French Open: Kei Nishikori defeated Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a marathon five-setter to move into the third round.

The Japanese former world No.4 has now spent eight hours on court through two matches.

Kei Nishikori reached the third round of the French Open on Wednesday having won back-to-back five-setters over a total of eight hours on court and admitted:

“I feel like I’ve played five matches already.” The 31-year-old needed four hours to see off Russian No. 23rd seed Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Court Philippe Chatrier. In the first round, he also needed four hours to beat Italian qualifier Alessandro Giannessi.

“I feel like I have played five matches already. Trust me, I hate playing five sets. I don’t do it on purpose,” said Nishikori, a three-time quarter-finalist in Paris.

The Russian looked like he would go on to win when he took the third set but after a gruelling exchange of games at the start of the fourth set, all of which went to deuce, Nishikori levelled the match and it was then that his five-set record kicked in.

Today, my energy level was not great. I had four hours first match, four hours today,” he added.

“After the third set lost, I kept telling myself if I want to keep playing. There was no answer for me, but I just keep playing.

“My body said no, but my mind was just ‘keep playing’. So I was able to win the fourth set without thinking anything.”

It makes it tough playing four hours two in a row. (If) I’m aiming to (get to) the final, this is not the best start of the tournament. That’s the only thing I don’t like about it. I feel like I’ve played five matches already. I just try to get good recovery tomorrow and fight another one next.”

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