Croatia’s Marin Cilic has advanced to the quarterfinals at the French Open after beating world No.18 Fabio Fognini in a five-set thriller in Paris on Monday.
Cilic took just over three and a half hours to beat Fognini 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7, 6-3.
The Croatian has been in great form on clay this season and started the match by racing out to a 3-0 lead. Fognini, who had lost his last two matches against Cilic, then broke back to tie the set up at 3-3. Cilic showed his class by breaking again in the 10th game to take the first set 6-4.
Third-seed Cilic would break the serve again of Fognini at the start of the second set before the Italian sought medical attention on his ankle after the third game of the set.
After a lengthy break, Fognini returned to the court but he looked in obvious discomfort. Cilic would break again to go out to a 5-1 lead before wrapping up the second set 6-1.
The injury to Fognini’s ankle seemed to be causing him less discomfort and he would break Cilic at the start of the third set. Cilic, however, would break straight back before Fognini would break again to take a 3-1 lead and then serve out to take the match into a fourth set.
There were few opportunities for either player in the fourth set as it stayed on serve throughout. Cilic had one match point at 4-5 but he could not convert as the set would be decided in a tie-breaker which went Fognini’s way 7-3.
Cilic would get the key break in the deciding set in the 7th game to go 4-3 up. He would hold his nerve to go 5-3 up before breaking the Italian again to take a thrilling match.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 4, 2018
Cilic, who has played in every Grand Slam final except the French Open, will meet Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the semi-final on Wednesday.