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 Sunday in the fourth round to reach his 36th consecutive major quarterfinal.
“I didn’t hurt myself or anything,” Federer said. “But maybe I did lose that touch of confidence for a little bit, and then I was out of the match there for a bit.”
Federer’s turnaround was not the biggest of the day. Not even close. That distinction belonged to 32nd-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain, who is specializing in comebacks: He is the first man in 86 years to win three Grand Slam matches in a row after dropping the first two sets (France’s Henri Cochet pulled that off at Wimbledon in 1927).
Robredo did it in the second round Wednesday. He did it in the third round Friday. And then he did it in the fourth round Sunday, defeating No. 11 Nicolas Almagro 6-7 (5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Robredo trailed 4-1 in the third set, 4-2 in the fourth and 2-0 in the fifth.
On the women’s side, Serena Williams kept up her march toward another Grand Slam title, beating No. 15 Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-3 to extend her winning streak to 28.