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Gulbis drives Federer out of French Open

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Gulbis drives Federer out of French Open
Federer shows frustration at Roland Garros. Photo: Dominique Fagert/AFP
17:34 CEST+02:00
Latvian Ernests Gulbis knocked Switzerland's Roger Federer out of the French Open tennis tournament on Sunday in five sets.

In a fourth-round match at Roland Garros that seesawed back and forth, Gulbis, 25, finally prevailed 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

The 17th seed overpowered Federer, 32, with serves regularly clocking in at more than 215 kilometres an hour.

Fourth-ranked Federer, winner of the French Open in 2009, reached the fourth round for a record-breaking 12th time on Friday after beating Russian Dmitry Tursunov in four sets.

But the Basel native was unable to follow through on Sunday  against Gulbis who made few mistakes.

Federer's loss marks the first time he failed to make the quarterfinals at Paris in 10 years.

Gulbis's win, meantime, puts him in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since he achieved the trick at Roland Garros six years ago. 

Before the match with Federer, the Latvian said he had a "game plan" to beat the 17-time Grand Slam winner.

"I know how I'm going to beat him."

Gulbis gained a certain notoriety last year not so much for his tennis play but his comments about Federer.

He sparked controversy when he described the sport's big four of Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray as boring.

 

Gulbis especially pointed the finger at Federer, claiming that post-match interviews were becoming so polite and inoffensive that the fire in the belly of the sport was being doused.


“It is Federer who started this fashion," he said.

"He has a superb image of the perfect Swiss gentleman," Gulbis said.

"I respect Federer but I don’t like it that young players try to imitate him."


Gulbis showed moments of his "bad boy" side on Sunday when he stomped on his racket, breaking it, in a fit of anger after losing a point.

 

He is set to play Tomas Berdych, from the Czech Republic, to determine a place in the semifinals.

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