It certainly isn’t the match tennis fans expected, but the 2014 U.S. Open men’s final provides a massive stage for two emerging stars.
Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori knocked off Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, respectively, which is no easy task. While both semifinals had a final feel, the two players will have to take on each other for the U.S. Open title.
Suffice it to say, this is a huge match for both players. And after brilliant matches against two of the biggest names in the sport, both have proven they are ready for the moment.
While Nishikori doesn’t have quite the same following as Federer, he has become a crowd favorite with his huge upsets. The Japanese player has also outlasted three consecutive top-five players in a total of 14 sets across those matches.
Heading into the massive showdown for both young players, Nishikori has the edge in head-to-head matchups. Not only is the overall record is 5-2 in favor of Nishikori, he also holds two victories over Cilic this season alone.
Cilic does not have a victory over the Japanese player since 2012, but that also came in the third round of the U.S. Open. But with both players holding a win over each other at Flushing Meadows, recent history proves more about the matchup.
After upsetting three notable players during the run to the final, Nishikori’s recent play will earn him his first-ever Grand Slam title. As the legend of Nishikori grows, the top-10 player will also have a career-defining moment Monday night.
Prediction: Nishikori defeats Cilic, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
via bleacher report