French Open: Travaglia outlasts Nishikori to continue Italian surge

Stefano Travaglia knocks out Japan's Kei Nishikori in five sets in the second round.

Kei Nishikori grimaces during his French Open second round contest on Wednesday. - GETTY IMAGES

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 Rafael Nadal.

Travaglia, ranked 74th, was one of six Italian men to reach the second round, the highest number in the professional era.

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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 semifinalist 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 quarterfinalist 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.

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