PARIS — In what seemed like a flash, and in what surely felt like a flash of pain for his opponent, Roger Federer went from vulnerable to commanding.
It was that quick.
Federer lost a second-set tiebreaker Friday to Dmitry Tursunov, and that surely did not bode well for the 17-time Grand Slam champion. Then Tursunov felt a split second of discomfort in his left hip.
And that was it.
Federer was on his way to a 7-5, 6-7 (9-7), 6-2, 6-4 victory in the French Open and into the second week of a major tournament yet again.
"Everything that was out of his control, like moving defense, that's when it got difficult," Federer said.
"Clearly, on the clay, it's difficult to hit three great shots in a row. So I tried to extend the rallies but serve nice and stay aggressive throughout. And I think that was a bit too much for his hip, or whatever it was."
It's still not completely clear what happened to the 31st-seeded Tursunov.
"It was right after the changeover of the second set," he said. "We sat down and then got up and then he was serving, and then right after the first serve was kind of like, 'Something is not right.' "
With Federer leading, Tursunov called for a trainer and screamed at the chair umpire. A medical trainer came out and Tursunov left the court for a training room, then returned.
It was something of an escape for Federer, who lost a set for the first time at this year's tournament. Then again, Novak Djokovic also lost a set before advancing with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (6-2), 6-4 win over 25th-seeded Marin Cilic.
In women's singles, Maria Sharapova advanced to the fourth round beating Paula Ormaechea 6-0, 6-0 in 51 minutes.
The seventh-seeded Russian, who won the title at Roland Garros in 2012, faces Tampa resident Sam Stosur on Sunday. Stosur defeated ninth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-4.
Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska became the latest women's favorite to go out, losing 6-4, 6-4 to unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic.
It marked the first time in the post-1968 Open era that all three leading women's seeds have lost before the fourth round. No. 1 Serena Williams and second seed Li Na were eliminated in the second round. Fourth-seeded Simona Halep, who plays Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor today, is the highest ranked player left.
Tampa resident John Isner became the first American man to reach the fourth round since 2010, beating 17th-seeded Tommy Robredo 7-6 (15-13), 7-6 (6-3), 6-7 (7-5), 7-5.