Updated: Monday, 02 June 2014 01:17 | By Agence France-Presse

New faces thrive at French Open

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain led a new wave charge into the French Open quarter-finals at Roland Garros on Sunday.


New faces thrive at French Open

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard serves to Germany's Angelique Kerber during their French Open last-16 match at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, on June 1, 2014 - by Miguel Medina

Bouchard, a 20-year-old Canadian from Montreal, who has stormed up the world rankings in the last year, crushed German eighth seed Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-2 to reach her second Grand Slam quarter-final. Her first came in Australia in January when she made it through to the semis.

Suarez Navarro a 25-year Canary Islander, is through to her fourth Grand Slam quarter-final, six years after playing in the last eight at Roland Garros on her debut in the competition.

The 14th seed saw off the challenge of Croatia's Ajla Tomljanovic, winning 6-3, 6-3.

The youngest player left in the draw, Bouchard, seeded 18, had made a slow start to her two previous matches, but she hit the deck running against the big-hitting Kerber, a Roland Garros quarter-finalist in 2012.

The former world junior number one led 5-0 before allowing her opponent a game and despite some sterner resistance from Kerber at the start of the second set, it was mainly a case of one-way traffic.

Bouchard, who won her first career title in Nuremberg in the week before Roland Garros started, said that she was confident she could go deeper into the tournament.

"I mean, I'm confident, you know, and I really believe in my skills. I believe I can play with the best girls out there," she said.

"She's top 10 (Kerber), so I respect her. She can play some really good tennis. I was really mentally prepared for anything, for a battle."

The quarter-final spots for Bouchard and Suarez Navarro were symptomatic of a women's tournament full of surprises and new faces with the three top seeds -- Serena Williams, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska -- all failing to make the fourth round, the first time that has happened in the Open era.

The highest-ranking seed left is fourth-ranked Simona Halep of Romania, although seventh seed Maria Sharapova, the 2012 champion and last year's runner-up, is generally seen as the favourite.

Asked what she thought of her chances against Suarez Navarro, whose best surface is clay, Bouchard replied: "She's a bit unique because she has a one‑handed backhand.

"Not many girls have that. I played her at Wimbledon last year on grass obviously, so it was faster.

"I think she has a very solid game. I practiced with her a few times, as well. She can really create some good angles, really rip the ball."

Suarez Navarro, the highest-ranked women with a singlehanded backhand, said that she was a different player and a different person now to what see was in 2008 when she last reached the quarter-finals in Paris.

"I have changed. I am more aggressive, more consistent, but there is more I can do.  Compared with 2008, I'm definitely more aggressive.

"When you're 25, you're more mature than when you're 18 or 19. Nowadays, I am much more aware of what is taking place.

"I have learned to take everything at the right level, give everything its deserved importance. So I'm more mature than the Carla in 2008."

Sunday's remaining fourth round ties sees Sharapova take on Australia's Samantha Stosur, a finalist at Roland Garros in 2010 and the 2011 US Open winner, while Serena Williams' conquerer, 20-year-old Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, plays French wildcard Pauline Parmentier.

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