Top-seeded Jimmy Connors, playing an aggressive game not normally seen on clay, routed Eric Fromm, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1, in less than two hours today, gaining the men's quarterfinals of the French Open tennis championships.
After saying he had never felt so comfortable on clay, Connors added, "I am playing with no fear. I am not scared of anything.
"I am hitting a lot of good balls. I have a good top spin, good slice and am hitting a variety of shots. I am happy to stay out there for six hours and hit 15 to 20 balls in one point."
Chris Evert Lloyd, now the favorite for the women's title, had a bit more difficulty than Connors, dropping her first set of the tournament before defeating 18-year-old Helena Sukova, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
No. 3 Andrea Jaeger, suffering from laryngitis, defeated Anne Hobbs, 6-2, 6-4; Gretchen Rush defeated Ivanna Madruga-Osses, 6-3, 6-2, and No. 8 Hana Mandlikova defeated Andrea Temesvari, 6-2, 6-1.
In other men's matches, third-seeded Ivan Lendl wore down Brian Gottfried, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3, in a base line contest lasting 2 1/2 hours, and Yannick Noah, bidding to be the first French winner of the title in 37 years, defeated John Alexander, 6-2, 7-6, 6-1, as an excited crowd at Roland Garros Stadium shouted encouragement.
Connors, whose reputation has been made on faster surfaces, said he is enjoying playing on clay. Unlike veteran clay-court players who stick to the base line, Connors raced about center court, hitting numerous winning volleys against Fromm.
Connors said his game had improved generally since last year's disappointing quarterfinal defeat on this slow clay.
"When I left here and changed to grass I decided to improve my serve, to attack more and to get to the net more, and that is what is helping me here," he said.
"I am getting a lot more first serves in with more speed and getting to the net more. I am volleying better too."
Connors is seeded to meet No. 2 John McEnroe in the final. No American has won the French Open title in 28 years, the last being Tony Trabert in 1955.
Evert, favored in the women's competition since defending champion Martina Navratilova lost to 17-year-old Kathy Horvath on Saturday, had no easy time with Sukova. The underdog excited the fans in the second set by keeping Evert off balance with drop shots.
"I guess drop shots are the way to beat me," Evert said. "Helena played a lot of good shots, but she also played some bad ones. I don't think she moves very well. But she serves and volleys well and she could be tough on grass."
The Jaeger-Hobbs match was played in a cold wind at day's start. Jaeger told the media in a hoarse, croaking voice, "There seems to be a virus going round. It is hard to get rid of. You should really sweat it out, but you can't because it's so cold.
"It has cut down my practice, and I think it affects my game a little. But I play with my racket, not my throat."
In the quarterfinals Evert will play Mandlikova and Jaeger will play Rush, who has not yet turned professional. Horvath will play Mima Jausovec, and Tracy Austin will play Britain's Jo Durie.
Against Lendl, Gottfried had a set point at 6-5 in the first set. At the end he saved four match points before going under.
The next-to-last point was held up several minutes when Gottfried, after losing a long rally, wanted it played again because he thought his own service had been long.
Lendl and Noah will face each other in the quarterfinals, while Connors meets another Frenchman, Christophe Roger-Vasselin, the only unseeded player left. Today he beat Fernando Luna, 6-2, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.
Eight men, including McEnroe and defending champion Mats Wilander, still must play their fourth-round matches.