A Slam-Worthy Semifinal: Nishikori/Cilic US Open Final Rematch Citi Open Tomorrow
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
Kei Nishikori won’t just get a chance to win a title this weekend in Washington, he’ll get a chance to avenge his biggest loss on his biggest stage, the 2014 US Open.
Nishikori brushed off 15 aces from Sam Groth to advance to the semifinal match-up tomorrow, 6-4 6-4. Cilic survived a surprisingly resilient Alexander Zverev in straights 7-5 7-6(3).
Cilic beat Nishikori in three sets to claim the grand slam title in Flushing Meadows last year, but Nishikori was clearly exhausted at the end of the US Open. This year, other than an opening round match on Tuesday at Citi Open in very humid conditions, his fitness and form have showed no signs of a slow down for the weekend. Nishikori leads the head to head with Cilic 4-3, but few remember those other six matches.
World #8 against world #5? This is not your average ATP 500 semi, but more akin to a Masters 1000 or US Open semifinal pairing.
For the first time in the 47-year history of the Washington event, a US Open defending champion and runner-up will be playing against each other.
Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with the first session starting at 12:30 p.m. with an ATP doubles semifinals. Then at 2:30 p.m., Nishikori will take on Cilic on Stadium Court.