Vastavam web: Kei Nishikori admitted he couldn’t remember last year’s US Open upset of Andy Murray after booking a quarter-final rematch with the world number one at Roland Garros on Monday.The Japanese star recovered from a dreadful start to beat veteran Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 0-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 in the French Open fourth round to reach a seventh Grand Slam quarter-final. Nishikori surpassed Jiro Satoh for the most quarter-final appearances by a Japanese man, as he made the last eight for the second time in three years in Paris.
But Nishikori famously dumped the 2012 US Open champion out in New York last year after rallying from sets to one down.”Sorry that I don’t remember much,” Nishikori responded when asked of the confidence he could draw from that five-set victory.”You know when we play it’s always a battle,” he added.”Yeah, for sure, it’s gonna be a tough one.”We have been playing so many times. He’s great player.Very smart tennis player. It’s never easy, and I think this week he’s been playing well.””I lost my mind, after 6-0 down I knew I had to change something,” said Nishikori.
“I couldn’t do anything first set but I tried to play deeper and more aggressive, and little by little I got better today.”But still it was really, really tough battle. There was so many long rallies, second and third sets. I don’t know how I got the second and third. Nishikori was playing for the third day running after his last-32 clash with South Korea’s Hyeon Chung was held up by rain.”I’m a little bit sore. Three days in a row. Not easy.Murray, who coasted into the last eight with a straight- sets win over Russia’s Karen Khachanov, knows Nishikori will represent his biggest test so far.