Marathon man Nishikori upsets Wawrinka to reach semis

Wed Sep 3, 2014 10:32pm EDT
 
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Marathon man Kei Nishikori wore down Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7) 6-7 (5) 6-4 to reach the U.S. Open semi-finals on Wednesday, becoming the first Japanese man in 81 years to make the last four of a grand slam.

Having already played the longest match of the tournament in the fourth round, a four-hour 19-minute battle with Canadian Milos Raonic, the 24-year-old had enough in reserve to fell the Australian Open champion in four hours and 15 minutes.

"My body was tight," said Nishikori, after emulating the feat of countryman Jiro Satoh, the 1933 Wimbledon semi-finalist.

"It's great for my confidence, play two five-sets straight and a lot of 7-6.

"It was a tough game, especially after losing fourth set."

The 10th seed Nishikori now awaits the winner between world number one Novak Djokovic and Scotsman Andy Murray later on Wednesday.

"I was a little bit tired yesterday, but today was almost ... not 100 percent but close to feeling pretty good, my body," he said.

Nishikori arrived at sun-bathed Arthur Ashe Stadium looking fresh despite having played the latest finishing match ever at the U.S. Open a day earlier, when he walked off court on Tuesday morning at 2:26 a.m. local time.   Continued...

 
Kei Nishikori of Japan celebrates after defeating Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in their quarter-final match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 3, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar