Ivanovic returns to French quarters

Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - It took awhile, but former French Open women's champion Ana Ivanovic has again reached the second week of the tournament.

Ivanovic won her lone Grand Slam title back in 2008 at Roland Garros, but hadn't advanced past the fourth round in the six years since winning that championship.

The seventh-seeded Serb waited out a nearly three-hour rain delay on Sunday before earning a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 triumph over Russian Ekaterina Makarova. She had been knocked out in the fourth round twice, with a pair of third-round losses, a second-round exit and a first-round flameout since beating Dinara Safina for the 2008 crown.

"To be honest, coming into the tournament I didn't expect this at all," said Ivanovic, whose last major quarterfinal was the 2014 Australian Open. "But I really worked hard for each match. I worked hard even before the tournament to reach the quarterfinals here again.

"On the one hand it does feel like this is a different life since the last time I was in the quarterfinals, but on the other I feel like time is really flying."

Ivanovic was ahead 3-2 when play was stopped because of the rain. Once play resumed, she broke serve to win the first set. A double fault gave the ninth- seeded Makarova an early break to capture the second before Ivanovic simply dominated the third.

"The conditions were very tough. It was very gusty, and rain was coming at times," Ivanovic added. "In the third, I knew I had to step up my level because she's a very dangerous opponent. She gets a lot of balls, and she was very aggressive on her down-the-line shots. I tried to take that away from her."

Next up for Ivanovic will be Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, who advanced with a 6-2, 7-6 (11-9) win over French favorite Alize Cornet.

Svitolina, a three-time WTA Tour winner including this year at Marrakech, will play in her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal. Her best results in 10 previous major tournaments were third-round appearances at the Australian Open the last two years.

Ivanovic has never lost to Svitolina in six lifetime meetings, including a 6-3, 6-4 rout in the second round at the Madrid Open earlier this spring.

Two other women's fourth-round matches scheduled for Sunday were pushed back to Monday because of the lengthy rain delay.

Reigning champion Maria Sharapova, this year's second seed, will take on Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic and Italy's Flavia Pennetta will meet Spain's Garbine Muguruza.

The other four quarterfinal matches will also take place Monday, highlighted by the all-American matchup between two-time champion and top seed Serena Williams against Sloane Stephens. Stephens already eliminated Venus Williams in the first round.

Also Monday, Sara Errani will face Julia Goerges, Petra Kvitova will face Timea Bacsinszky and Alison Van Uytvanck will battle Andreea Mitu.