TOKYO (AP) — Kei Nishikori’s historic run to the semifinals of the U.S. Open was a big hit in The Land of the Rising Sun.
Nishikori became the first Japanese man to reach the U.S. Open semifinals in 96 years by outlasting third-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5), 6-4 on Wednesday.
Japanese tennis fans had woke at dawn to catch the quarterfinal were rewarded.
The previous Japanese semifinalist at the U.S. Open was Ichiya Kumagae in 1918. No man from the country had made it to the final four at any major tournament since Jiri Satoh at Wimbledon in 1933.
Nishikori, the first Japanese to be ranked in the ATP’s top 10 after climbing to No. 9 in May, faces No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Saturday.
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