Federer goes quietly in quarterfinals
Fellow Swiss Wawrinka wins in straight sets and will face France’s Tsonga.
PARIS — Stumbling on his way to the net, Roger Federer dropped his racket and fell to his knees on the red clay. Hardly the sort of grace and precision the world has come to expect from the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
There were other unusual sights in Federer’s 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss in the French Open quarterfinals Tuesday against his pal and Swiss Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka.
“I made 30-something errors today. He, maybe, made one,” said Federer, exaggerating a bit.
Federer received treatment on his right hand from a trainer, and he slumped in his changeover chair, head bowed, after falling behind two sets to none. And, according to the ATP, this was the first time since a fourthround loss at the 2002 U.S. Open — before he’d won a major trophy — that Federer failed to break an opponent’s serve once in a Grand Slam match.
“I know that when I play good tennis, when I play my best tennis, I can play so heavy from both sides that it’s really tough for the opponent to play,” said the eighth-seeded Wawrinka, who will play 14th-seeded JoWilfried Tsonga of France in the semifinals Friday. “That’s why Roger was struggling today. It’s because I was playing so well.”
Over at Court Philippe Chatrier, Tsonga’s 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 victory over No. 5 Kei Nishikori was interrupted for about 40 minutes when one person was injured after a 9-foot-long piece of metal paneling was blown off a giant TV screen and fell onto packed rows of spectators below.
One women’s semifinal was set Tuesday: No. 7 Ana Ivanovic against No. 13 Lucie Safarova.
Safarova, who eliminated defending champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, beat Garbine Muguruza, 7-6 (3), 6-3, to reach the second major semifinal of her career. Ivanovic reached her first Grand Slam semifinal since winning the 2008 French Open by defeating Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, 6-3, 6-2.
“I don’t know if I should feel very old,” said Ivanovic, 27, “or very happy.”
During the eight French Opens from 2005 to 2012, Federer reached at least the semifinals seven times, including winning the 2009 championship to complete a career Grand Slam. But this is the third year in a row he exits Roland Garros in the quarterfinals or earlier.
“I played my best match in a Grand Slam tournament,” said Wawrinka, quite a statement considering he won the 2014 Australian Open, “and my best match on clay.”
The other men’s quarterfinals are Wednesday: No. 1 Novak Djokovic against nine-time champion Rafael Nadal, and No. 3 Andy Murray against No. 7 David Ferrer.
THINGS OBVIOUSLY aren’t going well for Roger Federer during his quarterfinal match against Stan Wawrinka, who rolled to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory.