Milos Raonic battled to win the fourth five-set match of his career Friday as he advanced to the fourth round of the French Open.
Raonic, the men's No. 8 seed from Thornhill, Ont., needed more than three hours to overcome Frenchman Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 and become the first Canadian man into the fourth round at Roland Garros.
Raonic fired 19 aces but rode a roller coaster as he was broken while serving for victory.
But the 23-year-old then broke Simon to go up 6-5, and earned the victory in the ensuing game when Simon hit a long return on match point.
Raonic advanced with 60 winners and six of 12 break points converted, but also committed 74 unforced errors.
"It was just incredible to play a tough opponent like Gilles, I'm very content with this win," said Raonic. "We were on court a long time and I'm a bit tired. When I was broken serving for it, I just told myself I had to break back and go from there. I stayed calm.
"This is my first fourth round here and it's a very important win for me. It's also my first in a big showcourt like this at a Grand Slam. It's all super for me, I want to continue."