Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 5/30/13

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 23: Victoria Azarenka of Belaru plays a forehand in her third round match against Tathiana Garbin of Italy during day six of the 2010 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka overcame a slow start and 10 double-faults Saturday to rally past Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 and reach the fourth round of the French Open. Seeded third, Azarenka advanced despite being broken six times. She blew an easy overhead to lose the first game of the final set, then swept the last six games thanks to relentless baseline play that wore down Cornet. The center court stands were half-empty for the early match. Crowds will likely be bigger for Azarenka next week, and so will the stakes. ''Center court is something that motivates me every time I walk on court,'' she told the crowd after her victory, ''and I can't wait to be back here.'' Azarenka has won the Australian Open each of the past two years. Roland Garros is the only major tournament where she has yet to reach the semifinal. Cornet, seeded 31st, stumbled and fell at the start of the second set and was slow to rise. She appeared unhurt but lost her composure as the match slipped away, screaming at herself between points and once spiking two balls in anger. American Sloane Stephens reached the fourth round for the second consecutive year with a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 victory over Marina Erakovic, who was penalized a point in the third set for getting coached. The 17th-seeded Stephens won the last three games against Erakovic, the first woman from New Zealand to get to the third round in Paris. A year ago, Stephens became the first U.S. teenager to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros since Serena Williams in 2001. She followed that up by getting to her first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open this January, beating Williams to get there. On Friday, Roger Federer beat 30th-seeded Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 and faces another Frenchman, No. 15 Gilles Simon, in the fourth round Sunday. ''I'm happy because I have not used much of my energy so far,'' said Federer, who won the French Open in 2009 and reached the semifinals last year. ''Mentally, I'm OK. I'm quite confident. I can feel it, which is what you need to be if you want to go deep and have good results here at Roland Garros.'' Simon, who's 28, doesn't think he can take advantage of any fitness lapses on Federer's part. ''I have never seen him look tired; I don't know about you,'' Simon said, jokingly, in response to a reporter's question. Federer lost his first two career matches against Simon but has won their past three, including a 6-1, 6-2 victory at Rome in May. ''The last time I played him it wasn't so good, and I can't forget that,'' Simon said. ''It doesn't mean much to me,'' was Federer's view of that match. ''He defeated me twice. It is always difficult to play against him.'' Federer is seeking a record 18th Grand Slam title, and his first since last year. ''I feel good,'' Federer said. ''I feel totally relaxed.'' The same could not be said of seven-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal. Frustrated by the scheduling of matches, he took the court at 11 a.m. local time and looked sluggish, coming from behind for the second match in a row to beat Slovakian Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. The Spaniard is aiming to become the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event. Entering the tournament, Nadal had lost only 14 sets in 53 matches at the French Open. But he has dropped the opening set in successive matches. Last year, he lost one in the entire tournament, and that was in the final against Novak Djokovic. Nadal criticized the tournament organizers for scheduling his match with Klizan late on Thursday when rain was predicted. The forecast proved correct, and the match was postponed a day, while Fognini enjoyed a day's rest having won his match earlier on Thursday. ''That's not fair,'' Nadal said. ''I was playing almost three hours on court, and my (next) opponent was watching the TV.'' Federer had some sympathy for Nadal, but only a little. ''I understand that he's frustrated,'' Federer said. ''But 50 percent of the players couldn't play their match.''
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