Roger Federer, the No. 3 player in the world, rallied late against Gilles Simon to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2013 French Open, winning 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Facing elimination from the tournament, Federer responded by winning the fourth set, 6-2. He regained the power in his forehand and finally broke Simon's serve, getting some momentum before the final set. He also scored a couple of quick points with strong play at the net.
Federer then took control during the fifth and final set, 6-3. Simon made one final push, but was unable to do much of anything when he wasn't serving.
It seemed as if Simon simply ran out of gas late. Prior to Sunday's match, Simon had played eight hours and 52 minutes through the first three rounds of the tournament. Federer had been on the court for just four hours and 13 minutes.
Federer started the match off strong, dominating the first set in just seven games. His forehand sent Simon flying all across the clay surface, and it seemed as if the Swiss was well on his way to the quarterfinals.
Simon responded in the second and third sets. Federer, unable to do much of anything against his serve, dropped the second set, 4-6, and the third, 2-6.
There was an interesting dynamic during the fourth and fifth sets; many at Roland Garros were cheering for Federer, as he is immensely popular across Europe. At the same time, the upset would arguably have been the surprise of the tournament thus far and crowds always seem to rally behind an underdog.
In the end, though, Federer made fewer mistakes and survived. With the win, he will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday.