Nishikori shines brightly after rain
KEI Nishikori is calm and quiet on court and a paragon of sportsmanship but the Japanese enjoyed taking revenge against Andy Murray on Wednesday.
He had lost seven of eight of their previous matches before his impressive 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 upset of the world No. 2 Briton to reach the semi-finals.
"I think it means a lot, especially since I have been losing to Andy a lot," the sixth seed told reporters.
"And especially this stage.
"It's a big opportunity for me to play today's match."
Nishikori ticked a lot of boxes with his gruelling victory.
It was his first victory ever against a player ranked in the top two and it avenged the semi-final loss at the Rio Olympics where Murray went on to win gold and Nishikori settled for bronze.
Murray had also won in five sets in this year's Davis Cup.
Said Nishikori: "Actually, we just played this year a really long match. I think it was close to five hours in Davis Cup and I lost the match, so it was great to (get) revenge."
The 26-year-old was helped by a 20-minute rain delay in the second set as the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof was closed.
"Before the rain delay, I think I was a little bit out of my concentration. I felt like I didn't know what to do," said Nishikori who talked to his coaches in the locker room.
"After the rain delay, I think I was more focused and started playing better tennis."