WRAPUP 1-Open-Federer avoids following Nadal out of Paris

Updated: June 1, 2009, 2:17 PM ET
Reuters

* Federer roars back from two sets down

* Serena sets up Kuznetsova showdown

* Fifth seed Jankovic beaten by Romanian teenager

By Pritha Sarkar

PARIS, June 1 - Roger Federer roared and 15,000 fans hollered as the Swiss clung on by his fingertips to his French Open dreams on Monday and avoided joining Rafael Nadal on the Roland Garros scrapheap.

With the claycourt major still reeling from the shock exit of four-times champion Rafael Nadal just 24 hours earlier, Federer was on the brink of the same fate before finding the strength to bury German Tommy Haas 6-7 5-7 6-4 6-0 6-2.

Fifth seed Jelena Jankovic completed a miserable three days for the Serbs when she followed compatriots Novak Djokovic and 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic out with a 3-6 6-0 9-7 defeat by little known Romanian teenager Sorana Cirstea.

But an out-of-form Jankovic's loss barely caused a stir after Federer's great escape on Centre Court.

When Haas swiped a service return wide after three hours and seven minutes of nerve-shredding action, Federer leapt high in the air and let out an almighty roar to mark the moment he had booked a quarter-final date against either American sixth seed Andy Roddick or Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Only 70 minutes earlier, it had looked like the Swiss would suffer his earliest grand slam loss since 2004 when he came within five points of defeat.

At two sets and 3-4 down facing a break point, Federer conjured up a screaming forehand winner to bring the scores back to deuce. Federer earned his get-out-of-jail-free card two points later when Haas dragged a forehand long.

"When I hit that forehand to save a break point at 3-4 in the third, I had the feeling it could be a turning point in the match," said Federer, who has reached the semi-finals or better in the last 19 grand slam events.

"I thought almost that it was my first good shot of the match. I knew the significance of that shot.

"That saved me on that day and I was able to turn around the whole match. It's a great feeling, because I was in quite some danger right there."

From then on, Federer won eight successive games and his charge towards a record-equalling 14th grand slam title was safe -- at least for another two days.

"When you're that close to winning, it hurts," said Haas.

"There's no secret to why he's been there the last five years and so you just got to tip your hat and say, 'That's why he's Roger Federer'."

DREAM SCENARIO

Federer will be hoping to avoid any further anxious moments as he is favourite to win an elusive Paris title after the departures of Nadal and in-form Serbian fourth seed Djokovic.

But after having to come back from two sets down for only the fifth time in his career, Federer did not want to buy into the hype that it was his year to win the title.

"People make it sound so simple ... (but) you come out and you always have guys going after you, like Haas today," said Federer.

Nadal's compatriot Tommy Robredo made sure there was at least some Spanish interest left in the draw when he beat Djokovic's conqueror Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 5-7 7-6 6-2.

But while the rest of Roland Garros could not stop talking about Nadal's demise, there was one exception.

"I don't want to talk about Rafa. I'm here to talk about myself. I'm ready, I'm playing good and I'm in the quarter-finals. And I'm fit," said Robredo, who will meet Juan Martin del Potro.

The Argentine fifth seed made it through to the quarter-finals for the first time with a 6-1 6-7 6-1 6-4 win over French ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

For once, Serena Williams did not provide any of the drama.

The second seed, who created a commotion in the previous round after labelling her opponent a "cheat" following a disputed point, was the model of decorum in a 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Canadian 24th seed Aleksandra Wozniak.

The 2002 champion, at 27 the oldest woman left in the draw, will face seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the last four after the Russian survived her stiffest test yet in a 6-4 1-6 6-1 win over Pole Agnieszka Radwanska. (Editing by Sonia Oxley; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index