French Open 2014: Ernests Gulbis knocks out Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic through
Last Updated: 01/06/14 8:24pm
Roger Federer failed to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros for the first time in 10 years after being beaten by Ernests Gulbis at the French Open.
Latvian Gulbis triumphed 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 4-6 6-3 on Philippe Chatrier to knock out the 2009 champion in Paris and record surely the biggest win of his career to date.
His reward for seeing off the fourth seed is a clash with Tomas Berdych, the man from the Czech Republic having beaten American John Isner in straight sets.
Federer, meanwhile, will have to lick his wounds and come again ahead of the start of the grass-court season. He last failed to make the quarter-finals in France in 2004, losing in the third round to Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten.
His cause on Sunday was not helped by 59 unforced errors, the last of them coming when he flashed a backhand well wide when trying to kill off a match point for his opponent.
The Swiss rallied from 4-2 down to take the opening set and then looked on course to double his lead until Gulbis, warned for breaking his racquet during the second, forced a tie break that eventually went his way.
I've been playing very well in France, winning tournaments in Marseille and Nice and hope the next one will be here.
The 18th seed then rather summed up his career in the next two sets; the third saw him comfortably on top, recording two breaks in the process, before going completely off the boil in the next.
Federer duly took advantage to level matters again, though it took him two attempts to serve out for the fourth set after his opponent had grabbed one break back following a medical time-out for a back injury.
Gulbis, though, started the decider in impressive fashion, quickly registering a break on his way to a 3-0 lead.
He set up two match points with a 13th ace of the afternoon and then was gifted the upset win by an error from Federer, putting Gulbis through to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time since 2008.
"It was the biggest win of my career," he said afterwards. "I've been playing very well in France, winning tournaments in Marseille and Nice and hope the next one will be here.
"I have a new coach and it is working good. I hope I won over some of the fans and have a few more when I play Tomas Berdych next."
Second seed Novak Djokovic had no such trouble as he breezed through to the quarter-finals with a 6-1 6-4 6-1 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
An expectant crown on Court Philippe Chatrier were expecting French favourite Tsonga to at least put up a fight, but they were left sorely disappointed.
Tsonga failed to mount anything resembling a challenge for victory, his only moment of hope coming when he fought back from 2-5 to 4-5 in the second set.
Djokovic, who will complete a career Grand Slam if he wins the Roland Garros title, needed just an hour and 29 minutes to set up a last-eight clash with Milos Raonic, who defeated Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-3 6-3.