Japan's Kei Nishikori advanced to the quarterfinals of the French Open on Monday, beating home favorite Benoit Paire in a thrilling five-set match held over from the previous day.
The seventh-seeded Nishikori claimed a 6-2, 6-7(8), 6-2, 6-7(8), 7-5 victory against the unseeded Frenchman, reaching the quarterfinals at the Grand Slam tournament for the third time.
"It was a tough match. I had good momentum yesterday, but Paire's tennis improved so it made (playing against him) difficult," Nishikori said. "I made the most of the few opportunities I had and played until the end."
Nishikori will face No. 2 seed and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain in the last eight. Nishikori has only beaten Nadal twice in 12 attempts.
Despite leading by two sets to one against Paire when play was suspended due to darkness on Sunday, Nishikori struggled after the match resumed at the start of the fourth at Court Suzanne Lenglen.
World No. 7 Nishikori allowed No. 38 Paire to force a decider despite having two match points in the fourth-set tie-break. After trailing 5-3 in the fifth set, Nishikori capitalized on Paire's mistakes and claimed four games in a row to seal the win in 3 hours, 55 minutes.
Nishikori, who made his ATP World Tour debut in 2007, has won 12 career titles but never a Grand Slam, going closest at the U.S. Open in 2014 where he finished runner-up after losing to Marin Cilic in the final.