PARIS (AP) Clarisa Fernandez wants to share the joy she is feeling with the people of Argentina.
“I think it would be beautiful to take home some degree of happiness to all those people going through a hard time,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez picked up her second upset in as many rounds at the French Open yesterday, beating No. 13-seeded Elena Dementieva 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals. She beat fourth-seeded Kim Clijsters in straight sets in the third round.
Fernandez’s success in her first French Open is surprising considering she turned to tennis just five years ago at the advanced age of 15 and has never won a title.
“I’m very, very happy,” said the 20-year-old who is ranked 87th.
In the quarterfinals, she faces compatriot and friend Paola Suarez, who said that reaching the quarterfinals was “something beautiful” for Argentina, which is struggling through difficult financial times and social upheaval.
Suarez upset No 10. Amelie Mauresmo yesterday 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
Fernandez and Suarez shared the dream of becoming the first Argentine woman to win the French Open.
“My goal here is to win each match,” Fernandez said. “And I’m going to do everything possible so that it comes true.”
Argentina is also represented in the men’s quarterfinals.
No. 15 Guillermo Canas advanced to the quarters by beating top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt 6-7 (1), 7-6 (13), 6-4, 6-3.
No. 31 Gaston Gaudio plays his fourth-round match today against Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Serena on music TV
Serena Williams wants her MTV.
The music network featured the Williams family on its reality show MTV Diary.
“I was really excited. It’s when MTV follows you around,” Williams said. “It was a lot of fun.”
The episode was filmed in March during a tournament in Miami, where Serena beat her older sister, Venus, in the semifinals.
Serena Williams went on to beat Jennifer Capriati in the final.
“It was just like a dream come true for them because I won the tournament,” Serena Williams said.
The show also includes Serena in the kitchen making gumbo with her mom, playing with her dog and working out at a gym.
Serena Williams, who beat Russia’s Vera Zvonereva 4-6, 6-0, 6-1, in a third-round match yesterday, said she hasn’t seen the show, which aired recently.
“They’re going to send me some tapes,” she said.
She faces France’s Mary Pierce in the quarterfinals.
Pierce, Seles in quarters
Monica Seles and Mary Pierce missed the French Open last year because of injuries. Now they’re back. And back in the quarterfinals.
They joined other familiar names in reaching the final eight: top-seeded Jennifer Capriati, Venus and Serena Williams, Jelena Dokic. And some not well-known ones: Clarisa Fernandez and Paola Suarez of Argentina.
“It’s incredible. It’s a bit unbelievable,” said Pierce, the 2000 champion, who needed a wild card to get into this year’s tournament. “As soon as I came here, I felt something special, something completely different. I love playing here, I’m at ease. I’m at home.”