Nishikori succumbs to Wawrinka in the searing heat
The Japanese player bowed out of the US Open losing 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 to Stan Wawrinka
Kei Nishikori did all of the spade work by eliminating world No.2 Andy Murray from the US Open but taking the sting out of the free swinging backhand of Stan Wawrinka was a step too far.
The Japanese star took the first set off the third-seeded Swiss but in Friday's searing humidity and heat, he simply ran out of steam in the semi-final.
“I went a little too much to his backhand. He started using the backhand down the line. He can hit angles really well with topspin. Yeah, definitely I was struggling with his backhand”, the 26-year-old said afterwards.
Nishikori had reached the final in New York in 2014 where he lost to Marin Cilic. After enjoying a five-set win over Wimbledon champion Murray in the fourth round, he was tipped to return to the final this year. But the efforts of beating Murray proved too much.
“It's not easy when you have to play No. 2, No. 3, and, you know, Novak Djokovic was waiting in the finals”, he explained. It wasn't easy but if I could have won the last few matches a little easier I could have had more chance today and maybe reach the final”.
Despite the defeat, Nishikori said it had been a good summer for him, after finishing runner-up at the Toronto Masters and winning a bronze medal at the Olympics.