American Oudin races into quarters at Paris Open

PARIS (Reuters) - American Melanie Oudin thrashed experienced Swiss Patty Schnyder 6-1 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals at the Paris Open on Thursday.

The teenager, who had dropped just three games in her first round annihilation of Romania's Sorana Cirstea, breezed past her 31-year-old opponent in just over an hour.

Oudin's return of serve was superb as she stormed through the first set losing just one game. The world number 53 was almost as impressive taking the second set.

The 18-year-old, who reached the last eight at the U.S. Open, now faces Hungary's Agnes Szavay who beat Croatian Petra Martic 6-2 6-4.

Oudin's win sets up the possibility of a semi-final meeting with top seed and world number seven Elena Dementieva.

The Russian must first get past Germany's Andrea Petkovic who dashed French hopes of a quarter-finalist when she battled past fifth seed Aravane Rezai 6-3 3-6 6-3.

On the other side of the draw, Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic booked her place in the last eight with a 7-5 6-2 win over fourth seed Francesca Schiavone.

Safarova broke the Italian at 5-5 in the first and then held to take the set. The Czech broke Schiavone immediately in the second set before going on to triumph 7-5 6-2.

"I wanted to push her back into the trenches," said Safarova. "I really had to give 100 percent to win this match. It was pretty tight and difficult, so I'm glad to have made it through."

Her next opponent will be sixth seed Shahar Peer of Israel who cruised through with a 6-4 6-3 win over Croatia's Karolina Sprem.

In Friday's other quarter-final, number two seed Flavia Pennetta will meet fellow Italian Tathiana Garbin.

(Editing by Ian Ransom)