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Summary

  1. Maria Sharapova beats Sam Stosur 6-3 6-4
  2. Defending champion into 4th round
  3. Sharapova to face Safarova in last 16

Live Reporting

By Mike Henson

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    Maria Sharapova

    Nuggety battler Sam Stosur at the opposite end?

    A swirling wind?

    A French Open crowd peeved by her not doing on-court interviews in each of her last two matches?

    That was a potentially nasty little match, skilfully enough defused by Maria Sharapova. I think we can expect at least another appearance in the last four for the Russian.

    That is us for today. See you tomorrow for Andy Murray v Nick Kyrgios and a host of other delights.

    Laters.

  2. Post update

    This is the small print beneath the scoreline. It looks like Sharapova's consistency off the floor made up for some wayward serving.

    Stosur-Sharapova

    Aces: 1-1

    First serve %: 62-51

    Double faults: 5-6

    Win % on first serve: 61-76

    Win % on second serve: 36-43

    Winners: 19-12

    Unforced errors: 34-21

  3. Saturday's schedule

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "Some breaking news - Saturday's schedule is out and Andy Murray v Nick Kyrgios will be first on Court Suzanne Lenglen at 10:00 BST.

    "Novak Djokvic v Thanasi Kokkinakis is second on Chatrier, with Serena Williams v Victora Azarenka fourth and last. With Rafael Nadal also in action against Andrey Kuznetsov, we have a big day ahead."

  4. Emotional Sharapova

    I'm not sure if it was the effects of a cold or emotion, but Maria Sharapova was moist of eye as she stared up to her players' box at the end.

  5. Post update

    Paul Newman

    Tennis correspondent for the Independent on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Maria Sharapova

    "You can see what it meant to Sharapova with her reaction. She's clearly not feeling well and although Stosur didn't play well, Sharapova stuck to her task and most importantly won in straight sets. Getting through is all that matters at this stage."

  6. Sharapova delight

    Maria Sharapova: "I'm really happy with this victory and I am really happy to be in the next round. With the help of my fans here and the memories of wining this tournament a couple of times - as I was lucky enough to do - this court feels like a really good space for me.

    "My top is inspired by Jean Paul Gaultier. Obviously when you come to Paris you want to be tres chic."

  7. Game, set and match

    Sharapova 6-3 6-4 Stosur

    Sharapova cantering towards the finishline as she works up 40-0 in a twinkle.

    A slight stumble as she buries a forehand south of the tape, and then a stutter as she drifts long to hand back a second break point. 40-30.

    But this is not the full Devon Loch. She pummels a big forehand straight down the funnel and Sam Stosur cuffs long as she struggles to dampen down the power to fold out.

  8. Post update

    *Sharapova 6-3 5-4 Stosur

    Sam Stosur

    Sam Stosur is not going to be run out of town just yet.

    The Australian keeps her cards on the table as she shows lovely touch in a exchange of drop-shots on the final point.

    The guillotine awaits however.

    Sharapova, whose serve has stood up well to the wind so far today, will try and close this one out next.

  9. Post update

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "The spider-cam tracks ominously above our heads, its colleague on Court Suzanne Lenglen having already done for a poor unsuspecting pigeon earlier today.

    "Stosur is starting to look a bit like she's wandered into the path of an unstoppable machine this afternoon, with Sharapova hardly hitting the heights but having too much Grand Slam savvy even for a U.S. Open champion."

  10. Post update

    Sharapova 6-3 5-3 Stosur *

    Maria Sharapova

    Maria Sharapova is not in the mood to hang around.

    She steps in and slaps away a fine crosscourt forehand for 40-0.

    It feels like both players have mentally signed up to the pattern we have seen so many times before with Sharapova wearing down an initially tricky opponent and then roaring off to victory.

    Stosur nips back a point with a fine defensive shot on the run, but that alone is not going to shift the narrative.

