Nishikori Survives Paire Scare
Ranked No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Performance Zone for his all-time leading deciding set win percentage (75.9), Nishikori battled past the Frenchman in just under three hours on Court Philippe Chatrier. The Japanese star now owns a 17-6 record in deciding fifth sets after his second win over French opposition in as many rounds. The World No. 21 also moves to 5-2 against home players at the clay-court Grand Slam championship. Nishikori defeated wild card Maxime Janvier in three sets in his opening match.
"It was a good win," said Nishikori. "I don't think I played 100 per cent today, but, [in the] important points I think I'm able to do what I have to do. I think [in the] fourth and fifth set I played decent and played good tennis again."
Nishikori withstood 49 winners, including 14 aces, to defeat Paire for the third time in the Parisian capital (3-0). The Japanese No. 1 also moves 4-2 ahead in his overall FedEx ATP Head2Head series with the talented Frenchman.
"It was a beautiful match, a beautiful fight," said Paire. "I did what I could and I really did my best. Of course, I would have preferred winning. You can't win every single match".
The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters finalist will, once again, meet French opposition in his next encounter, with Gilles Simon securing a 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-1 victory over Sam Querrey. Simon converted five of seven break point chances to reach the Round of 32 for the seventh time in his past eight visits.