French Open Diary: Forgetful Nishikori, elastic Monfils and a glass (or two) of red wine

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The quarter-final line-ups were completed at the French Open on Monday and there were no shortage of highlights from Roland Garros on day nine.

Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori were among those to advance in the men's draw, while Simona Halep cruised through to further underline her status as strong favourite among the women.

As ever, Gael Monfils entertained a partisan home crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier but his flexibility could not help him overcome Wawrinka.

Petra Martic's surprise run was ended at round four, but the Croatian was not about to let her defeat to Elina Svitolina stop her from enjoying a beverage or two...

 

RED, RED WINE

After reaching the last 16, Martic revealed it had become a tradition to have a glass of red wine with her team after every victory.

The world number 290 came agonisingly close to springing a huge shock on Monday, going down in three sets to fifth seed Svitolina after leading 5-2 in the third.

A journalist in Martic's post-match news conference duly suggested: "Maybe no red wine today?"

Yet the Croatian replied with a smile: "[It was] still a great tournament. You can always find reason for red wine."

 

SUPPLE MONFILS BOGGLES THE MIND

Has there ever been a more agile tennis player than Monfils?

The great showman showcased his athletic prowess once again during his defeat to Wawrinka on Court Philippe Chatrier, sprinting forward to retrieve a ball before sliding with his right foot to the extent that he almost did the splits.

 

BEWARE SVITOLINA MODE!

Svitolina offered up some interesting thoughts in her news conference as she reflected on her comeback.

"I was missing some balls where normally I don't miss," she said. "And then when I was 2-5 down, I think I just had mode on again, Svitolina mode back. I started playing, I started waiting for the right ball. I was really fighting to earn myself an opportunity to hit a winner."

Invited to explain exactly what 'Svitolina mode' is, the Ukrainian replied: "Well, I heard that after 2-5 I missed only four points, so probably this is Svitolina mode!

"I just try to find myself into this zone where I don't do many unforced errors and still play aggressive. This balance is what I really improved a lot since the beginning of this year."

 

NISHIKORI (ALMOST) NEVER FORGETS...

Murray and Nishikori, set for a quarter-final clash, have met on 10 previous occasions, with the world number one coming out on top in eight of those.

So you would think the Japanese remembers fondly those two victories - especially given one of them came in last year's US Open quarter-final.

"Actually I'm very bad with the memories. I don't even know if I win or lost. I won?" he said when asked about that match at Flushing Meadows.

"I mean, always, when we play, it's always a battle. Sorry that I don't remember much. For sure, it's gonna be a tough one."