With every round that she passes, former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova's chances of winning a second French Open title grow.

It is five years since she won her first but the Russian was all business yesterday as she took care of the Czech Lucie Safarova in the last 16, a 6-3, 6-4 victory secured as a result of Kuznetsova's greater experience around a clay court.

With odds of 100-1 agaisnt her winning when the tournament began, Kuznetsova has snuck under the radar. She acknowledges that she is relishing being the underdog and will assume that role again when she faces the fourth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep.

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"It's going to be amazing, difficult, and I am excited to play with her," Kuznetsova said. "She's a very good player, she's already in the top 10 and I think she's going to be even better than she is now."

Halep, whose climb to the top five has been little short of meteoric in the past year, ended the run of the last American standing by beating Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-3 to reach her second straight grand slam quarter-final.

The other quarter-final of the bottom half will be contested by Italy's Sara Errani and Germany's Andrea Petkovic. Errani held off Jelena Jankovic 7-6, 6-2 and Petkovic defeated Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.