Simona Halep beats Elise Mertens at the French Open

Simona Halep
Simona Halep

A review of Monday's action in the women’s French Open draw, where Simona Halep cruised into the quarter-finals.

Top seed Simona Halep made short work of Elise Mertens to reach the quarter-finals of the French Open.

The Romanian has twice been a finalist at Roland Garros but is still looking for a first grand slam title.

Halep breezed through the first set with Belgian 16th seed Mertens, who beat Britain's Heather Watson in round two, simply overwhelmed by her power and consistency.

Any hopes of a Mertens comeback were extinguished when the world number one broke in the first game of the second set, which she wrapped up in just 21 minutes to register a commanding 6-2 6-1 victory.

Serena Williams withdrew from her fourth-round clash with Maria Sharapova through injury.

The 36-year-old American, playing in her first grand slam since giving birth to her daughter in September, said she has a muscle problem.

The showdown with Sharapova was eagerly awaited given the colourful history between the pair, and Williams' dominant record over the Russian of 19 wins to two.

She said: "Unfortunately I've been having some issues with my pec muscle. Right now I can't actually serve so it's actually hard to play when I can't physically serve.

"I'm beyond disappointed. I gave up so much from time with my daughter and time with my family all for this moment. So it's really difficult to be in this situation."

Former world number one Angelique Kerber will meet top seed Halep in the quarter-finals after her straight-sets victory over home favourite Caroline Garcia.

German Kerber, seeded 12th, broke Garcia in the opening game and did not look back en route to a convincing 6-2 6-3 win which was wrapped up in little more than an hour.

Seventh seed Garcia, the last French representative in the tournament who was aiming to become the first home champion since Mary Pierce in 2000, had the support of the crowd but offered little resistance to the two-time grand slam winner.

Kerber has never been past the last eight at Roland Garros and faces a tough task to end that record with world number one Halep in very good form at present.

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki was a surprise fourth round casualty at the hands of Russian youngster Daria Kasatkina.

Kasatkina, a former junior champion at Roland Garros, won the first set on a tie-break on Sunday evening but, in fading light, the players were taken off court at 3-3 in the second.

The 21-year-old picked up where she left off, converting a third break point against the Australian Open champion before completing a 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 victory.

Kasatkina will face American 10th seed Sloane Stephens in the last eight.

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza is through after her opponent Lesia Tsurenko retired injured.

The Spaniard was 2-0 up in the first set when Tsurenko seemed to injure her thigh as she stretched for a shot.

She was unable to continue so Muguruza will meet Sharapova in the last eight.

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