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This article was published 2/6/2012 (1547 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
PARIS -- If love means never having to say you're sorry, what about 6-love?
Depends which side of the French Open scoreboard you're on, apparently.
Maria Sharapova feels not a shred of remorse about the way she's been finishing off opponents quickly -- a total of five games lost through three matches at Roland Garros this year, including a 6-0, 6-0 win in the first round.
The 27th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, meanwhile, was on the wrong end of a shutout set Saturday and decided he needed to apologize right then and there to the ticket-buyers in the seats at Court Suzanne Lenglen. Finally having won one game against David Ferrer, Youzhny used the toe of his right shoe to carve out "SORRi!"
Ferrer put Youzhny through the wringer 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.
"There was a lot of people. That's why I write 'sorry.' Because I can't show them a nice game," Youzhny said. "The way we played in the beginning, it was not really interesting for people."
Youzhny is well-known for a more painful on-court meltdown. In 2008 at the Sony Ericsson Open, Youzhny whacked himself in the head with his racket three times after losing a point. The antic left him with a thick stream of blood running from his hairline down his nose.
Also Saturday, defending champion Rafael Nadal beat Eduardo Schwank of Argentina 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 to improve his French Open record to 48-1. And Maria Sharapova completed her third straight rout, defeating Peng Shuai of China 6-2, 6-1. Sharapova has lost only five games through three matches at Roland Garros this year.
"In the next round, it starts from 0-0. Whoever you're playing, you have to go and try and do the same thing," Sharapova said. "There are a lot more rounds to go. It just gets tougher from this point."
Against Ferrer, Youzhny won his first game early in the second set, making it 2-1. He held serve at love when Ferrer sent a forehand return into the net.
But instead of heading straight for his chair for the changeover, he stopped just inside the service line and started writing out his message.
A ball boy stood nearby with Youzhny's towel, and then backed off as the Russian continued drawing out the letters.
"People in the stands may not have noticed, but I think I had to do this," Youzhny said.
Ferrer said he didn't even see it.
"I don't know why he put this in the court, but I don't have (anything) to say," said Ferrer, who is the fourth round at Roland Garros for the fourth time.
Fourth-seeded Andy Murray also advanced, beating Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia defeated Julien Benneteau of France 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
On the women's side, 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone lost to Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 3-6, 6-3, 8-6 and fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova advanced by beating Nina Bratchikova of Russia 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
Defending champion Li Na also advanced, but needed three sets to defeat Christina McHale of the United States 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Lepchenko, who was born in Uzbekistan but now lives in Pennsylvania, is unseeded at Roland Garros and had never before made it past the second round at any Grand Slam tournament.
She had 44 unforced errors against Schiavone, but still managed to advance.
"It's her court, you know," Lepchenko said. "I knew that she's not going to give it for free. I had to work really hard, and I did."
-- The Associated Press