British World No 2 Andy Murray bowed out of the US Open after being beaten in five sets by Kei Nishikori at Flushing Meadows.
The 2014 runner-up from Japan edged past this year’s Wimbledon and Olympic champion 1-6 6-4 4-6 6-1 7-5 in just under four hours of drama on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“It was so exciting on the court but I tried to stay calm. It was really tough,” said Nishikori after reaching only his second Slam semi-final.
In a match littered with service breaks – 17 in all – Nishikori prevailed for only his second win in eight matches against the world No 2.
Murray admitted that he briefly lost his composure which opened the door for 2014 runner-up Nishikori who has now beaten top 10 players five times at
the US Open.
“Definitely I would say to 4-1 I didn’t play a good game after I got out of the change of ends, and then he held pretty comfortably the next game,” said the Briton.
“But after that, I don’t think so. I lost my serve a couple of times from positions when I was up in the game.”
Since winning at Flushing Meadows in 2012, Murray has failed to reach the semi-finals in three subsequent attempts and he must now find a way
of regaining his focus ahead of next week’s Davis Cup semi-final against Argentina.
Sixth seed Nishikori will now face the winner of the match between unseeded former champion Juan Martin del Potro and third-seeded Swiss Stan Wawrinka for a place in the Sunday’s final.
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