Friday, Dec 19, 2014

French Open: Roger Federer bows out

Federer has bowed out before the quarterfinals at three of the last four majors, including a fourth-round loss at the U.S. Open in September. (Source: AP) Federer has bowed out before the quarterfinals at three of the last four majors, including a fourth-round loss at the U.S. Open in September. (Source: AP)
By: Associated Press | Paris | Posted: June 1, 2014 6:52 pm | Updated: June 1, 2014 10:54 pm

points, punctuating most shots with exhales that sounded like growls, although Federer did end up evening the match at two sets apiece.

The fifth set was all Gulbis, who hadn’t been to the quarterfinals at a major tournament since the 2008 French Open. He’s spoken openly in the past about focusing more on enjoying the nightlife than perfecting his craft and also drew attention last week for saying he wouldn’t encourage his younger sisters to pursue professional tennis because, “A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids.”

In the concluding set, Gulbis needed only 10 minutes to race to a 3-0 lead, thanks in part to Federer miscues. In the second game, for example, Federer netted backhands and forehands to offer up break points, then pushed a run-around, inside-out forehand wide to give Gulbis a lead he’d never relinquish.

After that miss, Federer grabbed a ball and swatted it in anger straight up in the air, a rare sign of exasperation from him.

The result was not as monumentally shocking as it would have been a few years ago, given that Federer is getting older and he’s no longer as impervious as he once was. Still, it fit with the topsy-turvy nature of the 2014 French Open, which saw both reigning Australian Open singles champions, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 2 Li Na, lose in the first round. No. 1 Serena Williams left in the second round.

Next for Gulbis will be a match against No. 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who eliminated No. 10 John Isner of the United States 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. In another fourth-round match, No. 8 Milos Raonic of Canada beat 39th-ranked Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and No. 24 Fernando Verdasco set up a fourth-round meeting by finishing off victories in matches suspended Saturday night because of fading light.

In women’s action, No. 18 Eugenie Bouchard of Canada swept No. 8 Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-1, 6-2 and will face No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain in the quarterfinals.

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