Sharapova, Zvonareva land in Cincy quarters

Maria Sharapova hits a return Svetlana Kuznetsova during their third round match at the 2011...

Maria Sharapova hits a return Svetlana Kuznetsova during their third round match at the 2011 Cincinnati Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, Aug. 18, 2011. (JOHN SOMMERS II/Reuters)

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, Last Updated: 3:08 AM ET

MASON, OHIO - Former world No. 1 and 2010 runner-up Maria Sharapova and former champion Vera Zvonareva were a pair of easy third-round Russian winners Thursday at the $2.05 million Western & Southern Open, a U.S. Open Series event.

The fourth-seeded Sharapova drilled 14th-seeded fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-3, while the second-seeded 2010 U.S. Open runner-up Zvonareva leveled Croatian qualifier Petra Martic 6-2, 6-2 in exactly one hour on the hardcourts at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Sharapova broke Kuznetsova's serve a whopping six times on her way to the round of eight.

The three-time major champion Sharapova was last year's Cincy runner-up to U.S. Open champ Kim Clijsters and this year's Wimbledon runner-up to Czech Petra Kvitova.

Sharapova will face tough Aussie Samantha Stosur in Friday's quarterfinals, while Zvonareva, who titled here in 2006 and was the Cincinnati runner-up in 2004, will take on Slovakian veteran Daniela Hantuchova.

Last year's French Open runner-up Stosur upended this year's French Open champion Li Na in 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 fashion on Day 4. The 10th-seeded Stosur was last week's Toronto runner-up to Serena Williams, who pulled out of the draw here on Wednesday due to a foot problem.

The fifth-seeded Li, of China, was also this year's runner-up at the Australian Open in addition to her Roland Garros title.

16th-seeded Peng Shuai of China eased past Israel's Shahar Peer 6-3, 6-2, and 13th-seeded, former world No. 1 Serbian Jelena Jankovic outlasted Italy's Francesca Schiavone, the seventh seed, with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 upset.

Jankovic was the Cincy champion two years ago, and the 2010 French Open champion Schiavone was this year's French Open runner-up to Li.

Other Thursday upsets came when Hantuchova took out eighth-seeded French slugger Marion Bartoli 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 and ninth-seeded German Andrea Petkovic whipped the sixth-seeded Wimbledon champ Kvitova 6-3, 6-3. Petkovic also dismantled Kvitova in the third round in Toronto last week.

Former top-10 player and 2008 Cincinnati champion Nadia Petrova of Russia pasted American teenager Christina McHale 6-3, 6-3. The wild card McHale stunned world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki here on Wednesday.

Petrova will face the rising Petkovic on Friday.

The 2011 Cincinnati champion will collect $360,000.


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