  11. Sharapova breaks

    *Sharapova 6-3 4-3 Stosur

    Sam Stosur

    Sam Stosur telegraphs a drop-shot so far in advance, Maria Sharapova could have RSVPed last week.

    The Russian hares in to accept the invitation, thrashing away a midcourt ball for 0-30 and an opening.

    That is a waste though. With acres of wide open red clay to aim for at 15-30, she pushes long down the line. Grimaces and grizzles from the Russian.

    But she needn't worry. Sam Stosur is the one that has trouble tethering down an errant serve and another double fault gifts Sharapova a break.

    The defending champion has her toe on Stosur's windpipe. Two holds away..

  12. Post update

    Paul Newman

    Tennis correspondent for the Independent on BBC Sport website

    "Stosur was striking the ball well earlier in the set and was looking good, but she's making too many errors now."

  13. Post update

    Sharapova 6-3 3-3 Stosur *

    Maria Sharapova's serve is looking the more secure of the two.

    The Russian bustles her way through another game, saving physical exertion and mental concentration for breaking Stosur.

  14. Post update

    *Sharapova 6-3 2-3 Stosur

    Maria Sharapova

    Sam Stosur grips and rips on her forehand, tonking away a winner for 40-30.

    It is a formidable weapon, but the other wing is less reliable. Backhand floating lazily long, refusing to drop before the baseline and Sharapova has a free pass into deuce.

    Sharapova blocks back a return right up onto the whitewash to catch out Stosur as she attempts to rush in behind a crackerjack serve, but Stosur sees off the break point.

    The quality-meter is creeping north. Both players are unearthing gold as they battle back and forth in entrenched baseline duels before Stosur finally snuffs out Sharapova.

  15. Post update

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "There was a big "Come on!" from coach Sven, up on his feet, fist pumping, after Sharapova held on in that last lengthy service game. She's dominant when she gets her first serve in, but otherwise it's a 50/50 match. Exactly the kind that the five-time Grand Slam champion usually finds a way to win."

  16. Post update

    Sharapova 6-3 2-2 Stosur *

    Maria Sharapova

    Deep breath. Hair tuck. Body sway. Bounce, bounce, bounce. Stare down court and then...

    Maria Sharapova sticks to her pre-serve routine as the wind ruffles her hair and rumples her hemline. The elements are doing their best, but the Russian still is keeping the lid on her gremlins.

    A solid service hold.

  17. Post update

    *Sharapova 6-3 1-2 Stosur

    Sam Stosur drags her service game through some heavy fire off the Maria Sharapova racquet.

    The wind is still whipping around. Not quite getting the dust devils just yet, but not far off.

    Maria Sharapova has to serve from the more exposed northern end of the court next. She won't be looking forward to doing so.

  18. Game, set and match

    Wawrinka

    Eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland is through in convincing style, beating American Steve Johnson 6-4 6-3 6-2.

  19. Post update

    Sharapova 6-3 1-1 Stosur *

    Game point for Maria Sharapova and the Russian attempts a little tickled drop-shot to close it out.

    The net swallows it up. It looks cute as a button when it comes off, but when that shot goes awry you just want to uppercut your own chin for being so stupid.

    It looks like being even more sickening for Sharapova as Stosur works up a break point, but the Australian is just wide with a fizzing forehand that had Sharapova stretching and moon-balling in desperation.

    The unpire is out of his chair to look at the mark, Stosur is peering over the net. Everyone is in agreement though.

    A big moment - certainly in the game, probably in the match - is amplified as Sharapova makes good her escape.

  20. Post update

    Andy Murray

    Amelie Mauresmo is issuing the orders over on the Roland Garros practice courts with Andy Murray taking note.

    This is Mauresmo's home turf. Murray's popularity with the French Open crowd will have risen several percentage points just thanks to having the former Australian Open and Wimbledon champion in his team.

