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In A First, Kazakhstan's Shvedova Reaches Fourth Round At French Open


Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova defeated Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets.
For the first time, a female player from Central Asia -- Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan -- has reached the fourth round at a Grand Slam tennis tournament.

Shvedova's winning streak at this year's French Open in Paris included a straight-set second-round defeat of Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who's ranked No. 8 in the world.

The 22-year-old Russian-born Shvedova, who's ranked 36th, became a naturalized Kazakh citizen as part of Kazakhstan's campaign to boost its sports profile.

Shvedova plays Australia's Jarmila Groth later today for a place in the quarter-finals. (Shvedova went on to beat Groth 6-4, 6-3. She lost against fourth-ranked Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in the quarter-finals 7-5, 6-4. -- Eds.)

Another Central Asian player also exceeded expectations at Roland Garros this year.

Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan (pictured below) reached the third round before losing to South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers in straight sets.

Amanmuradova caused quite a stir in the first round last week when she beat 20th-ranked Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in straight sets.

-- Farangis Najibullah
Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova (above) defeated Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the first round on May 23.