Kei Nishikori became the first man from Japan to reach the U.S. Open semifinals in 96 years, outlasting third-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5), 6-4 on Wednesday.
The match went 4 hours, 15 minutes, and the 10th-seeded Nishikori managed to shake off any lingering exhaustion from his previous victory, which lasted 4:19 and ended at 2:26 a.m. Tuesday, equaling the latest finish in tournament history.
Nishikori began slowly against the Australian Open champion, but eventually got his bearings and used crisp returns and strong net play to edge ahead.
Djokovic reaches eighth straight semis
Novak Djokovic fended off a fading Andy Murray 7-6 (1), 6-7 (1), 6-2, 6-4 in a matchup of past U.S. Open champions to reach the tournament’s semifinals for the eighth consecutive year.
Djokovic broke the eighth-seeded Murray to go up 3-1 in the third set, then fended off a pair of break points in the next game. On the first, Murray sailed a backhand long to end a 28-stroke point, then leaned over and put a hand on his knee. On the second, he dumped a forehand into the net, then slammed his racket against his right thigh and yelled.
Williams rejuvenates, beats Pennetta
After a bad-as-can-be start, dropping the first three games, Serena Williams quickly turned things around and stretched her U.S. Open winning streak to 19 matches to get back to the semifinals.
Considered the best server in women’s tennis, the No. 1-seeded Williams was broken twice in a row at the outset, before taking complete control for a 6-3, 6-2 victory over 11th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy.
Williams is bidding to become the first woman with three consecutive U.S. Open titles since Chris Evert took four in a row from 1975-78.
Ekaterina Makarova reached her first Grand Slam semifinal, beating Victoria Azarenka in straight sets at the U.S. Open.
The 16th-seeded Makarova won 6-4, 6-2 over Azarenka after losing her previous four major quarterfinals.
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