Paris, June 3: Stan Wawrinka came through an epic five-set battle with Stefanos Tsitsipas, while Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had a much easier path into the French Open quarter-finals.
Wawrinka and Tsitsipas both had to finish their third-round matches on Saturday and it was the Swiss who ran out a 7-6 (8), 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 8-6 winner on Court Suzanne-Lenglen a day later.
Their five-hour-and-nine-minute clash meant Kei Nishikori led Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-7 (8-10) 6-2 when bad light stopped play.
Earlier on Sunday, Federer coasted past Leonardo Mayer 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, while 11-time champion Rafael Nadal got past Juan Ignacio Londero by the same scoreline. With Nishikori and Paire unable to finish, Nadal will have to wait to discover his quarterfinal opponent.
STAN SINKS TSITSIPAS
Wawrinka beat Grigor Dimitrov in three tie-breaks and he made it four in a row after saving a set point in the opener against Tsitsipas.
The Greek required six chances to restore parity and he forced a decider when the 24th seed dropped his serve immediately after cancelling out an early break in the fourth.
Wawrinka staved off eight break points in the fifth set - and 22 across the entire match - before somehow clipping the chalk with a running backhand down the line, which was upheld after the umpire got out of his chair.
Asked to describe the experience a disconsolate Tsitsipas said: "It's the worst feeling ever. Especially when you lose. You don't want to be in my place."
FEDERER TO FACE FAMILIAR FOE
By beating Tsitsipas, Wawrinka set up a repeat of his quarter-final against Federer at Roland Garros in 2015. Wawrinka won in straight sets that time around, and the 20-time major winner hopes lightning does not strike twice.
"I'm just happy for the guy that he's back after his knee problems. They were severe, and that's why I think he's really happy he got sort of a second life on tour, because I think for a while there he wasn't sure if he was ever going to come back again," said Federer after a comfortable win over Mayer.
"It's nice to see him pain-free and playing well. I hope he's not at the level of '15, but we'll find out, because there he was crushing the ball. It was unbelievable."
LONDERO 'A CHAMPION' FOR TAKING ON NADAL
It was less than four months ago that Londero claimed his first title on the ATP Tour, and that was only his fourth appearance in the main draw at that level.
The 25-year-old world number 78 played with plenty of courage on Sunday but was nowhere near as clinical as Nadal, who the grand slam debutant was simply proud to have gone toe-to-toe with.
"I feel sort of like a champion, because on such a large court I played very well against Nadal," said Londero.
"I felt that I was going to be more nervous, but in the end, it was not the case. So I'm very happy because I played very well."