The US Open quarter finals recently saw Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic take down last year’s champion, Andy Murray, in a stunning neck and neck battle at Flushing Meadows.
It was a heated match as both stars missed a few key opportunities, but ultimately, Djokovic came out on top with a final score of 7-6 (7-1), 6-7(1-7), 6-2, 6-4. After a disappointing summer, which saw him bow out of Wimbledon early, Murray went home to his native Scotland empty-handed once again.
The victory was particularly sweet for Djokovic as he’s now risen to the title of World Number One. Despite his success, he remained humble in a post-match press conference. The 27-year-old said: “We both gave our best. At times it was not that nice, a lot of unforced errors, but it was a very physical battle. I didn’t expect anything less. The last five times we played we went over three or four hours.”
Up next, Serbia-born Djokovic faces Kei Nishikori, the first Japanese man to make the US Open semi-finals since Ichiya Kuamagae in 1918. At just 24 years old, Nishikori is three years Djokovic’s junior, but has already proven himself to be a potential threat against the World Number One. Fans who have been following Nishikori over the years will have seen just how many Grand Slam finals he has made it to since 2012. At so young, the 10th-seed have just what it takes to win the title.
In a recent on-court interview, Djokovic treated his upcoming match against Nishikori with humour. Asked how he felt about the semi-finals, he joked: “My thoughts are just directed to sleeping right now.
“Or party. What do you say? Let’s party. I think my coach right there would chase me with a little baseball bat if he saw me going to the city to party right now.”
Djokovic may not be best advised to start partying just yet, as Nishikori has already proven his ability to battle on through fatigue. In a match against Swiss Stan Wawrinka, the youngster was able to carry on for four hours and 19 minutes, in a match which ended at 2:26 a.m. He was elated about his 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5), 6-4 victory, and told press afterwards that it was “pretty big news in Japan.”
Defeating a World Number One would be even bigger news however, and this year’s US Open looks to be one of the most exciting yet.