US Open Kei Nishikori downs Marin Cilic in marathon semi-final

Cilic did level at 4-4 but his erratic play continued as Nishikori stole the set with the help of two double faults in the tiebreak.

The No. 21 ranked Nishikori defeated No. 7 ranked Cilic in five sets, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.

There was a subdued atmosphere on Arthur Ashe Stadium with the crowd struggling to get into the match.

Kei Nishikori overcame seventh seed Marin Cilic in a gruelling five-set match to reach the US Open semi-finals. He will play either No. 6 seed Novak Djokovic or unseeded John Millman on Friday.

Up next up for Osaka will be the victor of the evening match between 2017 runner-up Madison Keys, who at 14 is the highest seed left in the women's draw, and Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori have created tennis history at the US Open.

Keys, the 2017 runner-up, leads Osaka 3-0 in career meetings including the third round at the US Open in 2016 when she battled back from 1-5 in the final set to triumph.

And it is also the first time a Japanese man and woman have made the semi-finals of the same Grand Slam after Naomi Osaka won her quarter-final earlier today.

Kei Nishikori celebrates after defeating Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals of the US Open.

The Californian has dropped just a single set so far at the 2018 edition of the USA slam, to Aleksandra Krunic in the third round, and has a 2-0 edge against her upcoming Japanese opponent.

Against Tsurenko, Osaka barely broke a sweat, winning, 6-1, 6-1.

The 20-year-old Osaka, who has looked comfortable on one of the sport's biggest stages, was tearful after her fourth-round clash but much less emotional after her latest win.

She raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and then 4-0 in the second against the shaky Tsurenko, who finished with more unforced errors than points in her first major quarterfinal.

Osaka said she has tried to keep this tournament business-like as she navigates her way through the draw, but her triumph in NY is not just about advancing her career. She recovered to win in three sets, with her opponent accusing her of acting after the match.

Serbian sixth seed Djokovic, who will cap the night session, is in familiar territory, appearing in his 11th quarter-final at Flushing Meadows, and looks like a favourite with five-times victor Roger Federer knocked out of his half of the draw.

Keys punched her ticket with a victory over Carla Suarez Navarro on Wednesday.

Suarez Navarro upset former champion Maria Sharapova in the last round and needs another win to become the first Spanish women to reach the U.S. Open semi-finals since Conchita Martinez in 1996.

  • Stacy Allen