Saturday, 22 September, 2018

No sweat! Djokovic admits 2018 US Open toughest mission

Marin Cilic Kei Nishikori Marin Cilic faces Kei Nishikori in the US Open quarter-finals this evening
Tamara Craig | 08 September, 2018, 19:29

Like his match against Federer, Millman fell behind early against Djokovic.

In the middle of the match when Djokovic had a 6-3, 2-2 lead over John Millman, there was an unexpected pause in play so Millman could change his clothes. Nearly three hours, it's midnight now.

"Full credit for John for putting up a great battle". He's a great fighter. "He played an incredible tournament". Djokovic regained his focus and won the last three games to finish off Millman in two hours and forty nine minutes of grueling tennis.

That came during an unusual stoppage after four games of the second set when Millman was instructed to go off court to change his whole kit because he was sweating so much it was making the surface risky.

He reappeared six-and-a-half minutes later, and later changed his white shirt for a black one. A smiling Djokovic admitted that he'd welcomed the mid-set rest while his opponent changed.

Meanwhile, Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki called out supporters in the stands at the Miami Open earlier this year for abuse suffered by both her and her supporters in her player box.

"I was struggling, he was struggling", Djokovic said. I think just that makes it a totally different US Open. He praised the Arthur Ashe crowd and thanked them for staying up to cheer him on. It will have two more played at the main stadium this week.

"I was behind in head-to-head with both of these guys up to recently", said Djokovic, who also leads Andy Murray, 25-11.

Thiem: Nadal defeat will stick in my mind forever
But now I wish him the title the most, that's for sure. "Yeah, of course, I played a lot of long and tough matches in my career". Dominic Thiem went on long into the small hours, with Nadal eventually prevailing in a pulsating deciding-set tiebreak .

Wheelchair tennis has been around for more than four decades with 120 professional events in 80 countries, but only recently become a mainstay all four Grand Slams. This year he was close to be the victor of that match'.

Next up is Japan's Kei Nishikori and Djokovic goes into that with a 14-2 head-to-head record, their most recent meeting being in Wimbledon's quarter-finals.

In the other quarterfinal clash on Ashe, American Madison Keys, the runner-up at last year's U.S Open, reached her third semifinal in the last five Grand Slams, defeating Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3.

Japan's Nishikori, who missed last year's US Open after a season-ending wrist injury, joined compatriot Naomi Osaka in reaching the semis - the first time that a Japanese man and woman have reached the last four in the same grand slam.

"I was really tested", Djokovic said on court after the match.

She pushed some balls a few feet past the baseline, often failing to make Osaka do anything special to win a point and finishing with 31 unforced errors. I think she can win a title now. "We just felt we needed to address that a little bit this year".

But she will face a stern test from Suarez Navarro, who is brimming with confidence after arriving in NY on the heels of a finals appearance at New Haven.

"Well, it definitely means a lot for me, and I always thought if I were to win a Grand Slam, the first one I'd want to win is the U.S. Open, because I have grown up here and, like, then my grandparents can come and watch", she said.

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