Nishikori Survives Paire Scare

Japanese star to face Simon in third round

Kei Nishikori once again proved his quality in deciding sets, coming from two sets to one down to beat France’s Benoit Paire 6-3, 2-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 at Roland Garros on Wednesday.

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.

Did You Know?
Kei Nishikori has now reached the third round at Roland Garros for the fourth consecutive year. Nishikori owns an overall 17-7 record at the event.

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