(June 1, 2014) Eighteenth seed Ernest Gulbis rallied from a set and a break down to defeat fourth seed Roger Federer 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 on Sunday to reach the quarterfinals of the French Open.
Roger Federer had a chance to break the tie for the record of making Grand Slam quarterfinals her currently shares with Jimmy Connors at 41.
This is the 17-time major champion’s earliest exit from Roland Garros since 2004, when he was ousted in the third round by Gustavo Kuerten.
Federer led 7-6(5), 5-3 40-15, two point to take a two-sets to none lead.
“Things got tough from then on for, like, a half-hour for me,” said the 32-year-old Federer.
“After the chance in the second set, fighting back in the fourth, not to play a better fifth set. There are a lot of regrets here now. But I think Gulbis did a good job of hanging around and clearly coming back in that second set was crucial for him, I think. It was a tough match and I’m disappointed I lost it.”
“A lot of regrets,” Federer said in his post –match news conference. “I just couldn’t kind of figure it out.”
“I think it was the biggest, probably, win of my career,” said Gulbis.
“For my confidence and just for me as a tennis player, a five-set win over Roger Federer, it’s really big,” he continued. “Hopefully it’s going to change me that I become more confident about myself, you know, on a tennis court.”
Gulbis said to the spectators on center court after the match: “I’m sorry I had to win. I know all of you like Roger.”
No. 4 Federer gets added to the list of upsets at the 2014 French Open which include: No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 2 Li Na, who lost in the first round and No. 1 Serena Williams who was beaten in the second and No. 3 Agnieszska Radwanska who was beaten in the third round.
Gulbis will face No. 6 Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals. The 25-year-old Gulbis reached the quarterfinals of Paris in 2008.
No. 7 Andy Murray and No. 24 Fernando Verdasco both won matches halted by darkness to set up a fourth-round face-off. Murray defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 12-10 while Verdasco defeated Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
No. 6 Tomas Berdych defeated the last U. S. man in the draw, John Isner 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.