Roger Federer overcame a serious scare to progress into the French Open quarter-finals by defeating Gilles Simon in a five-set thriller.
The win was Federer's 900th tour victory and will now face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight of the competition. The victory was also significant as it meant that Swiss has now reached the quarter-final stage in the last 36 tournaments he's competed in and also matched the record of 58 wins at Roland Garros equalling Guillermo Vilas and Nicola Pietrangeli. His 6-1 4-6 2-6 6-2 6-3 victory lasted almost three hours but Federer is satisfied after the five-set thriller and insists he's not feeling fatigue.
"I think it's good, honestly. Now I clearly know where I stand and how well I'm playing. It gives me a lot of info," Federer told SkySports after the contest.
"I'm still fairly fresh. It wasn't one of those four-and-a-half-hour battles. It was intense, but I think I did really well and never felt tired."
Federer started the match in convincing style taking the first set 6-1 in 37 minutes and looked like he could ease to a convincing victory over Gilles Simon. But the Frenchman took the second set with just the one break of serve occurring in the seventh game and Simon held his nerve to bring it level.
The 28-year old then took control of the third set, breaking Federer's serve twice to win 6-2 and take a 2-1 lead in sets. Federer was staring at defeat but turned on the style when it was most needed. A comfortable fourth set win meant it was 2-2 going into the deciding set.
With the momentum with the former World number one, Federer seized the opportunity and quickly went into a 3-0 lead in the final set. Victory was quickly wrapped up as Federer secured a sport in the quarter-finals of a Grand-slam for a 40th time. He will now face sixth-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the semi-finals and Federer is relishing the opportunity.
He said: "I'm looking forward to the match against Jo-Willy. Obviously it's a big challenge playing him here in Paris. He's a great friend of mine."
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