Marin Cilic survived an almighty scare before overcoming Fabio Fognini in a marathon encounter to set up a blockbuster French Open quarter-final against Juan Martin del Potro.
Cilic fired eight aces and hit 44 winners to quell the battling Italian’s challenge 6-4 6-1 3-6 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 in three hours and 37 minutes.
“I was so frustrated on some occasions,” former US Open champion Cilic said. “A lot of opportunities and just missing some balls. It was not easy to keep going. It was a lot of ups and downs but I was really satisfied at the end with the way I was fighting.”
Fognini, who knocked out British No 1 Kyle Edmund in the third round, looked down and out at two sets behind and required treatment on an ankle injury.
But he somehow battled back to 2-2, even saving a match point in the fourth.
However, Croatian third seed Cilic took the fifth thanks to a double break of serve and will face Del Potro in the quarter-finals.
The Argentinian secured a comfortable 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over American ninth seed John Isner to reach the last eight for the first time since 2012.
Cilic trails Del Potro 10-2 in career meetings with the big Argentinian having won their last seven in a row dating back to 2011.