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Sharapova figures out a path to victory

On days like these, when so little goes right and so much goes awry, Maria Sharapova tosses away the strategies and scouting reports her coach devises and, well, does whatever it takes to win.

Locked in a three-set, 3-hour struggle at a wet and windy French Open on Monday, Sharapova's right, racket-swinging wrist was aching -- and that, she insisted, was the least of her problems.

There was the tumble to her backside that Sharapova could laugh about later. The exasperating line calls, and what the second-seeded Russian considered an obstinate chair umpire. The 12 double-faults, plus 41 other errors of Sharapova's own doing. Plus other misfortune.

"It was," Sharapova summed up, "a good test for me."

Certainly the first she's faced at Roland Garros this year. After dropping a total of five games in three matches that averaged less than an hour each, Sharapova moved into the quarterfinals. She pulled out a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 victory over 44th-ranked Klara Zakopalova.

Defending champion Li Na's surprising exit came against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, an eyeglasses-wearing doubles specialist ranked 142nd in singles. The scores were 3-6, 6-2, 6-0.

Rafael Nadal's pursuit of a record seventh French Open title rolled on with another rout, this one a 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 victory over Juan Monaco.

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