French Open: Roger Federer down but not out

Federer stretched in five set win against Frenchman Gilles Simon,makes quarterfinal.

Written by Agencies | Paris | Published: June 3, 2013 12:45:27 am

Roger Federer overcame a foot-twisting tumble to the clay and a two-sets-to-one deficit in the fourth round of the French Open,coming back to beat 15th-seeded Gilles Simon of France 6-1,4-6,2-6,6-2,6-3 on Sunday.

With 17-time major champion Federer up a set and 3-2 in the second,he fell to the ground while chasing a shot. That was the start of a stretch in which Federer lost 10 of 13 games,dropping the second and third sets. But he regrouped,taking seven consecutive games to even the match at two sets apiece and pull ahead 3-0 in the fifth.

Federer reached his 36th consecutive major quarterfinal. He hasn’t lost before that stage at a Grand Slam tournament since a third-round exit at Roland Garros in 2004. This was also his 900th tour win and the 2009 champion will now face another Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the semi-finals.

Serena Williamsb extended her career-best winning streak to 28 matches by beating Roberta Vinci 6-1,6-3 on Sunday. The 15-time Grand Slam champion next plays 2009 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova. With a victory,Williams would earn her first berth in a French Open semifinal since 2003. She won her lone Roland Garros title in 2002.

Williams’s clay feat

Williams improved to 20-0 this year on clay. Since losing in the first round a year ago at Roland Garros,Williams is 71-3,including titles at Wimbledon,the US. Open,the London Olympics and the season-ending WTA Championships. She first reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in 2001,when she was 19. Now she’s 31 and the oldest player in the top 20.

Kuznetsova,ranked 39th and unseeded,beat No. 8 Angelique Kerber 6-4,4-6,6-3. The Russian has reached the final eight in back-to-back major tournaments for the first time since 2009,when she won the title at Roland Garros.

She reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in January before losing to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka. Kuznetsova whacked a forehand winner on match point,then let out a jubilant scream. The two-time major champion improved to 12-2 this year in three-set matches.

In men’s play,David Ferrer reached the quarterfinals for the sixth Grand Slam in a row by beating Kevin Anderson 6-3,6-1,6-1. Ferrer,seeded No. 4,converted six of 17 break-point chances,held every service game and committed only 11 unforced errors to 41 for Anderson,seeded No. 23. When the Spaniard closed out the victory,he looked to the blue sky and raised both fists.

On Saturday,No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic endured a dramatic mood change after beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-2,6-3,6-3 to reach the fourth round. When Djokovic got back to the locker room,his team delivered the news that his first coach,Jelena Gencic,had died in Serbia at the age of 76. She coached him for about five years,starting when Djokovic was 6. It was the second time in a little more than a year that Djokovic has been hit by a personal loss during a tournament.

At the Monte Carlo Masters in April 2012,he learned of his grandfather’s death and decided to keep playing,winning his third-round match just hours later. He reached the final there. On Saturday,word was sent to reporters that Djokovic was too distraught to attend a post-match news conference. He is scheduled to play his fourth-round match against 16th-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany on Monday,when seven-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal hopes to celebrate his 27th birthday with a win against 13th-seeded Kei Nishikori.

Sania-Bethanie make rd2

Sania Mirza and her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands progressed to the second round of the women’s doubles in the French Open on Sunday with a straight set win over local pair of Alize Cornet and Virginie Razzano. The seventh seeded Indo-American pair recorded a 6-3 6-4 win in one hour and 28 minutes in the opening round.They next face American combo of Lauren Davis and Megan Moulton-Levy.

Robredo,the comeback man

Ranked 470th a year ago,Tommy Robredo reached the quarterfinals of the French Open for the first time since 2009 by rallying from two sets down to stun 11th-seeded Nicolas Almagro 6-7 (5),3-6,6-4,6-4,6-4 in an all-Spanish match. Almagro blew leads of 4-2 in the fourth set and 2-0 in the fifth. A former top-10 player,Robredo was sidelined for five months last season because of a leg injury.

Tommy Robredo became the first man since 1927 to overcome a two-set deficit in three consecutive matches at a major event. The world number 34 also needed five sets to overcome Dutchman Igor Sijsling in the second round and Gael Monfils in round three. Robredo is currently seeded 32nd and will take on fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.

For all the latest News Archive News, download Indian Express App