John Millman's US Open odyssey is over following a sapping quarter-final loss to Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic. Djokovic regained his focus and won the last three games to finish off Millman in two hours and forty nine minutes of grueling tennis.
Djokovic, the victor in 2011 and 2015, faces Kei Nishikori in Friday's semi-finals, his 11th successive appearance in the last-four. The unseeded Australian knocked out 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the fourth round to reach his first major quarterfinal.
Against Tsurenko, Osaka barely broke a sweat, winning, 6-1, 6-1.
Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese woman in 22 years to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam on Wednesday when she defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-1 in the last-eight of the US Open, admitting she was "freaking out" inside.
"He apologised for going to change [clothes] in the second set but I said "it's OK, I need the rest".
Djokovic moved a step closer to a third championship at Flushing Meadows and a 14th Grand Slam title overall by eliminating Millman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday to get to the tournament's semifinals for an 11th appearance in a row.
Back came Cilic again, his frequent pressure on the Nishikori serve eventually yielding reward to ensure the match went the distance.
The two combatants received a standing ovation after one spectacular rally in the opening game of the second set, with even Sir Rupert rising from his seat.
"Matches against Nadal and Federer, and Murray as well, have made me the player I am today because those were the guys that I always wanted to win against because those were the guys I had to beat in order to be the No. 1, to win Slams, and have the career that I had behind me".
Nishikori, who missed last year's US Open after a season-ending wrist injury, joined compatriot Naomi Osaka in reaching the semis - the first time that a Japanese man and woman have reached the last four in the same Grand Slam.
The sixth-seeded Djokovic was far from his best, but ultimately he didn't need to be to defeat the 55-ranked Millman, who fought gamely and entertained the crowd with his hustle and grit.
"You could imagine it was very hard for me to say goodbye before the match finishes", Nadal said.
This night was cooler, as the temperature dipped into the 70s, but the humidity was above 80 percent, so with Millman drenched, he sought permission for a wardrobe change at 2-all in the second set. "I tried to swing a little more, play aggressive and start working better from 4-2 down", he added. "Just trying to hang in there, find a way to win a match".
This one wasn't exactly simple for Djokovic: He only converted four of 20 break points. "So it came down to a couple points". After the first, Djokovic double-faulted, and he wound up getting broken there.
Djokovic was not to be denied though, as he timed the final break of serve to perfection, grabbing the advantage in game nine before serving out to love to seal his passage into the final four.
Cilic, who won their final meeting in straight sets, was pushed to the limit this time around with Nishikori extending his dominance to nine wins from 15 meetings.
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