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Confident Bouchard through to last eight at French Open

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Eugenie Bouchard's meteoric rise continued on Sunday when the baby-faced Canadian demolished Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-2 to claim a quarter-final spot at the French Open.

The 18th seeded Bouchard, who reached the Australian Open semi-final this year, blazed away with 30 winners in just 52 minutes on court Philippe Chatrier.

Bouchard's pace and variety of shots was too much to handle for Kerber, who had reached the last eight at Roland Garros in 2012.

The German was caught snoozing early on and went 5-0 down, and never recovered as Bouchard, who will face either Spanish 14th seed Carla Suarez Navarro or unseeded Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic, hit her stride.

"I feel like since the beginning of the year I have been improving my game, since Australia I'm at a different level from there," said Bouchard.

"I have been feeling that way in practice and in matches recently. Even if it's not always there, I know that I can really play at a good level.

"I have confidence in myself. I can play like this and play even better," the 20-year-old added.

Predicting that Bouchard could win the title, Kerber said: "She's a great player. She played very well today. But I actually didn't find my rhythm."

In the men's draw, sixth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic was the first to advance into the last eight, dismissing the towering John Isner 6-4 6-4 6-4.

Berdych broke the American 10th seed's serve once in each set to book a quarter-final encounter with either 17-times grand slam champion Roger Federer or Latvia's Ernests Gulbis.

In a third-round match interrupted because of bad light, Spain's Fernando Verdasco barely broke sweat to see off French 12th seed Richard Gasquet, the 24th seed taking advantage of his opponent's lethargy to win 6-3 6-2 6-3.

Later on Sunday, world number two Novak Djokovic, chasing the only grand slam title missing from his collection, faces Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 13th seed.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Martyn Herman)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140601/tennis-confident-bouchard-through-last-eight-at-french-open