Federer crashes out of French Open, earliest exit since 2004

PARIS – The last time Roger Federer left tennis’ French Open before the quarterfinals, eight-time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain hadn’t even won a title.

Federer’s run of nine straight Roland Garros quarterfinals ended Sunday at the hands of Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, who beat the Swiss 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 on the main Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris.

“It was a bit all over the place,” Federer said in a news conference, after losing the fourth-round match on his 59th unforced error. “I’m very disappointed.”

Before Sunday, Federer’s earliest defeat in Paris was a third-round exit against former champion Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil in 2004.

Gulbis: "Sorry I had to win"

Ernest Gulbis at the French Open

“It’s the biggest win of my career,” Gulbis said in a court-side interview.

“I’m sorry I had to win, I know how much you love Roger,” said the 18th-seeded Gulbis, who has never got past the quarterfinals of a major.

Sunday against Federer, he produced 53 winners, 12 more than his opponent, who failed to convert two set points in the second set.

Federer, 32, said he was looking forward to “spending some time with the family,” now that he has a week off before heading to the grass in Halle, Germany, to defend his title there.

Djokovic, Sharapova and Murray advance

Novak Djokovic of Serbia’s quest for a first Roland Garros title continued with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.

He’ll next meet Canada’s No. 8 seed Milos Raonic. Title favorite Maria Sharapova overcame Sam Stosur in three sets to book a spot in the quarterfinals.

Earlier in the day, Andy Murray overcame Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in five sets to move to the fourth round, beating him 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 12-10 on the Court Suzanne Lenglen at Roland Garros.

Their match had been suspended Saturday night at 7-7 in the final set because of darkness.

Source: Washington Post