PARIS (Reuters) – Stefano Travaglia continued Italy’s strong showing in the French Open men’s singles as he knocked out Japan’s Kei Nishikori in five sets in the second round on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old won 6-4 2-6 7-6(7) 4-6 6-2 to set up a dream clash with 12-times champion Rafa Nadal.
Travaglia, ranked 74th, was one of six Italian men to reach the second round, the highest number in the professional era.
Highly-rated teenager Jannik Sinner joined him later when he beat French wildcard Benjamin Bonzi in straight sets, Lorenzo Sonego beat Alexander Bublik and former semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato, who this year had to go through qualifying, also reached round three.
Lorenzo Giustino, who beat Corentin Moutet in a six-hour epic in round one, ran out of steam, however, in a heavy defeat by Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.
Unseeded Nishikori, a three-times quarter-finalist at Roland Garros, came through a five-setter against Dan Evans in the opening round but could not shake off Travaglia who reached a Grand Slam third round for the first time.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)