ROGER Federer was knocked out of the French Open at the quarter-final stage yesterday, falling in three sets to fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka, the eighth seed, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).
Federer, the second seed and 2009 champion at Roland Garros, had only ever lost twice in 18 previous meetings with his compatriot but was well beaten on a windy Court Suzanne Lenglen.
The 17-time Grand Slam champ-ion proved incapable of breaking his opponent’s serve at all over the course of a match that lasted two hours and nine minutes.
Remarkably, it was just the third time in his career he had failed to break an opponent’s serve in a Grand Slam match — the last came against Max Mirnyi at the U.S. Open in 2002 when he was aged just 21 and had not yet won a major.
It is a further sign of the decline of the 33-year-old, who was also beaten in the third round of the Australian Open earlier this year by Italy’s Andreas Seppi. Federer’s last Grand Slam title was almost three years ago when he captured his seventh Wimbledon title in 2012.
In contrast, Wawrinka broke decisively in the first set and then twice more in the second. There were no breaks in a far tighter third set, but Wawrinka won it on his second match point in the tiebreak.
Through to his first French Open semi-final, Wawrinka will face the winner of yesterday’s other quarter-final between Japan’s fifth seed Kei Nishikori and home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 14th seed, which was held up for more than half an hour when a metal sheet from a giant video screen was blown off in high winds, crashing into spectators and leaving three slightly injured.
The standout quarter-final today will see reigning champion Rafael Nadal, seeded six, put his dominance of the clay court on the line against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who has won his last 26 matches.
The winner of that will take on the winner of the other last-eight tie between third seed Andy Murray and seventh seed David Ferrer, the runner-up in 2013. — SuperSport