Kanepi said. "If I play well, of course I can win. Why not? But I have to play really well. I'll try my best.
"I have to be ready."
The other two quarterfinals pit No.6 seed Sam Stosur against No.15 seed Dominika Cibulkova and No.10 seed Angelique Kerber against No.21 seed Sara Errani. Both of those matches will take place on Tuesday.
Only three of the eight quarterfinalists this year have won a Grand Slam title before (Sharapova three Grand Slam titles, Kvitova and Stosur have one each) and none of the quarterfinalists have ever won the French Open. Stosur is the only one to have made the final here, in 2010 - losing to Schiavone.