Sharapova advances to last eight at US Open

Russia's Maria Sharapova celebrates defeating compatriot Nadia Petrova in the fourth round of the 2012 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on Sunday. (AFP)

Russian third seed Maria Sharapova advanced to the quarter-finals of the US Open on Sunday by defeating 19th-seeded compatriot Nadia Petrova 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in an Arthur Ashe Stadium night match.

Sharapova, who completed a career Grand Slam by capturing the French Open title last June, reached the last eight in the Flushing Meadows fortnight for the first time since her championship run six years ago.

Petrova, who fell to 1-9 all-time against Sharapova, failed in her bid to match her best US Open runs from 2004 and 2005.

Sharapova will next face French 11th seed Marion Bartoli, who beat Czech fifth seeded left-hander Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon winner, 1-6, 6-2, 6-0, to book her first trip to the US Open quarter-finals in her 11th attempt.

The Russian leads Bartoli 4-0 in their career rivalry, having never dropped a set to her French rival with her most recent triumph in a 2010 Cincinnati quarter-final.

Sharapova rolled through the first set in 31 minutes but Petrova broke her in the second and fourth games of the second set on the way to a 4-0 lead.

Sharapova broke back twice to level the set at 4-4, only to have Petrova break her again in the 10th game to capture the set and in the second game of the third set for a 2-0 lead before rain began falling to halt the match.

When play resumed more than an hour later, Sharapova broke back and held to level the match and broke again in the seventh game for a 4-3 edge, Sharapova pumping her fist with every point with Petrova helpless and frustrated.

Sharapova held serve twice more to claim the match after two hours and 14 minutes when Petrova netted a forehand.