Nishikori downs Cilic in US Open marathon

Arnold Nichols
September 6, 2018

But Cilic came back in the fourth set to keep himself in contention and take the match to a final and decisive fifth set that would see the pair play for over four hours. "I just like walking in the city".

Kei Nishikori defeated Marin Cilic in a five-set marathon in the U.S Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.

It was just the latest in what's been a dominant run for Osaka.

20th seed Osaka used a lethal ground game and solid serving to overwhelm a tired Tsurenko, who laboured in stifling conditions on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

Keys reached the semifinals at her second consecutive U.S. Open after beating No. 30 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3.

Keys, the runner-up to Sloane Stephens previous year, took her record over Suarez Navarro to 4-0 thanks to a break in the ninth game of the first set and sixth of the second.

The last Japanese woman to achieve a Grand Slam semi-final was Kimiko Date at Wimbledon in 1996 - a year before Osaka was born.

After losing the first set 2-6, Nishikori bounced back to win the next two sets 6-4 7-6 (7-5) and looked to be well on his way to booking a semi-final spot.

US Open tournament director David Brewer said Wednesday night that the Grand Slam event's hard courts were purposely slowed down "a touch" in response to players noting in recent years that the surface seemed to be speeding up.

Nishikori rallied to outlast Marin Cilic, giving Japan a men's and women's semifinalist at the same Grand Slam for the first time in the professional era.

"I think (Osaka and Williams) really are different people, because the only similarity they have is that they kind of have the same hair, big hair", Bajin said, smiling.

"Especially in the end I really focus on every point", he said but added: "I wish I don't go to five sets every time".

Osaka, who lived in her native Japan until she was 3, started playing tennis in NY after her father saw the Williams sisters playing at the French Open in 1999 and chose to teach his daughters.

Nishikori stunned then-world number one Djokovic in the semi-finals in 2014 to become the first man from an Asian country to reach the championship match of a major.

"I didn't want to pull out as it's a Grand Slam quarter-final but she played well".

To win a title or even make a final in NY, where she and her sister Mari grew up learning tennis in a Haitian household with her father's parents and eating her mother's Japanese food, would speak to every part of Osaka's multicultural experience.

Osaka's next opponent will likely be her toughest yet, as she's set to face Madison Keys in the semifinals.

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.

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