Nishikori Sets Up Frenchman Tsonga in His 1st French Open Last 8

Kei Nishikori became the first male player to reach the quarter-finals of the 2015 French Open following straight sets win over Taynuraz Gabashvilli on Subday.

The 2014 U.S. open finalist blasted 40 winners and broke the Russian five times in closing out a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win to become only the second Japanese player to reach the last eight at Roland Garros after Jiro Satoh played in the semifinals in 1931 and 1933.

Next up is home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who came through a 6-3 6-2 6-7 6-3 win over Czech fourth seed Tomas Berdych on Philippe-Chatrier.

The fifth seed also improves to 13-2 on clay in 2015, which includes World Tour title in Barcelona and a quarter-final berth in Rome.

After rain delay at the Suzanne-Lenglen the 25-year-old broke early to take a 3-0 lead before taking the next three points on his own serves to claim the set in just over a half-hour.

Gabashvilli’s all-conquering journey to the fourth round had seen him win all nine sets prior; however, the 30-year-old appeared a little bit exhausted throughout the second set.

Kei Nishikori Becomes the First Japanese Man Theough to the Last 8 of the French Open in the Past 73 years. Image: Getty.
Kei Nishikori Becomes the First Japanese Man Theough to the Last 8 of the French Open in the Past 73 years. Image: Getty.

The 25-year-old trained by American Michael Chang looked more revitalised after an extra day rest, following withdrawal of his round-three opponent Benjamin Becker. And when Gabashvilli offered double breaks, Nishikori took them with aplomb to move 4-1 clear and despite the former thrice saving set points to stay in contention at 5-4, the Japanese finished it off with an ace on his fourth attempt.

Nishikori then sailed through a routine third set, approaching the net six times and breaking his opponent twice more to reach his first French Open last eight and take his head-to-head record over Gabashvilli to 4-1 (2-0 on clay).

Nishikori also leads his next opponent Tsonga 4-1 on career head-to-head, including successive victories at the Paris Masters in 2013 and 2014.

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