Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Jo- Wilfried Tsonga were fourth-round winners on a rainy Sunday at the French Open.
A nearly three-hour rain delay allowed only three of the four scheduled men's matches to be completed, as the featured battle between former champion Roger Federer and French crowd favorite Gael Monfils was halted after the two split the first two sets.
With darkness closing in and no chance to complete two more sets, the players and officials agreed to a Monday finish. The winner will meet Wawrinka in the quarterfinals after the Swiss star powered past Frenchman Gilles Simon in a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 romp.
Nishikori and Tsonga will meet in the quarterfinals after their victories on Sunday.
The fifth-seeded Nishikori had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili to become the first Japanese man to reach the French quarters since Jiro Satoh advanced to the semifinals in 1933.
"I think to be in the quarterfinals was the first goal for these two weeks," said Nishikori, a first-round loser last year who won a clay title earlier this spring in Barcelona and reached the semifinals in Madrid. "I knew I can do this because I was doing well this clay court season. I hope it's just the start of my journey, and I hope I can keep going."
Nishikori, who lost to Marin Cilic in the U.S. Open final last summer, hadn't played since Wednesday because his third-round opponent, Benjamin Becker, withdrew.
Tsonga advanced to his third French Open quarterfinal in the past four years with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 upset of fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych. The Czech nearly got back into the match after winning the third-set tiebreaker, opening a 3-1 lead in the fourth, but Tsonga won the final five games.
"I was just trying to hang in there as much as I could," said Berdych, whose best French Open result was a semifinal loss in 2010. "I was way far from my best tennis that I can play, and it's definitely a very disappointing loss for me. It's not the time that I want to go home from this event. But that's how it is."
Tsonga's best result in Paris was a semifinal appearance in 2013. He is just 1-4 lifetime against Nishikori, although the two have never met on clay.
"I'm feeling good," said Tsonga. "I'm playing good tennis. I'm solid. When I play my best tennis, I know I'm able to beat many guys."
Once Tsonga finished off Berdych, Federer and Monfils took center stage on Chatrier Court knowing only a straight-set win by one of the players would likely allow the match to finish.
Federer, who lost to Monfils in the third round at Monte Carlo earlier this spring, appeared set to make quick work of his French counterpart. He broke serve in the second game and won the opening set by a 6-3 count in just 29 minutes.
Monfils, however, turned the tables immediately. He broke Federer in the second game of the second set and was serving for the set at 5-3 when the 17- time Grand Slam champion broke back. Monfils, though, set up a set point with forehand winner and followed with a perfectly placed backhand on the line to capture the set.
The players then met with tournament officials and decided, to the displeasure of those in attendance who stayed, to halt the match and return Monday.
In addition to the resumption of the Federer-Monfils match, fourth-round play for the top half of the draw will take place.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic will continue his quest for a first French Open title and a career Grand Slam against Frenchman Richard Gasquet, while Rafael Nadal's push for a 10th title in the French capital will resume against American Jack Sock.
Andy Murray will carry his perfect clay record in 2015 onto Lenglen Court to face Frenchman Jeremy Chardy and former French Open runner-up David Ferrer will square off against the ninth-seeded Cilic.