NEW YORK – Kei Nishikori suffered a straight sets loss Friday against former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and made a semifinal exit at the U.S. Open.
Nishikori was handed a swift defeat at Arthur Ashe Stadium, losing 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to the sixth seed. He suffered his 14th straight loss against the Serbian, a two-time U.S. Open winner who now boasts a 15-2 record against the Japanese.
“Today I couldn’t play like myself,” Nishikori said. “There were moments when I couldn’t keep up with (Djokovic’s) level and get my feet moving.
“These last two weeks have been good tennis and I think I’m just worn out,” he said.
The 28-year-old was looking to make his second appearance in a Grand Slam final. He beat Djokovic in the 2014 U.S. Open semifinals, but was swept by Croatian Marin Cilic in the title match.
Djokovic, seeking back-to-back Grand Slam victories after claiming Wimbledon in July, will face Juan Martin del Potro in the men’s final. The No. 3 Argentine advanced after defending champion Rafael Nadal retired from Friday’s other semifinal with a knee injury.
In the women’s draw, Naomi Osaka will live out her childhood dream when she faces 23-time major winner Serena Williams in the final.
Osaka became the first Japanese woman to reach a Grand Slam final when she beat American Madison Keys in the semifinals on Thursday.