No.6 seed Novak Djokovic brushed aside Kei Nishikori in straight sets to advance to the US Open men’s final, taking him a step closer to equaling Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles.
Djokovic was at his best in defeating his rival, taking two hours and 22 minutes to dispatch the 21st seed 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 and reach his eighth final at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Novak dominated from the baseline throughout the encounter and prevented his opponent from stepping into the court and establishing any rhythm.
The 2011 and 2015 champion kept Nishikori under relentless pressure. He broke him once in the first and second sets and twice in the third to improve his dominant ATP H2H mark over the Japanese to 15-2. Djokovic won 80% of his first serve points and saved both break points he faced.
“It felt great. I came in today from the first point with great intensity and focus. Kei is one of the quickest movers on the court. He takes away a lot of your time but I took the points and played really well,“ said Novak. “The majors are the biggest events we have in tennis and every player wants to perform their best in Grand Slams. I’ve lost some big finals but also won some. Every time I’m back to Arthur Ashe stadium I relive these memories and they give me a lot of strength.“
Match statistics: aces (3-2), double faults (2-2), winners (16-22), unforced errors (29-51), total points won (103-75).
Novak will look to capture his third US Open trophy on Sunday (16:00 local time / 22:00 CET) against no.3 seed and 2009 winner Juan Martin del Potro (H2H 14-4).
The Argentine was leading 7-6, 6-2, when defending champion Rafael Nadal had to retire because of a pain in his right knee.
Nole on his Sunday’s opponent: “We have never faced each other in a Grand Slam final so that will be new for both of us. I have tremendous respect for him as a player and a person. He has come back from injury and is well respected in the locker room. He is a big match player and he showed that today against Nadal. I am sure it will be a thrilling match.”
Djokovic is bidding to win back-to-back major titles following his Wimbledon victory two months ago.
“It means the world to me. I am trying to be the best that I can be,” he said. “I am working hard every day and trying to reach certain heights. Every time I accomplish something big, I feel like there is a new mountain peak to conquer. I don’t see any limits. I keep on going and hopefully you are enjoying my tennis.”