French Open: Third seed Vera Zvonareva ousted in Paris
- Roland Garros, Paris
- 22 May-5 June
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Vera Zvonareva joined the top seeds tumbling out of the French Open as she was beaten 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-2 by fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
The third seed followed number one Caroline Wozniacki and number two Kim Clijsters - both third-round victims - in falling before the quarter-finals.
Defending champion Francesca Schiavone survived a scare against 10th seed Jelena Jankovic.
The Italian fifth seed reached the last eight with a 6-3 2-6 6-4 win.
Schiavone, the only Italian woman to win a Grand Slam tournament, was a picture of relief at the end, kneeling on the court before kissing the clay just as she did when she won in Paris last year.
Schiavone will next play Pavlyuchenkova, who won the final five games against Zvonareva to seal victory from 2-1 down.
Her triumph last year means the 30-year-old is sure to be backed to repeat her success though she was quick to play down expectations, saying: "For sure it's interesting, but in [women's] tennis now it's really, really open."
Schiavone and Pavlyuchenkova were joined in the last eight by Marion Bartoli, who became the first French woman to reach the last eight since Mary Pierce in 2005 when Gisela Dulko retired with a thigh injury at 7-5 1-0 down.
Standing between Bartoli and a semi-final place is the 2009 champion, Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 6-7 6-3 6-2 and approaches the next round in confident mood.
"If I could choose the court to play against [Bartoli] it would be a clay court for sure," she insisted.
"It is the best surface for me and I think the worst for her. The only thing is we are playing in France, so for her there is going to be a lot of support. But I feel great and I'm playing great."
The exit of last year's Wimbledon and US Open finalist Zvonareva has left Victoria Azarenka (four) as the highest seed left in the tournament.
It is the first time none of the top three seeded women have reached the quarter-finals at the French Open in the Open era, which began in 1968.
The last time it happened at any Grand Slam tournament was at Wimbledon in 2008.
Asked to comment on the fall of the top seeds, Pavlyuchenkova said: "Everyone is saying that we don't really have a leader right now because it's up and down in terms of results.
"It's not like the number one or top five are winning like in men's tennis."