Japan’s Kei Nishikori made tennis history on Saturday when he became the first Asian man to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
Tenth seed Nishikori defeated top seed and 2011 champion Novak Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 at the US Open. He will play second seed and five-time former champion Roger Federer or No. 14 seed Marin Cilic in Monday night’s championship match.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” said Nishikori in an on-court interview. “I was a little bit tight, especially since it was my first semi-final in a Grand Slam. It’s just an amazing, amazing feeling, beating the No. 1 player. I’m so happy.
“It was a little tough conditions today. It felt a little bit heavy, and humid, too. I guess I love to play long matches and I hope can recover well for the final.”
“He started playing much better, very consistent and more aggressive, but I tried to forget about the first and second sets and tried to concentrate again.
Nishikori, who has beaten Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka at the US Open, rises to No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Race To London in the battle to clinch a spot at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 9-16 November.
Djokovic had been attempting to reach his fifth straight US Open final – and his sixth straight overall.