Novak Djokovic: Rivalries ‘have made me the player I am’

John Millman loses to Novak Djokovic in US Open quarter-finals

John Millman loses to Novak Djokovic in US Open quarter-finals

The defending champion and No. 1 seed at Flushing Meadows recovered from his disastrous start and other stumbles along the way to beat No. 9 Dominic Thiem 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) for a semifinal berth at a third consecutive Grand Slam tournament, winning a physical, back-and-forth tussle that concluded after 2 a.m. on Wednesday.

"What. A. Finish", the US Open tweeted after the Serbian won, adding that he cruised to the final in Flushing Meadows after defeating Nishikori 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Sep 5, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a backhand against John Millman of Australia (not pictured) in a quarter-final match on day ten of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. 'If not the quickest, then one of the quickest players on the tour.

"No", smiled Osaka when informed of the US Open first.

Djokovic admitted this event could be ranked "as the sweatiest Slam ever".

"There are so many people that stayed at the stadium and its past midnight".

It's the first time in Grand Slam history that such a break has been offered to the men.

The No. 20 seed broke Tsurenko in the second game of the match, despite being on the sun-drenched side of the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium and cruised from there.

The Aussie saved another four in the opening game of the second set and as the duel continued both players were clearly feeling the effects of their long, entertaining rallies. He couldn't find an answer for Djokovic's returns and was pushed around the court in each of his service games - one game lasting more than 16 minutes - to fall behind 4-1.

Nishikori won the opening two games of the third to make it six games in a row before surviving six deuces to come through a marathon sixth game. That was at Wimbledon in 1995, and both Kimiko Date and Shuzo Matsuoka lost in that round. So far in this Open, she's held opponents scoreless in three sets, and she's dropped only one set thus far.

Nishikori said this week that he was nervous once that match began, but this one was nothing like that day.

"I needed that rest", said Djokovic, who finally gained the decisive break in the penultimate game of the final set then served it out at love.

The policy is a rule on the women's tour, but not the men's.

'Because he plays so fast, he makes me more alert from the first point.

Against Tsurenko, Osaka barely broke a sweat, winning, 6-1, 6-1.

Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open victor, held a news conference to announce her retirement as Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic battled it out in another lengthy contest on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Djokovic has had his own troubles in the gruelling conditions here, but although there were moments when he again looked distressed the 31-year-old proved a more resilient opponent. Nishikori has won eight of the 14 meetings.

Djokovic will meet Japan's Kei Nishikori in the last four having already swatted aside Hungary's Marton Fucsovics, American Tennys Sandgren, Richard Gasquet of France and the Portuguese Joao Sousa. He sat out a year ago because of an injured right elbow.

Each of the Japanese's three Grand Slam semifinal appearances have come in NY and he exorcised some of the demons still lingering from his 2014 final heartbreak in Arthur Ashe Stadium by disposing of his attacker from that early September evening four years ago.

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