Pete Sampras won quickly for a change. Monica Seles put aside memories of her 1993 stabbing. Steffi Graf extended her mastery over Mary Joe Fernandez.
The top seeds all enjoyed straight-set victories Sunday to reach the quarterfinals of the French Open on a gray, wet day at Roland Garros.Sampras, passing another key test in his bid for his first French Open title, outplayed the talented Australian Scott Draper 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.
"It was a bit of up and down tennis," Sampras said. "It was very cold, very heavy, which isn't great for my game."
Draper, who reached the fourth round here last year, kept close with Sampras for the first two sets. But he seemed to fold after failing to convert two break points at 5-5 in the second.
"That was my chance," Draper said. "I didn't capitalize on it."
Best of all for Sampras, the match was over in 1 hour, 51 minutes. In his first three matches, Sampras played 13 sets over 8 hours, 22 minutes - including five-setters against Sergi Bruguera and Todd Martin.
"My body is a little bit tired, a little bit sore," Sampras said. "It's good to win in three sets. Being out there for three or three-and-a-half hours wears you down. To go out and get it done reasonably quickly, it just helps you out in the long run."
It's the fourth time Sampras has reached the quarterfinals in Paris. His next opponent will be seventh-seeded Jim Courier, the former two-time champion who downed No. 10 Wayne Ferreira of South Africa 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.
In their only previous meeting on clay, Courier beat Sampras in the French Open quarterfinals two years ago.
"I've got my work cut out for me," Sampras said. "It's certainly going to be a battle."
Seles, who shares the women's top seeding with Graf, needed only 52 minutes to post a 6-1, 6-1 victory over 13th-seeded Magdalena Maleeva - her opponent on the day she was knifed during a changeover in Hamburg, Germany, three years ago.
"I was pretty nervous this morning," Seles said. "I was a little bit edgy in practice before the match. On the changeover, it was really tough. I said to myself, `Just keep going and keep not thinking about it, it's just another tennis match."'
Seles played her best tennis of the tournament, moving Maleeva around the court at will, stepping in to knock off winners and showing no signs of the lingering shoulder injury that had previously restricted her serve.
"My serve felt great today, so much better than any other previous matches," Seles said. "I feel more comfortable with my shots, going for them a little bit, being a little bit more patient."
Seles next faces No. 10 Jana Novotna, who beat Romania's Irina Spirlea 6-1, 7-5.
Graf rallied from 0-4 down in the second-second tiebreaker to beat the 11th-seeded Fernandez 6-1, 7-6 (9-7), running her career record against the American to 15-0.
The match was suspended by rain for 90 minutes early in the second set. During the break, Fernandez discussed tactics with her coach, Harold Solomon. When the match resumed, she came out playing aggressive, serve-and-volley tennis to push the set into a tiebreaker.
A third set seemed likely as Fernandez raced to a 4-0 lead, but Graf responded by winning six straight points. Fernandez saved two match points, and a third at 7-6. But Graf converted on the fourth when Fernandez netted a forehand.
"A big lead on Graf is really not that big a deal," Fernandez said. "You have to play every point and finish her off. That's why she's such a great champion. When she's behind, she raises the level of her game."
In other women's play, No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario beat Barbara Rittner 6-3, 6-4, while No. 6 Anke Huber was ousted 7-5, 6-3 by Karina Habsudova.
Lindsay Davenport, the ninth seed, overcame No. 7 Kimiko Date 3-6, 6-4, 8-6 in a 2:06 match that ended in dark and drizzly conditions. Davenport lost to Date in the fourth round last year in similar circumstances.
"God, this feels like deja vu," Davenport said. "I definitely feel extremely proud of this win."
The match between No. 3 Conchita Martinez and No. 14 Amanda Coetzer was suspended with the Spaniard leading 6-2, 4-1.
Among other men advancing were No. 6 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who beat Francisco Clavet 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, and No. 13 Richard Krajicek, who stopped Jonas Bjorkman, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.