Gulbis ousts Federer, Murray outlasts Kohlschreiber
Originally published on 01/06/14
The Swiss, who had an unbeaten record in five-setters at the French Open, looked to be in control after winning the opening set and leading 5-3 and 40-15 in the second. But the fourth seed could not close out the set and paid the price as Gulbis fought back and powered his way to his first win over a top-five player at a Slam.
“It’s the biggest win of my career,” said Gulbis. “Sorry I had to win. I know how everyone likes Roger. It was a tough match but this is sport. I’ve been playing very well in France. I won tournaments in Marseille and Nice, hopefully Paris is the next one.”
Andy Murray won the longest five-set match of his career as he beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 12-10 to advance to the last 16. The match was postponed on Saturday evening due to bad light but the pair did not have to wait long to resume as Tomas Berdych quickly saw off John Isner in straight sets in the opening match on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Serving first, Murray, who had never gone past 7-5 in a decider, saved a break point before converting his second match point with a backhand winner.
"Considering the circumstances it was a pretty high standard," said Murray, who will now face Fernando Verdasco for a place in the quarter-finals after he beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-2 6-3 in another match carried over from Saturday evening. "It's obviously very tough. I didn't sleep much and I woke up quite a few times. I was ready to play at four, five in the morning. I was very nervous. When you know you have to come back and it's 7-7 the next day and every single point counts, basically you need to get off to a big start.”
Murray was playing in his first five-set match since his back surgery last year but has now won eight of his last nine contests that have gone the distance.
“This match against Philipp could have been one of my best wins if I managed to close out the fourth set, because he's a very, very tough player,” said the seventh seed. “It’s a very good win for me to beat a player like him on this surface. Hopefully I can keep improving, keep learning.”
Eugenie Bouchard continued her superb form by racing into the quarter-finals with a 6-1 6-2 win over No.8 seed Angelique Kerber. The Canadian stormed through the opening set in just 23 minutes and then broke twice more in the second to seal a convincing victory – her ninth in a row.
“I'm confident and I really believe in my skills, I believe I can play with the best girls out there,” said Bouchard. “She's top 10, so I respect her. She can play some really good tennis and I was really mentally prepared for anything, for a battle. I think that mindset kind of helped me, made me realise whatever happens I can deal with it on the court.”
Bouchard reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year and also won her first WTA title the week before the French Open in Nuremburg.
“I feel like since the beginning of the year I have been improving my game, since Australia I'm at a different level from there,” she said. “I have been feeling that way in practice and in matches recently. Even if it's not always there, I know that I can really play at a good level.”
Bouchard will face Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarter-finals after she beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3 6-3.