Second seed Roger Federer produced a thrilling riposte to Gilles Simon's gallant attempt to knock him out of the French Open, coming from behind to beat the Frenchman 6-1 4-6 2-6 6-2 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.

Federer's proud record of consecutive grand slam quarter-final appearances stretching back to 2004 looked in jeopardy when Simon turned the match on its head with some superb tennis after being initially outclassed.

But Federer refused to panic and hit back in style to take the sequence to 36 in front of a raucous late-evening crowd on Philippe Chatrier Court.

The 2009 champion will now face another Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in the semi-finals.