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Sloane Stephens rallies to advance

PARIS -- Sloane Stephens of the United States reached the French Open's fourth round for the second consecutive year with a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 victory Saturday over 92nd-ranked Marina Erakovic, who was penalized a point in the third set for getting coached.

The 17th-seeded Stephens won the last three games against Erakovic, the first woman from New Zealand to get to the third round in Paris.

A year ago, Stephens became the first U.S. teenager to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros since Serena Williams in 2001. She followed that up by getting to her first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open this January, beating Williams to get there.

"This is my favorite tournament," said Stephens, now 20, "so I would really, really, really love to win this tournament. But that's a long shot."

Stephens will face defending champion Maria Sharapova for a spot in the quarterfinals. Sharapova moved on with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Jie Zheng.

Sharapova overcame eight double-faults, an incorrect call and a second-set deficit to win. She shook off the setback, sweeping the next three games after the bad call for 4-all, and broke in the final game.

"I'm happy with the way I fought back and I found a way to win," Sharapova said.

Former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka had to overcome a slow start and 10 double-faults to reach the fourth round. She rallied past Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Seeded third, Azarenka advanced despite 10 double-faults and being broken six times. She blew an easy overhead to lose the first game of the final set, then swept the last six games thanks to relentless baseline play that wore down Cornet.

"I think I left it home today," Azarenka said, when asked about her serve. "If I can win with serving like this, that's pretty remarkable."

Cornet, seeded 31st, stumbled and fell at the start of the second set and was slow to rise. She was unhurt but lost her composure as the match slipped away, screaming at herself between points and once spiking two balls in anger.

"I dropped one or two games, but that's enough for your head to go under the water," Cornet said.

Azarenka has won the Australian Open each of the past two years. Roland Garros is the only major tournament where she has yet to reach the semifinal.

American Bethanie Mattek-Sands reached the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament for the second time in 27 appearances, coming back to beat 118th-ranked qualifier Paula Ormaechea of Argentina 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. Former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone also advanced, easily beating 13th-seeded Marion Bartoli of France 6-2, 6-1.

Mattek-Sands, who has been ranked as high as 30th and is currently 67th, matched her showing at Wimbledon in 2008.

She will play 12th-seeded Maria Kirilenko or unseeded Stefanie Voegele for a chance to get to a major quarterfinal for the first time. 

The 28-year-old Mattek-Sands lost in the first or second round at 19 of her first 20 Grand Slam appearances. She pulled off the biggest surprise of the 2013 French Open so far in the second round, eliminating 2011 champion Li Na, who was seeded sixth.

Fellow American Jamie Hampton stunned 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 7-6 (7) to reach a Grand Slam fourth round for the first time.

The 54th-ranked Hampton, who lives in Auburn, Ala., needed only 13 winners because the seventh-seeded Kvitova finished with 33 unforced errors, 15 more than the American. Kvitova was a French Open semifinalist in 2012.

Hampton will play former top-ranked player Jelena Jankovic, who beat ninth-seeded Sam Stosur of Australia 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The 18th-seeded Jankovic, a three-time semifinalist at Roland Garros, sealed victory on her fourth match point with an ace, shortly after Stosur missed a chance to break back to 5-5.

Three years ago, Stosur beat Jankovic in the semis to reach the Roland Garros final. This time, the 2011 U.S. Open champion took control of the opening set by breaking Jankovic's serve on her first try.

But Stosur dropped her serve twice in the second set and three times in the third.

Stephens was three points away from closing out her 2-hour, 17-minute match against Erakovic much earlier, ahead 4-2 in the second-set tiebreaker. But Erakovic took five of the next six points to force a third set.

Stephens then faced two break points in each of her next two service games, but saved all four to lead 2-1.

At the ensuing changeover, the chair umpire announced Erakovic would be docked a point for coaching, which is not allowed during Grand Slam matches.

She argued and shook her head, and then went out and got broken to trail 3-1. But up a break against a flustered opponent, Stephens got broken right back when she put a forehand into the net. Erakovic held in the next game, making it 3-all.

But Stephens wouldn't drop another game.

The center court stands were half-empty on a cloudy, mild day for Azarenka's match. Crowds will likely be bigger for her next week, and so will the stakes.

"Center court is something that motivates me every time I walk on court," she told the crowd after her victory, "and I can't wait to be back here."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.