Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Federer's form continues to fall

Roger Federer, who had reached the quarterfinals in a record 36 consecutive Grand Slams from 2004-13, has failed to get there in three of the past four.

Getty Images

Roger Federer, who had reached the quarterfinals in a record 36 consecutive Grand Slams from 2004-13, has failed to get there in three of the past four.

PARIS — Everything appeared to be under control for Roger Federer, just like in the old days at Grand Slam tournaments.

Then, suddenly, it wasn't.

One point from a two-set lead Sunday in the French Open's fourth round against 18th-seeded Ernests Gulbis, Federer settled under a floating ball and prepared for a simple putaway. Except it wasn't. Federer sent a meek overhead toward Gulbis, who ripped a backhand winner.

That was part of a four-point run that let Gulbis break serve and get back into the match, which he won 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to end Federer's streak of nine consecutive quarterfinals at Roland Garros.

"A lot of regrets," Federer said. "I just couldn't kind of figure it out."

It also served as a reminder that Federer, 32 and a father of four, is no longer the nearly infallible force who made it to the closing days of major after major.

"He's Roger Federer," Gulbis said, "but he also gets tight."

Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, had not left Roland Garros so soon since 2004, when he was beaten in the third round by Gustavo Kuerten.

After that, Federer made the quarters at a record 36 straight majors, a streak that ended last year with a second-round loss at Wimbledon. Federer also put together record Slam runs of 10 finals and 23 semifinals in a row.

Now he has bowed out before the quarterfinals at three of the past four majors.

"I think it was the biggest, probably, win of my career," said Gulbis, who could have dispensed with the word "probably."

Addressing fans who sang Federer's first name between points as a sign of support, Gulbis said: "I'm sorry I had to win. I know all of you like Roger."

The result fit with the topsy-turvy nature of this tournament: Both reigning Australian Open champions, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 2 Li Na, lost in the first round and No. 1 Serena Williams left in the second round.

Gulbis next plays No. 6 Tomas Berdych, who eliminated the last American man, No. 10 John Isner, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. In another quarter, No. 2 Novak Djokovic, in his 20th straight Slam quarterfinal, faces No. 8 Milos Raonic. Wimbledon champ Andy Murray and No. 24 Fernando Verdasco finished off third-round victories in matches suspended Saturday.

In the women's quarterfinals, 2012 champion Maria Sharapova — who won the last nine games to oust Samantha Stosur 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 — faces 35th-ranked Garbine Muguruza, the 20-year-old who stunned Williams last week.

"Of course now I'm very happy what I did," Muguruza said after getting to the final eight at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time by eliminating French wild card Pauline Parmentier. "But I want to continue."

Federer's form continues to fall 06/01/14 [Last modified: Sunday, June 1, 2014 9:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    Corey Dickerson is doing everything he can to garner All-Star votes heading into tonight's voting cutoff, going into play Wednesday leading the AL with 101 hits and rapping two more his first two times up, and scoring two more runs.