NEW YORK (Reuters) – After tackling two US Open debutants, Novak Djokovic confronted an outdated foe on Saturday, reaching the fourth spherical with a 6-7(4) 6-Three 6-Three 6-2 win over Kei Nishikori to remain on track for a document 21st main title that may full the calendar Grand Slam.
Following first-ever conferences with Denmark’s Holger Rune and Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, Djokovic confronted a seasoned campaigner in Nishikori, who was runner-up on the 2014 U.S. Open having crushed the Serb to maneuver into that yr’s remaining.
Since then it has been one-way site visitors within the rivalry with Djokovic sweeping 17 straight contests in opposition to the Japanese participant, enhancing his head-to-head document to 18-2.
However after Nishikori’s 6-2 6-Zero quarter-final thumping by the hands of the world No. 1 on the Tokyo Olympics, the 31-year-old made Djokovic sweat for his victory.
“To this point the hardest match of the match for me,” stated Djokovic. “The opening two rounds clearly felt properly, performed good.
“However the tempo of the ball and the velocity of Nishikori’s tennis at the moment was simply greater than the opening two rounds’ opponents that I had.”
Often the headliner beneath the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights, Djokovic made a matinee look on Saturday and appeared unsettled by the circumstances as he went to work beneath a blazing solar.
For the primary time this week New York followers, who haven’t all the time embraced Djokovic, acquired behind the history-hunting Serb, showering him with cheers that had largely gone to his opponents.
Whereas Djokovic didn’t want the followers to get by means of the opening week, he is aware of the trail will get tougher and in some unspecified time in the future will probably want the power the gang can deliver to get him by means of a tough patch.
“Arthur Ashe is the place the place you deliver the power,” stated Djokovic. “That is the place you are feeling this type of electrical ambiance, significantly within the matches like this the place it is determined in just a few factors.
“Yeah, the gang was concerned. It was loud. It was good. I thrived on that.”
A good opening set was snatched by Nishikori in a tiebreak earlier than Djokovic started to settle into the competition, breaking the Japanese participant twice within the second on his technique to leveling the match at a set apiece.
In one other workmanlike effort, the highest seed took the decisive break within the third to go forward 5-3, then held serve for a 2-1 lead.
Now in management, Djokovic would depart Nishikori no openings to hope for a comeback, storming by means of the final 4 video games of the fourth set to shut out the competition in type.
Djokovic now awaits the winner of the match between U.S. wildcard Jenson Brooksby and Russian Aslan Karatsev.