October 13, 2015

Kei Nishikori Defeats Stan Wawrinka to Reach US Open Semifinals

Kei Nishikori Memphis 2014

(September 3, 2014) Kei Nishikori became the first man from Japan to reach the US Open semifinals since 1918 beating third seed Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5), 6-4 on a match which began Wednesday afternoon and ended in the evening.

Nishikori talked about coming back to play this match after the marathon from the other night.

“It was okay,” Nishikori said. “Yesterday was, you know, my body was tight. I was a little bit tired yesterday, but today was almost, you know, not 100% but close to, you know, feeling pretty good my body. It’s great for my confidence, you know, play two five-sets straight and a lot of 7-6. Yeah, it was, you know, tough game, especially after losing fourth set. You know, it was very close tiebreak, you know, but I was playing much better in third and fourth and I have more confidence to get in the fifth set. So, you know, I tried to focus on my service game. I just took, yeah, one chance in the end.”

“He finish really late two days ago, but it’s one match out of the tournament,” Wawrinka said. “So normally after two days or a little bit less you’re there, you feel good, especially when you win. So I wasn’t surprised because I know how is he. From outside he looks really dead, but we know on the court he can play, and he play long like what he did today. If even at the beginning he looks like he’s going to die on the court, but he’s there. Physically he’s there. Even at the end of the match even. We were both quite tired in the fifth set. I try not to show. I still think that I was the fresher on the court, but he handle well. He was really going for his shot in the fifth set. I had some chance to break him. Maybe I should go a little bit more, maybe I should try a few different things, but didn’t happen that way. That’s life.”

The five-set match lasted 4 hours, 15 minutes. On Monday night Nishikori played a 4 hour and 19 minute match beating Milos Raonic, ending at 2:26 a.m. Tuesday, matching the latest finish in US Open history.

Speaking of history, the top Japanese player i s happy to repeat history in being the fir man from his country since 1918 ro reach a major semifinal.

“Very honored to make the history. I always love to play here because I feel a little bit like home, you know. It’s very close where I live. Also a lot of Asian and Japanese fans come up. Always fun to play here. I always enjoy.”

Nishikori will face the winner of the match between No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 8 Andy Murray for a place in the final.