Tennis: Federer sweeps into French Open quarter-finals

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Gael Monfils of France during their fourth round match for the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France on June 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA
Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Gael Monfils of France during their fourth round match for the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France on June 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: EPA

PARIS (AFP) - Second seed Roger Federer reached tennis' French Open quarter-finals for the 11th time on Monday, with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over France's Gael Monfils.

Federer, the 2009 champion, will now face Swiss Davis Cup-winning team-mate Stan Wawrinka for a place in the semi-finals.

He raced through the final two sets on Monday in just over an hour, after the last-16 tie was delicately poised at a set apiece when it was suspended in the chilly gloom of Sunday evening.

"I feel fresh and pumped up to be back in the quarter-finals again after missing out last year," said Federer, who was beaten by Ernests Gulbis in the last 16 in 2014.

Monfils, a semi-finalist in 2008, was nowhere near his swashbuckling best on Monday, slipping to a break down in the first game of both sets.

At 2-1 down in the fourth, he needed the trainer to be called although the Frenchman's problems appeared more related to the cold from which he was suffering rather than any physical problem.

He lost the last five games of the contest and although he saved a match point with a trademark cute drop volley, an equally characteristic wild forehand sealed his fate.

It was 33-year-old Federer's ninth win in 13 meetings against Monfils, who had triumphed over the Swiss star on clay in Monte Carlo last month and in November's Davis Cup final.

Federer will take a 16-2 career advantage over Wawrinka into Tuesday's quarter-final, including on clay in Rome earlier this month.

"It's special to play Stan, there aren't many Swiss players in the draw," said Federer.

"I'm quite positive about it."

Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer recorded his 40th career win at Roland Garros with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Croatian ninth seed Marin Cilic to also reach the quarter-finals.

Ferrer, the runner-up in 2013, will take on either third-seeded Andy Murray or unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy for a place in the semi-finals.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, bidding for a first French Open to complete the career Grand Slam, faces French 20th seed Richard Gasquet.

The top seed has a 10-1 winning record over Gasquet, whose only win over the Serb came eight years ago.

Djokovic will look to extend his run of successive Grand Slam quarter-finals to 24, while a win for Gasquet would make him just the third Frenchman to record 400 Tour-level match wins.

He is also looking for a place in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros for the first time at the 12th attempt.

Murray, the No. 3 seed and twice a semi-finalist, was defending a 6-1 career record over Chardy, including a successful meeting on clay in Rome on the eve of Roland Garros.

Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal can clinch his 70th win at the French Open and reach a 10th quarter-final, when he meets Jack Sock of the United States for the first time.

Victory for 22-year-old Sock would make him the first American man to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals since Andre Agassi in 2003.