Kei Nishikori marked the best year of his career with another significant breakthrough here yesterday. The 24-year-old Japanese, who climbed into the world’s top 10 for the first time two months ago and has already won two titles this year, is through to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time in six attempts.
Resuming at 3-3 in the final set against Italy’s Simone Bolelli after play had been called off late on Saturday because of bad light, Nishikori needed only four more games to complete a 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory. He now meets Canada’s Milos Raonic.
“There was a lot of stress these last two days, especially yesterday,” Nishikori said afterwards. “I never experienced anything like this – starting the fifth set, then taking one day off, then playing again today. It wasn’t easy. It was tough to concentrate all the way until today. But I think I started well. I played much better today than on Saturday.”
He added: “It was a very tight match. He was playing really aggressively and flat on both sides, especially the forehand. He was hitting a lot of winners and sometimes I didn’t know what to do. I was running from side to side.”
Marin Cilic beat France’s Jérémy Chardy 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 to earn a quarter-final against the winner of last night’s meeting between Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Cilic is only the fourth Croatian man to reach the last eight, following in the footsteps of Goran Ivanisevic, Mario Ancic and Ivo Karlovic.