Murray Can’t Survive Gong Show, Nishikori At US Open; Stan Stops Del Potro
by Staff | September 8th, 2016, 1:45 am

Andy Murray was in control for much of his match against Kei Nishikori at the US Open, that is until an inexplicable gong-like sound went off with the Scot holding break point for a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

The chair umpire immediately called a let and the point was replayed and Nishikori saved the break chance and went on to win seven straight games to go up 2-0 in the fifth before Murray finally got his head back right.

Murray still fought but Nishikori broke against at 5-5 and closed it out for a 4-hour, 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory.

“It was really difficult match,” Nishikori said. “I didn’t quite start well and lost 6-1. I felt it was really quick and I was rushing a little bit and missing too much unforced errors.

The match began under sunlight, but a second rain delay early in the second prompted the tournament to close the roof at 3-3. And Nishikori admitted the stoppage and opportunity to talk to coach Michael Chang did him good.

“After rain delay I think I improve little bit with my coach, and I tried to change a little bit my tennis and start working a little bit better,” added Nishikori. “I started get my rhythm back. Yeah, many breaks today.
Especially fifth set it was really tough. I was up 4-3, 40- love and lost the game. So there was many up and downs, but I tried to calm. I think that’s the most important thing I did today. Even though there was many up and downs I tried to stay tough.

:Yeah, last couple games I took little chance, and, yeah, win the whole thing. So it was really tight game, but happy to win today.”

Murray, who had been nearly unbeatable for much of the summer, suffered just his second loss in 28 matches with Ivan Lendl back in his camp.

“Obviously I was in a good position up a set,” Murray said.

He added the roof closure benefitted Nishikori.

“I think definitely under the roof he was able to dictate more of the points,” insisted Murray. “He was playing a bit closer to the baseline than me and taking the ball on a little bit more. You know, at times I was obviously doing more of the running, you know, whereas I think in the first set and a half and when we played in the Olympics, you know, that was the other way around.”

Murray falls short of returning to the US Open semifinals for a fourth straight year since winning it in 2012. But he was pleased with how the summer went.

“If someone had offered me the summer that I have had before Wimbledon, I probably would have signed for that,” Murray said. “I’m not going to have the best perspective on things right this minute, but, you know, after a few days, you know, away and stuff, I would imagine I’d be very happy with how I have done and, you know, learn from this match today and the summer as a whole, because, you know, it’s been tough. It’s been a hard summer.”

Nishikori is into his second Grand Slam final four and in it he’ll face Stan Wawrinka who stayed up late to stop the run of former champion Juan Martin del Potro 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in match that ended about 1:20am ET.

Wawrinka overcame a break in the first then cruised to the finish line on the end over a weary del Potro. He uncorked 53 winners to 45 unforced compared to del Potro who hit 28 winners to 49 unforced.

Del Potro won just 6 total points on his second serve the last two sets while Wawrinka lost just 3 points over that span on his first serve.

The Swiss is into his third semifinal at the US Open in the last four years. And it’s his second semifinal at the Slam of the season after the French Open.

After four wrist surgeries, Del Potro was playing his first US Open since 2013.

So the final four is set and it’s exactly the same as it was in Toronto where Novak Djokovic beat Gael Monfils and Nishikori knocked out Wawrinka.

The semifinals will be played Friday at 3pm ET.

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14 Comments for Murray Can’t Survive Gong Show, Nishikori At US Open; Stan Stops Del Potro

Margot Says:

Well played Kei. Took the match away from Andy with some great inspired play. Not as disappointed with the loss, hey that happens, as I am with “gong gate” TBH. Thought Andy could “let things go” these days, but apparently not.
But moving on, well played Stan. The man is back!

Van Persie Says:

A shame, that DelPo is not through.
Semifinal: Wawa-Kei will be interesting.

Daniel Says:

Wawax Kei should be interesting. I thought Wawa was stratimg his way downwards but seems he still has some cards up his sleeves. He is the bigger match player of the two and has a more powerfull serve. Slight favorite in it, but can’t see that match going less than 4 sets.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

The second match was as ugly as the first was beautiful. Kai was so impressive. His game has become so diversified, with his net game and drop shot-lob combo. Andy is so hard to drop shot because of his quickness, but Kei was so effective keeping Andy far behind the baseline that he could pull it off.

Stan/DelPo. Where to begin? The commentators were correctly harping on Stan for not going more tenaciously after DelPo’s backhand, which was really weak in the early going. Not sure why, as he had been using his 2hander more and more in each other match, even getting it down the line a bit against Thiem. I wonder if Stan’s power was the difference here: DelPo was scared to put his bad wrist against that pace, so he resorted to slices and eventually some medium strength 2-handers.
The match was there for him, in that Stan made so many mental errors at key moments, but DelPo didn’t have the game tonight. Worse, his forehand was making errors all over the place, and his serve just wasn’t at the level he needed. It could be that his shoulder was just worn out, being ‘new’ to this level of competition.
Del Potro had an off night, but that backhand remains the big mystery. Wawrinka will have to play much smarted against Kei.

In any case, a superb run from Del Potro. His comeback has been a great success, and I look forward to seeing him in QFs and SFs and maybe Fs to come. He gets a nice break now to work on that backhand!

RZ Says:

The “What If” Scenarios are up on the racquet bracket. My only chance of retaining my lead is for anyone other than Djokovic to win. The odds are not in my favor!

Giles Says:

RZ. I’ll say a prayer for you. Lol

FedExpress Says:

hahaha. what a joke draw nole had so far. and he will win it for sure now. monfils and then wawrinka/kei in the final. i would give wawrinka the best chance to beat him. he can beat nole only in slams in seems.

AlexB Says:

Wimbledon + Olympics + Cinci finals is great, Murray should be happy about that.
Not having to play a top 5 opponent to get there likely helped. Definitely good summer.

Humble Rafa Says:

As usual, this forum will support a Swiss man going forward for selfish reasons.


RZ Says:

@Giles – LOL. Thanks!

@HR – for selfish reasons I will also support a Japanese man and a French man. (I so rarely have a chance to win a racquet bracket – I’m usually last)

MARY Healey Says:

Congrats to Kei!!! Once in awhile a player who does go for manipulation of crowd-pleasing, emotional employment of vast family presence support , and actually relies on his/her skill to win, actually does!!!!!!!!! It’s so refreshing! Almost makes one believe that hard work actually pays off.

RZ Says:

Well one Murray made it to the final. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares def. Mahut/PHH.

J-Kath Says:

Tennis Vagabond

DelPotro and a nice rest? Expect he is Argentina’s no.1 player in the Davis Cup starting 16th Sept. in Glasgow vs. UK. and of course each match has the potential to go to 5 sets.

Margot Says:

RZ: pleased for Jamie and Bruno of course but French pair are extremely adorable, especially PHH.

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