Independent Online

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Djokovic sets up 11th #USOpen semi-final against Nishikori

Novak Djokovic of the Serbia reacts after defeating John Millman of Australia during their quarter-final match on the tenth day of the US Open. Photo: Jason Szenes/EPA

Novak Djokovic of the Serbia reacts after defeating John Millman of Australia during their quarter-final match on the tenth day of the US Open. Photo: Jason Szenes/EPA

Published Sep 6, 2018

Share

NEW YORK – Two-time champion Novak Djokovic ended John Millman's fairytale US Open run on Wednesday, beating the 55th-ranked Australian in straight sets to book a semi-final clash with Kei Nishikori.

The Serbian star, who ended a 54-week title drought with his 13th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, defeated the tenacious Aussie 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his 11th US Open semi-final in his last 11 appearances.

Story continues below Advertisement

He lifted the trophy in 2011 and 2015.

Nishikori, the 21st seed, advanced with a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Marin Cilic - the man who beat him in the 2014 final.

Millman, who stunned five-time champion Roger Federer in the fourth round, kept Djokovic running - and was kept running himself - for 2 hours 49 minutes on another hot, humid night on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Story continues below Advertisement

John Millman of Australia (right) congratulates Novak Djokovic after defeating him during their quarter-final match on the tenth day of the US Open. Photo: Jason Szenes/EPA

"You survive on the court, then thrive with a win," said Djokovic, who converted just four of his 20 break points and made 53 unforced errors before he was finally able to accomplish what Federer couldn't in seeing off Millman.

"Very tested," said Djokovic, who admitted that like many he was surprised to find himself facing Millman, not Federer, across the net. "But Millman is the kind of a player that makes you miss the balls, makes you win the point, earn the point.

"He doesn't miss a lot himself, so he just runs left, right, gets a lot of balls. Tactically, you've got to find the right balance between being patient but constructive in the point, but at the same time, be aggressive and take the chance when you have a shorter ball. It's easier said than done."

Story continues below Advertisement

It was clear that it could be a long night when the players battled for more than 15 minutes in the sixth game of the opening set, Millman saving four break points.

The Aussie saved another four in the opening game of the second set and as the duel continued both players were clearly feeling the effects of long, entertaining rallies.

Millman, his clothes soaked, made the unorthodox request to go change after the fourth game of the second set - Djokovic agreeing.

Story continues below Advertisement

"He was apologizing he felt very sorry that he has to leave the court and change. I said, 'Man, go ahead.' 

Feel the roar of the Flushing Meadows crowd... @DjokerNole reaches his 11th #USOpen semifinal under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium! pic.twitter.com/CqbIi6dLhk

— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 6, 2018

"I needed that rest," said Djokovic, who finally gained the decisive break in the penultimate game of the final set then served it out at love.

"I gave it a crack," said the 29-year-old Millman, who has battled a litany of injuries in his career. "I definitely left it all out there today and pulled up a bit short. Novak's a champion. He's played a lot of Grand Slams and he knows how to win them."

Japan's Nishikori, who missed last year's US Open after a season-ending wrist injury, joined compatriot Naomi Osaka in reaching the semis - the first time that a Japanese man and woman have reached the last four in the same Grand Slam.

Novak Djokovic has reached his 11th US Open semi-final in his last 11 appearances. Video: Lubabalo Poswa/African News Agency/ANA

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Related Topics:

Share