MARSEILLE, France - Third-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia reached the Open 13 quarterfinals on Thursday after a hard-fought 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, while Michael Llodra advanced again in one of his favourite local tournaments. Tony Canadeo Jersey . Gulbis had 23 aces but needed more than two hours to win. Llodra, the 2010 champion and two-time runner-up, put out fourth-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy 7-6 (3), 6-4. Germanys Jan-Lennard Struff also secured an upset, beating seventh-seeded Julien Benneteau, the 2010 finalist, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3. Fifth-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia, No. 6 Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France, and No. 8 Nicolas Mahut of France progressed. Dodig beat Germanys Tobias Kamke 6-7 (4), 6-0, 6-3, Roger-Vasselin advanced with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 win against Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine to his third quarterfinals of the season, and Mahut won 7-6 (5), 6-3 against Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania. On Friday, Dodig faces top-seeded Richard Gasquet of France, Gulbis plays Mahut, Struff is up against Llodra and Roger-Vasselin takes on defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the second seed, in an all-French match. Don Majkowski Jersey . As TSN reported Thursday, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is under intense pressure from the federal government to focus drug testing on athletes who compete in international events representing Canada. Since funding for the tests has been frozen and the cost of testing can eclipse $1,000 per test, university athletes in a number of sports are being tested less often. Herb Adderley Jersey . -- Catriona Matthew remained atop the Airbus LPGA Classic leaderboard Friday, birdieing four of the last seven holes to take a one-stroke advantage over Charley Hull into the weekend.INDIANAPOLIS -- The orange and brown glasses slide down the bridge of Jacques Villeneuves nose. Along with the greying hair and growing bald spot, they give the Canadian driver a professorial vibe. Its only reinforced when he begins to speak. In clear, crisp sentences spiced by that unmistakable French-Canadian accent, Villeneuve lays out his opinion on just about anything -- especially when it comes to the Indy 500. He will talk about the latest generation of cars, lament the fact there is only one chassis manufacturer, and argue that spotters who are supposed to make the race safer have often had the opposite effect. Then hell talk about the speed and the danger. "Some younger drivers didnt grow up seeing racing as being dangerous," said Villeneuve, who is back at the Indianapolis 500 after a 19-year absence. "They break their little finger and they are surprised. Its like, Be happy its only that." Of course, Villeneuve forgets many of those younger drivers grew up watching him. James Hinchcliffe, a fellow Canadian, said his earliest memory of watching a race was 1995, when Villeneuve took advantage of a late penalty on Scott Goodyear to win the Indy 500. That was also the last time Villeneuve stepped into an Indy car at the iconic racetrack. At least, it was until this year. "Its cool to have him back," Hinchcliffe said, "because hes obviously one of the guys I looked up to as a young driver, and one of the guys I never thought Id have a chance to race." Villeneuve spent nearly two decades driving just about everything but an IndyCar. He won a Formula One title, tried his hand at NASCAR and drove at Le Mans. He dabbled in RallyCross and even raced V8 Supercars around the street circuits of Australia. But the lure of Indy started to tug him back. Villeneuve, who will start 27th on Sunday, watched with rapt attention last year as Tony Kanaan took the checkered flag. He was intrigued by the record number of lead changes, the way cars moved through the field and how stiff the competition had become. Villeneuve managed to land a ride with team owners Sam Schmidt and Rick Peterson, and will be part of a staable that includes Mikhail Aleshin and Simon Pagenaud on Sunday. Tramon Williams Jersey. "If I jumped from F-1 to this again, it wouldnt be an issue," Villeneuve said of the return to open-wheel racing, "but the first 20 laps, your eyes, your brain -- its not used to those speeds, so it is a big shock. You have to get out, breath again, and then get back in and its like, All right. Business as usual." His team may be an underfunded underdog, at least compared to heavyweights Penske, Ganassi and Andretti Autosport, and he may have struggled Friday in the final practice on Carb Day. But none of that will convince Villeneuve that he doesnt have a chance to win. "When I won here we were two laps down and we spent the whole race minding our own business," he said. "Thats the key: You should mind your own business. Figure out what is happening with everyone else at the end. You need a little bit of luck, and then you need to see how it pans out. I just hope Im not one of those people who does something stupid." Pagenaud was surprised to see his new teammate prepare for the race the moment he arrived in Indianapolis. Qualifying was almost an afterthought as Villeneuve gazed ahead to Sunday. "It actually makes me wonder why he focused so much on the race," Pagenaud said with a wry grin. "Im sure hell come up with something in the race and Ill learn then." If he does come up with something, Villeneuve could make history. The 43-year-old would break Al Unsers record of 17 years between victories that has stood since 1987. Even if he doesnt win, though, a good showing could prove invaluable. Villeneuve has dropped hints that he may be try to run the IndyCar series full-time next year, and that would turn the Indy 500 into quite an audition. "I had an opportunity to spend half an hour with Jacques in the garage area a week ago," said Goodyear, now an analyst for ABC. "Through all the questions I was asking him, catching up with him, I asked him, Why come back to something that youve won, have great memories with? "He said, Racing is my oxygen. I need to race something." ' ' '
Open 13 quarterfinals on
Open 13 quarterfinals on