Marathon man Kei Nishikori digs deep again to dismiss Pablo Carreno Busta

Kei Nishikori walks off court

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.

Pablo Carreno Busta in rage after Kei Nishikori defeat

“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.”

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