  21. Post update

    *Sharapova 6-3 0-1 Stosur

    Maria Sharapova

    Maria Sharapova gets a return right up under Sam Stosur's grill. The Aussie drifts long as she is forced into an awkward, stunted stroke and Sharapova has a look at 30-30.

    Stosur gets lucky as - with the court gaping like Shane McGowan's dental work - Sharapova misses a great chance on break point.

    Nice hands from Stosur and as she smothers a forehand on the strings for a winning drop volley.

    Something a little less subtle closes out the game, another of those bazooka serves out wide.

  22. Sharapova wins the first set

    Sharapova 6-3 Stosur *

    Maria Sharapova

    Sam Stosur hustles like a back-street card sharp to see off one set point at 40-30, snapping away when Maria Sharapova strays from a perfect length and finishing with a clout down the line.

    But she cannot hold back the Russian a second time.

    A ram-rod straight serve down the tee has Stosur in trouble straight away and a scrambling backhand into the net signals the demise of her hopes of keeping the set alive.

  23. Post update

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "Neither woman looks too convincing on serve so far, with Sharapova already up to five double faults.

    "The Russian experienced one of her worst days on this court in 2011 when, finally closing in on the one major title that had eluded her, she faced Li Na in the semi-finals. On a similarly windy day, her serve completely disintegrated and she finished the match with her 10th double fault. That number looks distinctly possible today."

  24. Sharapova breaks

    *Sharapova 5-3 Stosur

    There is not a lot of bulk on those limbs, but Maria Sharapova arms are such long levers that she generates a power that can catch opponents flat-footed.

    A dense, compact little backhand jab scuttles away for a winner and 15-40, before she clatters a great forehand return cross court and out of reach to move within a service hold of the first set.

    Breaks aplenty, but is has been entertainingly open match rather than a depressingly dismal standard of tennis.

  25. Stosur breaks

    Sharapova 4-3 Stosur *

    Whomph!

    Sam Stosur slaps a big wet forehand right across the chops of Maria Sharapova to take herself to 30-40 and break point.

    All the rest of the damage to Maria Sharapova's serve was self-inflicted though with three double faults gifting Sam Stosur the rest of the points she needs to get the opening set back on serve.

    Sharapova's service action can get yippy and this blustery wind will get those doubts stewing nicely.

  26. Sharapova breaks

    *Sharapova 4-2 Stosur

    Maria Sharapova

    Sam Stosur in an immediate bit of bother with a double fault that gives Maria Sharapova 0-30 and a line of sight right into the heart of her service game.

    Back battles Sam Stosur, planting her feet wide and flinging fierce forehands, to earn 30-30.

    The Australian faces down a break point with a serve that kicks high, wide and out of the reach of even 6ft 2in Sharapova.

    Sharapova pounces and punches away a mid-court ball for another crack at the Stosur serve and this time Stosur can't rescue herself.

    She biffs a forehand long and Sharapova is sharpen her scalpel to amputate this first set from Stosur's grasp.

  27. Post update

    Russell Fuller

    BBC tennis correspondent on Radio 5 live sports extra

    "I think there's a chance of surprise winner in the women's tournament this year. Serena Williams looked desperately unconvincing yesterday, Sharapova should feel good about her chances, but we've lost Halep already, and Kvitova looks shaky."

  28. Post update

    Sharapova 3-2 Stosur *

    And Maria Sharapova backs up the break-back with a hold of her own.

    The players take a seat with the first set on serve. But this has all the signs of being the ding-donging slug-fest we expected.

  29. Sharapova breaks

    *Sharapova 2-2 Stosur

    Maria Sharapova is immediately turning the thumb-screws. 0-30. Stosur nibbles one back, but the pressure - both sporting and atmospheric - play havoc with her ball toss as it gets gusty and she double faults to offer up two break points.

    One back in the bag as Stosur creeps forward behind a barrage of spitting forehands.

    Sharapova's grunt is creeping up in pitch and duration to a pained yelp, but the backhand slice, deep and spinning, is naggingly consistent.

