Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Madison Keys to face Naomi Osaka in U.S. Open semifinals

Madison Keys to face Naomi Osaka in U.S. Open semifinals

The last time Nishikori reached the last four of the US Open in 2014, he pulled off the biggest win of his career to date, beating Novak Djokovic to reach the final.

"It's great to see", said Nishikori, who is into his third major semifinal - all in NY - but is still in search of his initial Slam trophy.

Osaka continued what has been a largely dominant run through the draw by winning in just 57 minutes, the third time in her five matches she didn't even have to play an hour.

Keys, a 23-year-old American who is seeded No. 14, overwhelmed Suarez Navarro with her powerful serve and groundstrokes, building a 22-10 edge in winners.

It is the first time that a Japanese man and woman have made the last four at any grand slam in the Open era. I said, 'Man, go ahead'.

There was a subdued atmosphere on Arthur Ashe Stadium with the crowd struggling to get into the match.

Unable to match Cilic's level in the opening set and down a break in the second, Nishikori began to turn the tide when he broke Cilic at love to narrow the gap to 4-3. Serving for the set, Djokovic saved an additional two break points, forcing an error from Roger to close the set 6-4 and move a set away from the title (Federer was three from 17 on break points at that moment).

But he hasn't returned to a Grand Slam final since, falling in the US Open semis in 2016.

During the decisive set Nishikori led by a break of 4:1, then Cilic is back in the game, but in the tenth game made a struggle on his serve and a match-bol could not answer on the magnificent reception of the Japanese.

In 2017, she was beaten by Sloane Stephens in the U.S. Open final; Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe were the other semifinalists, making it the first time in 36 years that the last four women in NY represented the host country.

"I was, alongside many other people, anticipating the match against Federer", Djokovic said.

Kei Nishikori has outlasted Marin Cilic in a rematch of the 2014 US Open final, moving into the semi-finals in NY with a five-set victory.

"I accomplished that. So I'm very, very happy and lucky that, as we say in Italia, 'It's done, this part is done.' After 20 years of career and life, I have new dreams".

Djokovic's momentum only grew as he took the early break once again.

But after reaching the final in Monte Carlo, the French Open fourth round and the Wimbledon quarter-finals, Nishikori believes an elusive first grand slam is within reach.

This night was cooler, as the temperature dipped into the 70s, but the humidity was above 80 percent, so with Millman drenched, he sought permission for a wardrobe change at 2-all in the second set. He added: "I personally have never sweated as much as I have here".

"I was just trying to hang in there and try to find a way to win the match". For men's singles matches, the break would come between the third and fourth sets.

Two inexplicable double-faults as the Japanese altered his return positions handed Nishikori the initiative and he produced a sumptuous backhand return victor down the line on set point to deepening Cilic's misery.

"I think the guy's beat a brick wall once", Millman said, "because he makes you work hard for every point and it's relentless".

Like this: