Cilic downs Fognini in five-set thriller

Third seed Marin Cilic battled past Italian Fabio Fognini in five sets to reach the Roland Garros quarter-finals on Monday in Paris.

The 29-year-old Croat needed three hours and 41 minutes to subdue Fognini’s fightback, from to sets down, to go on and claim a 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-3 victory and a quarter-final meeting with Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro.

In the opening two sets, Cilic used his power game, helped by Fognini struggles with an ankle injury, to win the sets 6-4, 6-1 and look to be firmly in charge of proceedings.

In the opening game of the third set, Fognini held serve then broke to lead 2-0 but Cilic broke back but dropped his own serve to trail 3-1.

Thereafter the set proceeded with serve for Fognini to win it 6-3.

Cilic looked to be back in control in the fourth set but in the tiebreaker, the Italian upped his game and went on to win the breaker 7-4 and tie the match up at two sets apiece.

In the decider, the first six games went with serve but Fognini played a poor seventh game and dropped serve then again in the ninth for Cilic to seal a 6-3 victory.

In another result, Argentine Juan Martin del Potro outplayed John Isner of America 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Court Suzanne-Lenglen to join countryman Diego Schwartzman, who also made it into the quarter-finals earlier in the day when he beat South African Kevin Anderson in five sets.

Nadal cruises, Schwartzman fights through in Paris

The fifth-seeded Del Potro needed under two hours to beat Isner, breaking his opponents serve once in each set, for the win and a match-up with Cilic on Wednesday.

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