Reigning Champion Stan Wawrinka lit up a gloomy Roland Garros with his lurid day-glo yellow shirt as he reached the French Open quarter-finals with a dazzling 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (9-7) 6-3 6-2 win over Serbia’s Viktor Troicki.
In an entertaining match featuring between the leg shots, a mid-match rally with a ballboy and an array of blinding backhand winners from Wawrinka, the Swiss third seed chalked up his fifth successive win over Troicki when the Serb netted a backhand.
The win earned Wawrinka an eighth successive win on clay, following his triumph in the Geneva tournament last weekend, but more importantly it allowed him to set up a quarter-final meeting with unheralded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Troicki kept Wawrinka on his toes during the first half of the contest, with the Swiss winning the first set on his eighth set point before the Serb bagged the second set on his fifth.
But all the running around he did in the first two sets caught up with Troicki midway through the third set as called on the trainer to manipulate his hip.
The treatment failed to have the desired effect and he fell to a 20th successive defeat against top-three opponents.
Subdued eighth seed Milos Raonic’s French Open came to an abrupt halt when he was swept aside 6-2 6-4 6-4 by Ramos-Vinolas.
The big-serving Canadian could make little impression against the dogged, 28-year-old left-hander who finished the contest with an angled smash on his third match point.
“I had a simple task out there to try to find a way to win and I wasn’t able to find that today,” the 25-year-old Raonic, who dropped serve five times.
“I gave myself opportunities on his serve, but the day is a lot easier for the other guy when I don’t serve well.”
Ramos-Vinolas will play Wawrinka in his first grand slam quarter-final, having never been past the second round in his 18 appearances in the four majors.
“I lost I think four times in a row in the first round here, now this year quarter-finals for the moment. So I’m really, really happy,” Barcelona-born Ramos-Vinolas said.
“I think the weather helped today, because it slowed down his service a bit.”