In 2014, he made history by becoming the first Japanese man to ever reach the semi-finals of the U.S. Open after 81 years. Now Kei Nishikori has clinched a dramatic win against Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray in a five-set spanning quarterfinal match at this year’s Open at Flushing Meadows, New York.
This would have been a special win for Nishikori seeing as he recently lost to Murray at the Olympics semi-final, before winning the bronze medal match against Rafael Nadal.
Before the 2014 U.S. Open, he was the first Japanese man to be ranked in the top 10 seeds. His quarterfinal match against Stan Wawrinka, back then, was also a five-set nail-biting finish. But the best win of his career was the one against Novak Djokovic in the semi-final match. He dominated the game and kept the world no. 1 scrambling around the court, scoring easy points.
Injuries were plaguing Nishikori this year, with a retirement in Wimbledon during a match against Marin Cilic, but his bounce back to form was mostly thanks to a visibly drained and tired Nadal at the Olympics in Rio.
The 26-year-old Nishikori has been trained by former French Open champion Michael Chang since 2014, around the time he became a force to be reckoned with. He will now face third seed Wawrinka with him he has had a history of exciting matches, and a head-to-head of 2-3.