Welcome to Roland Garros Rewind, where wtatennis.com will take a look back at some of the most memorable matches from the past two decades at the French Open. From breakthroughs to comebacks, rewind the clock and check out our list of the Top 8 fourth-round matches, laid out in chronological order.

Roland Garros Round Reviews:
Serena, Sharapova and more first round classics
Davenport, Schiavone and more second round stunners
Ivanovic, Henin, Sharapova and more third round clashes
Svitolina, Safina and more French Open fourth round thrillers

2000: [6] Mary Pierce def. [3] Monica Seles, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

The match between two of the most powerful stars of their era was defined by the tweener heard around the country. In the first game of the clash, Pierce, stretched side to side, struck a lob between her legs that sailed over Seles and landed just inside the court.

"I didn’t even think, it was automatic reflex,” Pierce told the International Tennis Hall of Fame last week, upon the occasion of the 20th anniversary of her title. “I just jumped, hit the ball, between my legs, jumping in the air. It was a miracle that I actually hit the ball, let alone hit it in the court for a winner. When I see the images and I look back, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t think I could jump that high!’"

Pierce lost the first set but was buoyed by her excellent play as the match wore on, and came back to defeat Seles en route to the title on home soil.

2004: [7] Jennifer Capriati def. [2] Serena Williams, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3

Two recent Roland Garros champions faced off in another hard-hitting tussle, with Williams seeking to return to the level which saw her win five Grand Slam titles in the last two seasons before an eight-month injury hiatus started at the end of 2003. Meanwhile, Capriati hoped to regain the form which led to the title in Paris in 2000. 

Capriati had beaten Williams in straight sets weeks prior on clay in Rome, in Williams’s fourth event of her injury comeback. Capriati kept her streak rolling in Paris, earning a pivotal break at 3-3 en route to capturing the first set. But Williams zipped to a 4-0 lead in the second set, eventually claiming that frame, which featured a 45-minute rain delay.

At 3-3 in the decider, Capriati took control, using deft defense and deploying well-timed dropshots to reel off the final three games of the match. The countrywomen would square off more in 2004, as Capriati and Williams would face off in the same round at Wimbledon and the US Open, splitting those meetings.

Jennifer Capriati, 2004 Roland Garros quarterfinals.

Photo by Getty Images

2006: [16] Nicole Vaidisova def. [11] Venus Williams, 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-3

Nicole Vaidisova made a mark in the WTA record books in 2004, winning her first WTA title at Vancouver at the tender age of 15 years and three months. By 2006, the Czech prodigy was ready to go deep at Grand Slam events.

Seeded 16th at that year’s Roland Garros, Vaidisova overcame World No.1 Amelie Mauresmo in the fourth round, dispelling the crowd’s partisan hopes. A hefty challenge awaited against Venus Williams in the quarterfinals; the American was still aiming for her first Roland Garros title, after a runner-up showing to her sister in 2002.

Vaidisova, though, was up to the task. The Czech dropped the first set in a tight tiebreak but stormed through the second set, finding the lines and peppering in passes with aplomb. A break at 2-2 in the decider went the way of Vaidisova, and she held on for her first-ever major semifinal just a month after her 17th birthday.

Nicole Vaidisova, 2006 Roland Garros quarterfinals.

Photo by Getty Images

2010: [7] Samantha Stosur def. [1] Serena Williams, 6-2, 6-7(2), 8-6

Coming into 2010 Roland Garros, World No.1 Serena Williams had won four of the last six Grand Slam events. The American superstar sought a long-awaited second title in Paris to go alongside her 2002 trophy.

Samantha Stosur, though, had designs of her own. The Australian held a season-leading 14-2 record on clay, thanks to a title in Charleston and a Stuttgart final, at one point winning 11 straight matches on the surface.

Having stormed into a surprise Roland Garros semifinal the year prior, Stosur’s magic lingered, and she claimed a quick first set over Williams. The American hung tough from 3-5 down in the second set, though, and used her fierce forehand to dominate the tiebreak.

Williams had her chances, holding a match point at 5-4 in the third set, but Stosur drew an error long and the combatants progressed further. Tremendous all-court play, ending with crosscourt winners, gave Stosur the last two points of a break for 7-6, and the Australian notched the final game to claim the upset. Days later, Stosur would make her first Grand Slam final.

