In a match that started on Saturday and concluded on Sunday at the 2017 french open, Kei Nishikori outlasted South Korean player Hyeon Chung. The line score in the match was 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 0-6, 6-4. For Nishikori, the result keeps his hopes of doing damage at Roland Garros this season alive. However, the final score was still a brush with elimination for Japan's top player.

Nishikori held a two-sets-to-love lead through the opening two sets. Heading into the third-set tiebreaker the 2014 US Open runner-up had to be thinking about an efficient victory and saving his energy for the tougher matches to come in the future rounds.

However, Chung put up a spirited fight despite being down 0-2. He would win a close third-set tiebreaker, a result that had to be in Nishikori's mind overnight. When the rains came on Saturday it was clear that the two players would go five sets as Chung held a commanding fourth-set lead.

Rain delay helped Nishikori?

Nishikori righted the ship just in time -- perhaps actually saved by the rain delay as a boxer might be saved by the bell. That the match was played over two days gave Nishikori a chance to regroup mentally. He took an early lead in the 5th set before hanging on for victory.

Chung was playing in just his first third-round match in any major. At the age of 21 he appears to have a bright future on tour and he is a contender in the NextGen Tour finals. For Nishikori, the peak of his physical career is at hand.

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He will turn 28 years old later this season and he is still without a significant title in his career: he has never won a Masters Series event, he has never won the ATP Tour Finals, and he's never won a Grand Slam.

What's next at Roland Garros for Nishikori?

Looking ahead at his draw, there certainly is hope for a spot in the Roland Garros final. He's positioned on the top-half of the draw where Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka loom. However, the major threats for the title in Paris are all on the bottom of the draw in Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Dominic Thiem. Nishikori will next face an in-form Fernando Verdasco for the right to advance to the quarters. After that, who the winner might face is a matter of conjecture. At the time of writing, it will be either Andy Murray, Karen Khachanov, or John Isner -- the latter two players involved in what is turning into a lengthy match.

Wawrinka and Marin Cilic remain alive in the top half of the draw as well. Each will be looking to stake a claim in the final over the next several days. Certainly Wawrinka is very much alive for that spot as he has upped his game at the French Open. Cilic has struggled for large parts of 2017, but right now he does in fact, seem to be playing close to his best as well.