Day 10. QF. Kei Nishikori

Andy Taylor Sports Emcee 2018 US Open 045 Kei Nishikori Quarterfinal

Sports Emcee Andy Taylor | The Voice of the US Open | Photo: USTA / Darren Carroll

[21] Kei Nishikori -19- (JPN) def [7] Marin Cilic -07- (CRO) | 26 64 76(5) 46 64

Four-years-ago, Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori met in the US Open Final. It was the first time since 2005 a member of the “Big Four” / Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray / did not reach a Slam’s championship match.

Both made history. Cilic – who defeated Roger Federer in the Semifinals – became the first Croatian ever to win a Slam, defeating Kei 63 63 63. Meanwhile, Nishikori – who defeated Novak Djokovic in the Semifinals – became the first player from Asia ever to reach a Major Final.

Today, it was Kei’s turn to raise his fists in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Down a set and a break, Nishikori strung together six straight games to level the match and gain an early lead in set-3. Cilic righted-the-ship in the 3rd and forced a tiebreak, but a double-fault and weak service points cost him the set.

One slip from Kei in the fourth led to a 4+ hour, sweat-soaked, deciding-set marathon. Both earned breaks in the 5th, then a nervy game handed Nishikori the victory as Cilic failed to hold to keep the match alive.

With the win, Kei Nishikori is through to his 3rd Grand Slam Semifinal – both previous Major Semifinal matches were right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium (2014 | 2016). Not to mention, Nishikori is now 6-7 against top-10 opponents.

Andy Taylor Sports Emcee 2018 US Open 045 Kei Nishikori Quarterfinal Match Recap

NEXT: [21] Kei Nishikori -19- (JPN) vs [6] Novak Djokovic -06- (SRB)

QF: def [7] Marin Cilic -07- (CRO) 26 64 76(5) 46 64 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R4: def Philipp Kohlschreiber -24- (GER) 63 62 75 | Louis Armstrong Stadium
R3: def [13] Diego Schwartzman -13- (ARG) 64 64 57 61 | Grandstand
R2: def Gael Monfils -39- (FRA) 65 54 RET | Louis Armstrong Stadium
R1: def Maximilian Marterer -50- (GER) 62 62 63 | Court 17

[21] Kei Nishikori -19- (JPN)

4-years-ago, he upset World #1 Novak Djokovic to reach his first Grand Slam Final right here at the US Open. Ranked as high as World #4, he owns 11 ATP World Tour Singles titles; and earlier this year, reached his 23rd career Singles Final in Monte Carlo – his 4th championship match at Masters-1000 event. Two-years-ago in Rio, he captured Olympic Bronze, defeating Rafael Nadal to earn Japan’s first Olymnpic tennis medal in 96 years. Competing in his 9th Grand Slam Quarterfinal; tonight he’s through to the US Open’s Final-8 for the 3rd time. From Japan, please welcome 2014 US Open Finalist…Kei Nishikori.

[7] Marin Cilic -07- (CRO)

In 2014, he won his first Grand Slam Singles title right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium. A Wimbledon Finalist last year – in January, he reached his 3rd Major Final at the Australian Open, earning his second career win over a World #1, defeating Rafael Nadal en-route to the championship match. He climbed to a career-high ranking of World #3 and went on to capture his 18th ATP World Tour Singles title at Queens Club, in his 32nd career Tour-Level Final. A Davis Cup Finalist in 2016, he is competing in his 13th Grand Slam Quarterfinal; and tonight, is through to the US Open’s Final-8 for the 5th time. From Croatia, please welcome 2014 US Open Champion…Marin Cilic.