Roger Federer joined Chris Evert as the overall Open Era record holder for major quarterfinal showings on Sunday, clinching his 54th appearance following a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Leonardo Mayer in the fourth round of the French Open. The 2009 champion entered the day tied with Martina Navratilova and is now three matches away from lifting his 21st Grand Slam trophy.
"I think tennis is a great sport," reflected Federer. "It never gets boring, because every day plays different, every opponent plays different, every guy gives you different struggles. For that reason, I never got bored of the game. Anyway, so far not yet."
Federer is through to the last eight in Paris for the 11th time in 12 appearances. The world No. 3 skipped the European clay-court season from 2016 through 2018 and is bidding to win his first title on the surface in four years, when he triumphed in Istanbul. Federer hasn’t dropped a set thus far at Roland Garros, nor faced an opponent inside the Top 50.
That will change on Tuesday when the 37-year-old battles the winner of a highly-anticipated meeting between 2015 winner Stan Wawrinka and sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. Wawrinka upstaged Federer in the 2015 quarterfinals when his compatriot last appeared at the French Open, while Tsitsipas took their fourth-round encounter earlier this year at the Australian Open.
Mayer saw his best Roland Garros run come to an end. The Argentine was unable to find many answers against Federer. A cool customer throughout, Federer found great success when mixing in his serve and volley and was efficient off the ground, striking 30 winners to 19 unforced errors. The Swiss did not face a break point in improving to 4-0 over his opponent. Mayer fell to 0-18 against Top 5 players.
"I think when it's these kind of conditions, it's fast, it's swirly, especially [on] one side, you have a lot of wind in your back. It's like you're serving from sort of a tree, from a mountain. And from the other one, you feel like you're playing up the hill," said Federer. "I did that well, and I'm very pleased with the game."
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