Samantha Stosur and Serena Williams shake hands at net, 2010 Roland Garros quarterfinals.

Photo by Getty Images

2011: [5] Francesca Schiavone def. [14] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 1-6, 7-5, 7-5

As the tour descended on Paris in 2011, Francesca Schiavone had not made a final since her heroic run to the 2010 Roland Garros title. However, the defending champion regained her magic touch on site once again, and she extended her winning streak at the event to 11 straight matches coming into her quarterfinal tilt against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The Russian with the thunderous groundstrokes, though, was ready to put a stop to the Italian’s hot form. In her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, Pavlyuchenkova had all the answers for a set and a half, storming to a 6-1, 4-1 lead.

When all hope seemed lost, though, Schiavone rediscovered the essence of her game, carving her way to six of the next seven games to eke out the second set. Schiavone charged ahead to 5-1 in the final set, but Pavlyuchenkova staged a furious comeback to 5-5.

Nevertheless, the fates were again with Schiavone at the end, who clinched the final two games, sealing her 12th straight win at the tournament with a forehand winner. Later that week, she would make the Roland Garros final once more.

Francesca Schiavone, 2011 Roland Garros quarterfinals.

Photo by Getty Images

2013: [1] Serena Williams def. Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

Serena Williams entered Paris one major title away from “sweet 16,” and she had dominated the 2013 clay season, winning titles in Charleston, Madrid, and Rome. The World No.1, though, was nearly tripped up at the French Open by 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

After a routine first set for Williams, the Russian turned up her forehand, taking the second set and a 2-0 lead in the decider. Williams, who did not want a fifth loss in her last five Roland Garros quarterfinals, was forced to steel herself.

The American crucially fended off three break points in the 16-point next game, then steered her way back with superb returning through the remainder of the match. Williams gritted out six of the final seven games to quell the stern test from Kuznetsova.

Kuznetsova would be the only player to take a set from Williams all fortnight, as the American cruised through the semifinal and final to earn her 16th Grand Slam title. For extra historic weight, that title also gave the superstar at least two singles titles at all four Grand Slam events.

2014: [7] Maria Sharapova def. Garbiñe Muguruza, 1-6, 7-5, 6-1

As she had done in 2012, Maria Sharapova came into 2014 Roland Garros with two clay titles for the season through that point. Two years prior, the Russian’s complete transition to clay-court mastery and Roland Garros champion had still been somewhat surprising; this time around, Sharapova was a favorite, particularly after World No.1 Serena Williams’s shock second-round loss to Garbiñe Muguruza.

The Spaniard, though, proved the early upset was no fluke, moving into the quarterfinals without the loss of a set, then flummoxing Sharapova in the opening frame of their battle. The steely Russian, however, kept her composure, and after being one game away from defeat at 6-1, 5-4, held on, then broke Muguruza for 6-5 behind beautiful backhands.

Sharapova served out the set and raced through the decider for the comeback victory, en route to her second Roland Garros title. "When you just don't feel like anything is going your way, you want to try to find a little door to get into," Sharapova said, after the quarterfinal win. "Once you start feeling like you got your foot in the door, then it's a little bit easier."

2017: [3] Simona Halep def. [5] Elina Svitolina, 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-0

Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina met in a tantalizing 2017 quarterfinal tilt between arguably the two top clay performers of the season. Halep claimed the title in Madrid, then reached the final in Rome the next week -- where she was outlasted by Svitolina.

In Paris, Svitolina got the better of Halep in the opening frame, where the Ukrainian hit 13 winners to Halep’s four, and she continued to hold court in the second set, chasing down a 5-2 lead. But the tide started to turn when Svitolina was twice unable to serve out the match.

Still, Halep could not convert any of four set points at 6-5, and Svitolina held match point at 6-5 in the second-set tiebreak. But well-placed shots by Halep allowed her to evade defeat, and she closed out the breaker with a fortuitous netcord winner.

Once the second set went Halep’s way, her momentum propelled her to an easy victory in the decider. “I started to feel more relaxed maybe because I thought it's finished, and I changed the rhythm,” said Halep, as she acknowledged her feelings when her back was against the wall. The Romanian would move into the 2017 final, and win the title the next year.

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