Djokovic, Federer stunned! Sports

Nishikori to face Cilic in US Open final

Cilic completed the upset in a game with three straight aces before producing a winner on the first of his three match points

Cilic completed the upset in a game with three straight aces before producing a winner on the first of his three match points   | Photo Credit: Darron Cummings

Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic scored upset wins over elite competition to set up a final between outsiders at the US Open on Monday.

Nishikori on Saturday became the first Asian man to ever reach a grand slam title match after stunning Novak Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in sweltering conditions.

“I hope this is big news in Japan, and hopefully they are up at 4 am watching,” said Nishikori, who had summer foot surgery and was unsure of even playing in the final major of the season.

Big-hitting Croatian Cilic, seeded 14th, ended the dream of five-time champion Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in little more than 90 minutes, firing 13 aces and breaking the Swiss second seed four times.

Federer held a 5-0 career record in the series over Cilic, who is coached by 2001 Wimbledon winner Goran Ivanisevic, a New York semi-finalist in 1996.

“It’s fairly simple: I think Marin played great. I maybe didn’t catch my best day, but I think that was pretty much it in a nutshell,” said Federer.



This is just an amazing day for me, I never dreamed of something like this. Today was the best performance of my career.

“This is just an amazing day for me, I never dreamed of something like this,” said the 25-year-old Cilic. “Today was the best performance of my career.”

Cilic called the day a highlight for both himself and Monday opponent Nishikori. “It’s a sensational day, I’m extra happy to be in the final.

“It’s the first of my career and I will really try to win.”

Federer, playing in his ninth New York semi-final, did not show the energy he had on Thursday when he rallied from two sets to love down to beat Gael Monfils in a thriller.

  Nishikori, who has trained in Florida humidity for the past decade, put top seed Djokovic on the back foot by winning the opening set, only to lose the second as the heat began to take a toll.

But the Japanese ace recovered his poise in the third set, which he finally claimed in a tiebreaker.

Nishikori began the fourth with a break as the will seemed to drain out of Djokovic, who eventually went down after saving one match point before sending a tired forehand out to lose in just under two and three-quarter hours.

“I had all my dedication, everything directed to this US Open. I tried to give my best and I did. Now my best today was not where I wanted it to be,” said the Serb top seed.

Djokovic is due to juggle his wife’s impending birth of a baby as well as a tennis schedule which should see him heading to China in October for ATP events in Beijing and Shanghai.



Other than in the second set, my game today was not even close to what I wanted it to be. A lot of unforced errors, a lot of short balls. I just wasn’t myself.

“The season is not over yet. I felt like I could have gone at least a step further here, but it was disappointing today.

“It’s sport. I have to congratulate the better opponent and move on and try to finish off this year hopefully as close as I did last year.

“What can I say? Other than in the second set, my game today was not even close to what I wanted it to be. A lot of unforced errors, a lot of short balls. I just wasn’t myself.

“I wasn’t in balance, I had so many unforced errors (35). Even when the ball got back to his part of the court it was pretty short - he took advantage of it. On the other side I didn’t. That’s it.”

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 7:15:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/in-school/sports/nishikori-to-face-cilic-in-us-open-final/article6388528.ece

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