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Tennis

Nishikori sees off Murray to set up Wawrinka semi-final

Kei Nishikori reached the US Open final in 2014.
Kei Nishikori reached the US Open final in 2014. Geoff Burke/USA Today

Kei Nishikori fought back from two sets to one down to beat the second seed Any Murray on Wednesday night in their quarter-final at the US Open. 

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Nishikori, 26, won 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 in just under four hours against the Briton who had claimed the Wimbledon crown and Olympic gold during the summer.

In a match which featured 17 breaks of serve, Nishikori prevailed for only his second win in nine matches against the 29-year-old world number two.

His triumph came just three weeks after losing to Murray in the Olympic semi-finals. "It was a really difficult match," said Nishikori. "I didn't start well. I felt it was really quick and I was missing too much. In the fourth and fifth sets I think I played some of the best tennis."

Murray looked to be in control at two sets to one ahead and carved out a break point in the third game of the fourth set when a loud sound came out of the public address system in Arthur Ashe stadium.

Umpire Marija Cicak ordered the point to be replayed much to Murray's chagrin and he seemed to lose his composure as Nishikori won five consecutive games to take the fourth set 6-1.

The sixth seed advanced to 2-0 in the decider before Murray came back to 2-2. Nishikori surged into a 4-2 lead before being pegged back to 4-4.

Murray edged 5-4 ahead but Nishikori, a finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2014, showed immense composure to hold for 5-5 before finally gaining the ascendance.

In Friday's semi-final, Nishikori will take on the third seed Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss defeated the 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Wawrinka said: "It was one of my toughest matches mentally and physically. Juan Martin's an incredible player."

Del Potro, the world number 142, is trying to resuscitate his injury blighted career and his run in New York will take him to around the 65 mark after being ranked as low as 1,045 in February.

"I can lose the match but I will never forget the cheers of the crowd. It's bigger than winning any match," said del Potro of the ovation he received after the match. "I'm so proud to get that from the crowd because I've been doing a big effort to play tennis again."

   

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