Nishikori stutters into last 16

Kei Nishikori crawled past Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4 on Friday to book his spot in the last 16 at Roland Garros.

Nishikori surged into a two-set advantage by taking the first and second stanzas rather easily.

However, the Japanese star then let his foot off the accelerator and allowed his consistency to drop which gave Verdasco a way back into the encounter.

The Spanish veteran won the third and fourth set as he began to find lines and put Nishikori under serious pressure.

With the match level at two sets apiece Nishikori needed to take stock and regroup and that is exactly what he did. Having reacquired his composure, Nishikori clinched a tense deciding set 6-4.

Nishikori will next play ninth-seeded Richard Gasquet after the latter triumphed over an injured and upset Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 7-6 (7), 6-2.

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