The 2014 French Open has seen unexpected twists and turns take over the storylines thus far at Roland Garros, and that theme continued into Day 8.
One of the most elite names in the sport was ousted from the competition, while other stars kept up their top form with dominating victories. The field of contenders is dwindling by the day, and players we thought would contend well into the tournament are being dropped left and right.
Let's break down the results from Day 8, which featured mostly fourth-round affairs with a few third-round matches finishing up.
|2014 French Open: Day 8|
|No. 2 Novak Djokovic def. No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||6-1, 6-4, 6-1|
|No. 18 Ernests Gulbis def. No. 4 Roger Federer||6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3|
|No. 6 Tomas Berdych def. No. 10 John Isner||6-4, 6-4, 6-4|
|No. 7 Andy Murray def. No. 28 Philipp Kohlschreiber||3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 12-10*|
|No. 8 Milos Raonic def. Marcel Granollers||6-3, 6-3, 6-3|
|No. 24 Fernando Verdasco def. No. 12 Richard Gasquet||6-3, 6-2, 6-3*|
* Denotes third-round matches that started Saturday
|2014 French Open: Day 8|
|No. 18 Eugenie Bouchard def. No. 8 Angelique Kerber||6-1, 6-2|
|No. 14 Carla Suarez-Navarro def. Ajla Tomijanovic||6-3, 6-3|
|No. 7 Maria Sharapova def. No. 19 Samantha Stosur||3-6, 6-4, 6-0|
|Garbine Muguruza Blanco def. Pauline Parmentier||6-4, 6-2|
Roger Federer Upset By Gulbis
The best bet in Roland Garros—outside of Rafael Nadal winning it—in the last decade has been Roger Federer advancing to the quarterfinals. He had done so every year since 2005.
Key word: had.
Federer's nine-year streak of advancing into the quarters ended Sunday after he fell to 18th-seeded Ernests Gulbis. The 25-year-old won the second and third sets before pulling out a five-set thriller, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
As told by the scoresheet, the match was hotly contested early on and into the final set. The opening two had to be decided by a tiebreak, and after Federer had battled through all of that to win the fourth set and force a fifth, he didn't have enough left to match Gulbis' repeated winners down the stretch.
Minutes after stepping off the clay, Federer made no mistake about it, per The New York Times' Christopher Clarey. He's excited to move onto a new surface at Wimbledon:
Federer's place as one of the all-time greats—if not the all-time great—is already set in stone. But the 32-year-old hasn't won a major since 2012 and has now failed to reach the quarters in three of his last four Grand Slam appearances. It's becoming more and more of a fair question to ask whether the Swiss legend is still among the top three active men's tennis players.
Gulbis advanced to the quarters at Roland Garros for just the second time, and a victory over Berdych would make for the furthest he's ever advanced in a Grand Slam major.
Djokovic Continues Cruising, Ousts Tsonga
From a fading star to an emerging one, Novak Djokovic has contended deep in nearly every major he's appeared in, and it was apparent he would continue that at Roland Garros as he contends for a career Grand Slam. So far, so good for the sensational Serbian.
Djokovic kept his roll going with a straight-sets crushing of No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, which sent him to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros where he'll face No. 8 Milos Raonic.
Tsonga is no stranger to French Open success with a semifinal appearance just last year, but he stood no chance against Djokovic from the get-go. The No. 2 seed won the first set 6-1, and while Tsonga kept it a bit closer in the second set, he didn't have enough to seriously threaten to take any of the three sets.
Djokovic has long been seen as Nadal's only serious threat at Roland Garros, and a rematch of the 2012 final between the two has looked inevitable at times.
With Raonic and the winner of Gulbis vs. Tomas Berdych being the only thing that stands between Djokovic and that match likely against Nadal, the dream matchup is looking like more and more of a reality.
Andy Murray Closes out Kohlschreiber Day 7 Carryover
Andy Murray and Philipp Kohlschreiber embarked in one of the classic matches of the 2014 French Open, but most of it came on Saturday. When the match was postponed for darkness with the fifth set tied at 7-7, they had to wait until Sunday to see who could win two straight games to move on.
It took a little time, but Murray got it done, winning the final set 12-10 as he finally sidestepped the No. 28 seed Kohlschreiber to get into the fourth round.
The quality of the match—almost too high for Murray to come out on top—impressed the British standout:
Having to elongate the match into two days shouldn't prove worrisome for Murray, as upcoming fourth-round opponent Fernando Verdasco actually had to finish up his match Sunday as well. But fatigue could—Murray's went the distance and then some, while Verdasco stomped Richard Gasquet in straight sets.
Murray wasn't at his best against Kohlschreiber, but it was a championship response from him to get past an opponent that was more than worthy of beating him. He still has a ways to go to prove that he's worth more than his No. 7 seed, but Murray at least stayed alive Sunday.
Note: All results and information courtesy RolandGarros.com unless otherwise noted
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