French Open 2017: Kei Nishikori survives Hyeon Chung challenge, World No 290 Petra Martic into last-16

Paris: Japan's Kei Nishikori fought off a fierce five-set challenge from rising South Korean talent Hyeon Chung to clinch a place in the French Open last 16 on Sunday.

Eighth seed Nishikori led two sets to one but trailed by a double break at 3-0 down in the fourth set when rain halted play on Saturday.

Chung, who is ranked 67th, had never beaten a top-10 player in six attempts but leveled when play resumed on Sunday, keeping alive his bid to become the first South Korean to reach the fourth round at Roland Garros but he double faulted on match point to gift Nishikori a 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 0-6, 6-4 victory.

Japan's Kei Nishikori plays a shot against Korea's Hyeon Chung during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France. Sunday, June 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Japan's Kei Nishikori plays a shot against Korea's Hyeon Chung during their third round match at Roland Garros. AP

It was the first third-round meeting between two Asian players at Roland Garros, with 2014 US Open finalist Nishikori going on to play Fernando Verdasco for a place in the quarter-finals.

The rain delay suited Nishikori as he was struggling with a wrist injury and had treatment on his back as the 21-year-old Chung rallied on Saturday.

Nishikori broke early in the fifth set and was serving for the match when Chung broke back, but the Japanese player sealed the result when his opponent double faulted.

World No 290 and qualifier Petra Martic reached the French Open last-16 on Sunday with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Latvian 17th seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Croatia's Martic, a former top 50 player whose ranking slumped after a back injury sidelined her for 10 months, will face Ukraine's Elina Svitolina for a place in the quarter-finals.

With inputs from AFP and AP


Published Date: Jun 04, 2017 04:38 pm | Updated Date: Jun 04, 2017 04:38 pm


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