    Eventually Stosur pushes too hard and Sharapova grips a fist in celebration as the ball flies long.

  30. Post update

    Paul Newman

    Tennis correspondent for the Independent on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It's very breezy and the wind can swirl around this court. It could be a problem for both players."

  31. Post update

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    "Team Sharapova, led by coach Sven Groeneveld, is playing to the crowd this year with matching hats coloured the brickdust red that symbolises Roland Garros.

    "They have been christened 'the UN peacekeepers' in the past for their tendency to sport blue caps. Sven takes a big old slug of water after his boss gets broken to love. Long way to go yet."

  32. Stosur breaks

    Sharapova 1-2 Stosur *

    Sam Stosur

    Gird your loins, don your tin hats, and take cover.

    Things are about to get nasty.

    Sam Stosur breaks to love. It has her ahead on the scoreboard, but she might just have tugged the Rottweiler's tail.

  33. Post update

    *Sharapova 1-1 Stosur

    Sam Stosur is sporting neon green and gold with day-glo laces in her trainers to set it all of.

    Those shoes get an early workout as she scampers to the net. Lovely soft-shoe shuffle and she gets her reward, scooping the ball off the dirt and hammering away Maria Sharapova's attempted lob return.

    A commanding first game from the Aussie. Plenty of grunt behind the groundies and a serve that kicks like an angry mule.

  34. Post update

    Sharapova 1-0 Stosur *

    There is a decent breeze swirling around Court Philippe Chatrier. Maria Sharapova has to regather her ball toss a couple of times and the flags on the top of the stands are tugging at the pole.

    Sam Stosur did enough in that opening game to suggest she could throw a spanner in the Russian's spokes.

    A lovely middled backhand down the line on the opening point had her positively grinning up to her entourage in the players' box.

    She has to be content with inflicting just two points damage to the Sharapova serve in the end though.

  35. Post update

    BBC Sport website

    Maria Sharpova has won the toss and opted to serve. She is wearing that jaunty Breton striped top she has been rocking this week, but opted to keep the string of onions back in the locker room.

    Live radio commentary of this one is available for your listening pleasure on this very website.

    Click away at the top of this page.

  36. And the winner faces...

    Lucie Safarova

    Czech 13th seed Lucie Safarova awaits the winner of Sharapova v Stosur in the fourth round after she beat perennial Wimbledon latter-stage performer Sabine Lisicki 6-3 7-6 (7-2) earlier today.

  37. Post update

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at Roland Garros

    Maria Sharapova and Sam Stosur

    "As one of those lucky enough to be on a dark and moody Court Suzanne Lenglen when these two met last year, I can vouch for the potential of this afternoon's most tantalising match-up.

    "The circumstances are different, with the sun shining on the rather more stately Court Philippe Chatrier, but Stosur is capable of giving the two-time champion another serious test.

    "It took all of Sharapova's mighty resolve to haul herself through last year from a precarious position at a set and 3-4 set down. Playing poorly, it says everything about the Russian that she reeled off the last nine games in a row. She would not be denied."

    Sharapova won 3-6 6-4 6-0 to make the last eight.

  38. Post update

    Samantha Stosur

    Samantha Stosur is your archetypical tough Aussie cookie though.

    The 31-year-old reached the final in 2010 - where she was eventually out-battled by Francesca Schiavone - and also made the last four in 2009 and 2012.

    She won the clay-court title in Strasbourg before arriving in Paris this year.

    This is not going to be two quick sets crammed inside the hour.

  39. Post update

    Maria Sharapova

    You have to wind the clock back to 2010 to find the last time Maria Sharapova came a cropper in the French Open third round.

    Since that reverse to Justine Henin, the last four has been her bare minimum at Roland Garros.

    Semi-final, winner, runner-up, winner are the headlines from her 2011 to 2014 campaigns.

    When that Russian grit mixes with Parisian dirt, it is a potent mix.