Sharapova dumped out by Safina

Paris, June 2:

One point from the quarter-finals, Maria Sharapova again came up short at the French Open on Monday.

Seeking the only Grand Slam title she has yet to win, the top-ranked Sharapova blew a big lead and lost to fellow Russian Dinara Safina in the fourth round 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Sharapova won five straight games in the second set to go ahead 5-2, and held a match point serving at 5-3. As Safina’s comeback gained momentum, Sharapova was two points from victory three times, but she unraveled down the stretch and lost the final four games.

In the men’s draw, Roger Federer reached the 16th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-finals. The top-ranked Federer beat Julien Benneteau 6-4, 7-5, 7-5, despite a couple of missteps

along the way. Federer was broken while serving for each of the first two sets before closing them out.