Federer beat 15th-seeded Gilles Simon of France 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the fourth round to reach his 36th consecutive major quarter-final.
Chasing a shot, Roger Federer caught his right shoe in the French Open’s red clay, twisting that foot awkwardly and tumbling to the ground.
Soon enough, he was in a real rut, in danger of his earliest exit from a Grand Slam tournament in nine years.
Federer regrouped and restored order eventually, coming back from a two-sets-to-one deficit to beat 15th-seeded Gilles Simon of France 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday in the fourth round to reach his 36th consecutive major quarterfinal.
“I didn’t hurt myself or anything,” Federer said afterward. “But maybe I did lose that touch of confidence.”
During a rare stretch of mid-match mediocrity from the owner of a record 17 Grand Slam championships — the 2009 French Open trophy is part of his collection — Federer lost 10 of 13 games, including the one in which he fell.
But Simon, a former member of the top 10, could not keep Federer down. Still, Federer acknowledged the need to “tidy up my play” before he faces another Frenchman, No. 6-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in the quarterfinals.
The victory in more than two and a half hours marked his 900th at the ATP level. Only three players have won more matches than Federer at Tour-level – Jimmy Connors (1,156), Ivan Lendl (1,068) and Guillermo Vilas (940).