Extreme Heat And Open Roofs Leaving US Open Stars Frustrated

Jo Caldwell
September 8, 2018

Novak Djokovic of Serbia and John Millman of Australia argue in the second set during their men's singles quarter-final match on Day Ten of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

"I personally have never sweat as much as I have here", Djokovic said early on Thursday morning after completing his 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

He has won the last 13 although Nishikori defeated the Serb in NY in the 2014 semi-finals on his way to a runners-up spot against Marin Cilic.

Djokovic, the victor in 2011 and 2015, faces Kei Nishikori in Friday's semi-finals, his 11th successive appearance in the last-four.

The No. 21 seed continued his strong season after returning from a wrist injury that forced him to miss the U.S. Open previous year and will play No. 6 seed Novak Djokovic on Friday.

After Naomi Osaka reached the women's semi-finals earlier, Nishikori's win means there is a Japanese man and woman in the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time in the Open Era.

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"We were both struggling and trying to hang in there".

Those injury concerns resurfaced in the weeks leading up to the US Open, but Millman says that might have worked to his advantage. "Novak's a champion. He's played a lot of grand slams and he knows how to win them".

He could not find a way back into that set but he made Djokovic work very hard for it, and the Serbian's frustration levels increased during the second set as chances came and went.

She's the only member of that quartet who made it back to that round, using her big-strike game built on serves and forehands to overpower No. 30 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-4, 6-3. "They weren't easy conditions but it's the same for both players".

To get to Saturday's championship match, 20th seed Osaka will have to get past USA 14th seed Madison Keys who breezed past Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3.

"I didn't feel I had the runs on the board coming into the US Open", Millman said.

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Few would have predicted such a remarkable season for Djokovic, who lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open, underwent surgery on his right elbow and fell at the first hurdle in Indian Wells and Miami on his return.

Djokovic said it was fine, because he needed a bit of a rest.

It was a sad comedown for the unheralded Aussie, who put in the shift of a lifetime on Tuesday to oust the five-time victor with a four-set victory. I said, 'Man, go ahead'.

The interruption, however, did little to put Djokovic off his game as he continued to threaten the all-action Aussie's serve, eventually breaking through in game nine at the third attempt as he took a two-set lead.

This one wasn't exactly simple for Djokovic: He only converted four of 20 break points.

"I was struggling, he was struggling, we were all sweating, changing clothes". Millman saved five break points, even survived two straight double-faults. "He's a fighter. He fights for every point and is never going to hand you the win".

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Nishikori stunned then-world No 1 Djokovic in the semi-finals in 2014 to become the first man from an Asian country to reach the championship match of a major.

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