Tennis news - Kei Nishikori comes through epic five-set marathon to defeat Pablo Carreno Busta
An exhausted Kei Nishikori battled from two sets down to outlast Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7(8) 4-6 7-6(4) 6-4 7-6(8) in an epic encounter on Monday and book his place in the Australian Open quarter-finals.
Carreno Busta had already claimed one scalp with his four-set win over the 12th seed Fabio Fognini - and he looked set to complete another.
Dragged into a five-set dogfight for the third time in four rounds, Nishikori struggled to deal with the physical and mental strain early on as Carreno Busta took a two-set lead but the eighth seed clawed his way back to level the contest.
The Japanese took the next two sets - the first on a tiebreak - and had the chance to serve for the match in the fifth set, only for Carreno Busta to break back to force a super tiebreak as the clock rolled on to over five hours of play.
The Spaniard then showed his discontent after a line decision didn't go his way, and the incident appeared to rattle him as Nishikori completed the win with an ace, meaning he has come back from two sets down for the second time this tournament.
"It was a very tough match," Nishikori said on court. "I don't know how I fought back to battle through. He gave a great match today.
"It wasn't easy, but I will try to recover well tomorrow. Today was the longest match I had this week, so I will try to be fresh for next match. Hopefully I can have more good week."