CC Tennis players US Open
New York, U.S.A.© Getty ImagesKei Nishikori is into his first Grand Slam semi-final.
Kei Nishikori clinched an epic five-set win over Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday at the US Open to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final. The 24 year old is the first Japanese man since 1933 to reach a major semi-final after edging Australian Open champion Wawrinka 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(7), 6-7(5), 6-4 in four hours and 15 minutes.
In his on-court interview with Brad Gilbert, Nishikori said, “I started a little bit tight, but my play was okay. As the match went on, I was feeling more and more confident, especially in the third set. I don't know how I finished the game, but I'm very happy. I feel amazing, playing well. It's my favourite Grand Slam. Hopefully I can play 100 per cent tennis in the next round.”
In Saturday’s semi-finals, Nishikori will face either World No. 1 Novak Djokovic or 2012 champion Andy Murray. The Shimane native will be the first Japanese player to contest the US Open semi-finals since 1918.
Watch Nishikori Uncovered
Having tied for the latest ever finish at the US Open with his 2:26am victory over Milos Raonic in the fourth round, Nishikori was not at his best in the first set against Wawrinka. The Swiss capitalised on an 83 mph second serve to break Nishikori in the second game with a rifling forehand return winner and went on to secure the opener.
Nishikori settled into his game in the second set and, after being denied on a 0/40 chance on Wawrinka’s serve in the eighth game, levelled the match as he broke the Swiss in the 12th game. The right-hander stepped up his momentum with a break midway through the third set. However, when serving for the set at 5-3, 15/30, Nishikori attempted a ‘tweener off a Wawrinka lob. As his shot landed in the net, coach Michael Chang watched on despairingly as Wawrinka subsequently broke back.
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