Stosur into last 16 at French Open

Sixth seed Samantha Stosur reached the last 16 of the French Open on Friday by overpowering an erratic Nadia Petrova of Russia 6-3, 6-3 in the third round.

US Open champion Stosur, 28, will play 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens for a place in the quarter-finals.

"I thought today was very, very solid and a good match. Hopefully it's going to set me up for the next one," Stosur said.

Petrova, a former world number three, had a 5-2 record against Stosur going into the match, and the Australian said she was determined to go on the attack from the very start, successfully breaking the Russian in the first game.

"No matter who you're playing, you want to try and get off to a good start. But I think especially against someone like Nadia, if you can get a good start and try and get an early break, it's really beneficial," Stosur said.

"She's a player capable of playing very aggressively. And especially when her serve is working, then it's pretty hard to break."

Unfazed by their head-to-head numbers, Stosur raced to 4-0 in the first set after a second break in the third game, but Petrova broke back in the fifth and then held serve to stay within striking distance.

Stosur, the runner-up at Roland Garros in 2010 to Italy's Francesca Schiavone, regained her composure and finished off the first set with a forehand winner.

In the second set, 27th-seed Petrova, who turns 30 next week, looked set to put up a challenge until she gave away the third game with a double fault.

Stosur was nearly broken in the next game but rallied back to stay ahead at 3-1 and used pinpoint playmaking to keep the sluggish-looking Petrova at a distance, finally sealing the match with a backhand winner down the line.

Their last two encounters, which they split, had gone the distance and ended in tiebreaks, but Friday's match was one-sided from the start as Stosur pressed ahead with her bid for a second Slam title.

She's ready to be on the receiving end when she faces Stephens for the first time in the fourth round.

"I know that she's a young American coming up, and she's a got a good game," Stosur said, expecting Stephens to play well with nothing to lose.

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