Marathon man Kei Nishikori digs deep again to dismiss Pablo Carreno Busta
Kei Nishikori once again showed his fighting qualities to outlast Pablo Carreno Busta and book his place in the Australian Open quarter-finals.
It was a third five-set match for the Japanese star in four matches, going all the way to an extended deciding set tiebreak before he claimed a 6-7(6-8), 4-6, 7-4(7-4), 6-4, 7-6(10-8) win which took over five hours.
Controversy erupted in the final tiebreak, however, when Carreno Busta was furious with the umpire for awarding Nishikori a point he felt should have been replayed.
His appeals fell on deaf ears, though, and the Spaniard was raging as he left court, throwing his bag and kicking objects on the floor on the way back to the dressing room.
“I just need to recover well,” Nishikori said.
“Today was the longest match I have had this week and I just need to recover.
“I have been playing really good tennis an I’ll try to be fresh for the next match.
“I hope I can have one more good week.”
He is joined in the final eight by Lucas Pouille, who beat Borna Coric 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (7-2).
“It feels great to come through against Borna who is one of the best players in the world, ” said Pouille whose best previous Grand Slam performance was reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2016.
“Even though I never won a match here before this year I always enjoyed playing here.
“Atmosphere is great, amazing, electric. That’s why they call it the Happy Slam.”
More from Tennis365:
Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open due to lingering injury
The world number three said her “hamstring is still sore so I won’t have enough time to prepare for the clay”.
Coronavirus surge forces further restrictions on Roland Garros spectator numbers for French Open
Only 5,000 fans a day permitted.
Johanna Konta bagels Begu to march impressively into third round at Italian Open
The British number into round three.
‘I feel comfortable on clay, I always have,’ says Simona Halep as she targets Roland Garros repeat
Romanian happy to be back.
Novak Djokovic confirms he has spoken to ATP as he pushes ahead with Players Association plans
Serb says PTPA is misunderstood.
‘It was a great match – I am thrilled,’ says Jannik Sinner after youngster downs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Youngster making inroads.
Fed Cup rebranded as the Billie Jean King Cup to recognise legend’s trailblazing role in tennis
The historic competition has a new name.