Earnest victory for Gulbis

Earnest victory for Gulbis

Roger Federer slipped to the level of ordinary mortals at the French Open on Sunday when he was beaten 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the fourth round by 18th seed Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.

It was the fourth seed's earliest departure at Roland Garros since 2004 and the 2009 champion can have few complaints as Gulbis earned the biggest win of his career.
Federer made an unusually high number of unforced errors on the Philippe Chatrier show court and looked a subdued figure by the end of the match.

Gulbis struck his groundstrokes with real venom and produced some deft touches to fully deserve his first place in a grand slam quarterfinal since 2008, also in Paris.

A man who freely admits he has wasted his talent since that breakthrough at Roland Garros six years ago, world No. 17 Gulbis said earlier in the week that he was "jumping on the last-chance train" at the age of 25.

He plays Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic in the last eight after the sixth seed beat American John Isner in straight sets.

“It was the biggest win of my career,” said Gulbis who has already won two titles this year. “I've been playing very well in France, winning tournaments in Marseille and Nice and hope the next one will be here.”

Bouchard rises

Eugenie Bouchard's meteoric rise continued on Sunday when the baby-faced Canadian demolished Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-2 to claim a quarterfinal spot at the French Open.
The 18th seeded Bouchard, who reached the Australian Open semifinal this year, blazed away with 30 winners in just 52 minutes on court Philippe Chatrier.

Andy Murray survived a cliffhanger against Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber, returning to court on Sunday to win 12-10 in the deciding set after their third-round match had been stopped by bad light at 7-7 in the fifth the previous evening.

French hopes took a knock as Richard Gasquet failed to stage a comeback against Spain's Fernando Verdasco in another third round match held over from Saturday.

Bouchard's pace and variety of shots was too much to handle for the higher-seeded Kerber, who had reached the last eight at Roland Garros in 2012.

The German was caught snoozing early on and went 5-0 down, never recovering as Bouchard set up a meeting with 14th seed Carla Suarez Navarro after the Spaniard used her one-handed backhand to great effect to end the run of up-and-coming Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic with a 6-3, 6-3 win.

"I feel like since the beginning of the year I have been improving my game, since Australia I'm at a different level from there," said Bouchard, who claimed her first WTA title the previous week in Nuremberg.

"I have been feeling that way in practice and in matches recently. Even if it's not always there, I know that I can really play at a good level.

"I have confidence in myself. I can play like this and play even better," the 20-year-old added.

In the men's draw, sixth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic was the first to advance into the quarterfinals, dismissing the towering John Isner 6-4 6-4 6-4.

Berdych broke the American 10th seed's serve once in each set for a no-nonsense victory to book a quarter-final encounter with either 17-times Grand Slam champion Roger Federer or Latvia's Ernests Gulbis.

Murray set up a fourth-round clash with Verdasco, after holding his nerve in a high-quality finale to his clash with Kohlschreiber on Court Suzanne Lenglen.


Results (prefix denotes seeding): Men: Fourth round: 8-Milos Raonic (Can) bt Marcel Granollers (Esp) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3; 18-Ernests Gulbis (Lat) bt 4-Roger Federer (Sui) 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3; 6-Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt 10-John Isner (US) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.  
Third round: 7-Andy Murray (Gbr) bt 28-Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 12-10; 24-Fernando Verdasco (Esp) bt 12-Richard Gasquet (Fra) 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
Women (fourth round): 14-Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (Croatia) 6-3 6-3; 18-Eugenie Bouchard (Can) bt 8-Angelique Kerber (Germany) 6-1, 6-2.

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