The number two seed is only the second ‘top four’ player to make it through to the quarter-finals in Paris after Rafa Nadal was beaten yesterday by Robin Soderling. Novak Djokovic also suffered a shock defeat against Philipp Kohlschreiber.
British number one, Andy Murray, is the only other of the ‘top four’ to make it past round four in Paris – the furthest he has ever got at Roland Garros in his career.
The 22-year-old Scot will be hoping to reach another milestone and make it through to the semi-finals by beating Fernando Gonzalez in the quarter-finals.
In 2008, Murray became the first Brit to reach the final of a Grand Slam since Greg Rusedski when he lost to Roger Federer in the final of the US Open in New York.
In past seasons, clay has not been Murray’s favourite surface, but the world number three has been in sublime form thus far in 2009.
And with two title rivals already out in Djokovic and Nadal, this could be Murray’s best ever shot at winning the title in Paris.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer will be feeling that this is his year with arch-rival Rafa Nadal already having crashed out.
Federer has never won the French Open, and will be keener than ever to add it to his remarkable collection of titles.
The Swiss 27-year-old will play either Andy Roddick or Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals in Paris.
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BIOGRAPHY: Eric Bailly