Del Potro survives five-set thriller to reach third round
Juan Martin del Potro was forced to dig deep as he battled to a five-set victory over Yoshihito Nishioka in the second round of the French Open.
In a match which lasted almost four hours, the eighth seed prevailed 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7(5) 6-2 to set up a third-round clash with Jordan Thompson, who beat Ivo Karlovic earlier on Thursday in four sets.
The momentum in the first set swung both ways, as Del Potro, a two-time semi-finalist at Roland Garros, broke first before dropping serve twice.
Nishioka, 23, then found himself serving for the set in the ninth game, and though he was broken back, he broke Del Potro to love to win the opener 7-5.
The pair then traded breaks halfway through the second set, but crucially it was Del Potro who got another to level up the tie.
The Argentine breezed through the third set as he began to stamp his authority on the match, breaking twice to move 2-1 up.
Nishioka did not lie down however, moving 3-0 up in the fourth set before Del Potro battled back, and as the set headed to a tie-break, it was the world No 72 who prevailed 7-5 to force a decider.
But Del Potro bounced back, fighting off the fatigue as he broke twice to take the final set 6-2.