French Open Day 8 recap: Federer bows out; Sharapova survives a tough match
PARIS -- Roger Federer lost to a surging Ernests Gulbis. Maria Sharapova got her first scare of the tournament, coming within two games of losing to Sam Stosur before winning nine straight games to continue her mastery of the Australian. Andy Murray finally closed out Philipp Kohlschreiber, and John Isner lost in straight sets to Tomas Berdych. Here's a closer look at Day 8:
Federer falls: Federer won the first set and served for the second, but he couldn't finish the job against Gulbis. My dark-horse pick upset Federer 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to advance to the French Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2008. Read more about the match here.
Sharapova rallies: Stosur came out firing and dominated Sharapova in the first set. Stosur then broke back to 4-4 in the second set before the Russian favorite reeled off the last nine games to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 and advance to the quarterfinals. Sharapova knew this was going to be a tricky match if Stosur played her best (which she did), and the 2012 champion was elated to advance and improve to 14-2 against Stosur.
"She has a great game for this surface, and she's proved that over the years," Sharapova said. "She uses her quick serve extremely well to start and set up the point. The slice, especially in the conditions that we played in, was very effective. It stays very low. I didn't feel like I was getting as much pop on the ball as maybe what I had in Madrid, where I was able to hurt her a little bit more [in a third-round victory last month].
"But with that said, I still was able to win nine games in a row. So, I'm quite pleased about that."
Sharapova will face Garbine Muguruza, who's playing in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal after defeating France's Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 6-2.
Murray survives in delayed match: Murray and Kohlschreiber resumed their third-round match at 7-7 in the fifth set and Murray finally prevailed 12-10 after saving a crucial break point. Murray confirmed that he started cramping late in the match on Saturday and the overnight break, full of fitful sleep, may have helped him.
"It was the first five‑set match I played since my [back] surgery [last September]," he said. "Obviously playing late, heavy conditions, so it is tough on the legs in the evening."
Murray faces Fernando Verdasco, who finished off Richard Gasquet in straight sets, in the quarterfinals.
Isner no match for Berdych: Isner couldn't get anything going against Berdych, who rolled 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Still, Isner made the fourth round for the first time.
"Decent tournament," Isner said, assessing his week. "Like to have gone farther; it's nothing to write home about."
Oh, Canada: For the first time in the history of tennis, one Canadian man and one Canadian woman are into the quarterfinals of a major. Eugenie Bouchard led the way with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Angelique Kerber and Milos Raonic followed her hours later, beating Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Photo of the day
Racket-smash of the day
Gulbis squanders two break chances. His racket pays the price. #ESPNTennis #RG14 pic.twitter.com/YojFHIZXsn
— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) June 1, 2014
Celebration of the day
Non-tennis (kind of) photo of the day
Highlights from Gulbis' big win:
Tweets of the day
I can now start My Wimbledon preparations a week before everyone else #sneaky
— Not Roger Federer (@PseudoFed) June 1, 2014
MILOS MAKES HISTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— Tennis Canada (@Tennis_Canada) June 1, 2014
Feel like @donaldyoung didn't get his full due. Terrific fight yesterday and - we forget - he's only 24...
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) June 1, 2014
When Sharapova is hitting off-balance reflex lob winners from the baseline you know her opponent is toast. #rg14
— Douglas Robson (@dougrobson) June 1, 2014
A couple of little teenage boys just got a selfie with Sharapova then literally screamed in her face. She was cracking up.
— Tumaini (@tumcarayol) June 1, 2014
Second half of match = Maria Doesn't Share-apova. #fighter #RG14
— Matt (@tennisfitz) June 1, 2014
I'm supposed to like Gulbis because he's a character, right? I look at him and see a #NotAllMen hashtag with a trust fund and opera tickets. — Brian Phillips (@runofplay) June 1, 2014