and Venus Williams
both booked their places in the last eight of
the women's event. Former champion Serena glided past Shinobu Asagoeen, despite making more errors than she might have cared for.
The second seed made 28 unforced errors to Asagoe's 17, but Serena trounced the Japanese player when it came to winners, with 24 to her opponent's
meagre three. The margin of victory, after 55 minutes, was 6-3 6-1.
The younger of the Williams sisters has collected six grand slam titles in her career to date, one of which came in Paris two years ago. She will face
seventh seed Jennifer Capriati
, who beat Francesca Schiavone of Italy 7-5 6-1, in the quarter-finals. Elder sister and fourth seed Venus
reached the quarter-finals with a straightforward win over Colombian Fabiola Zuluaga.
Venus, who has never won this title, stormed through the first set 6-1 and won the second set on a tie-break to maintain her record of not dropping a
set at this year's tournament. She faces a clash with Anastasia Myskina
, who beat fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets.
Home favourite Amelie Mauresmo
faces a tough last-eight assignment against Russian star Elena Dementieva
after powering into the
quarter-finals with a strong performance against Bulgarian Magdalena Maleeva. Mauresmo, who is seeded third this year and fancied by many to carry off
her first grand slam title next Saturday, marched briskly past Maleeva 6-2 6-1.
, is also emerging as a serious contender in Paris, and she coasted into the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-1 win over German
Marlene Weingartner. The 18th seed has now achieved her best ever result at a grand slam event, improving on her previous high of reaching the fourth
round at last year's Wimbledon.
Argentinian Paola Suarez
is far more experienced, this being her 11th appearance at the French, and she stands in the way of Sharapova's bid to
reach the semi-finals. Suarez ended the brilliant run of China's Jie Zheng with a 6-4 7-5 win over the player who at this tournament became the first
woman from her country to ever reach the fourth round of a grand slam.