Kei Nishikori sees off Marin Cilic in five to reach first Slam semi since 2016
Kei Nishikori v Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3

Kei Nishikori sees off Marin Cilic in five to reach first Slam semi since 2016

Kei Nishikori defeated Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3 on Wednesday to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final since 2016.

Nishikori, 28, has been battling injuries for the past year on and off but he showed glimpses of a return to form when he reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

And he has now matched his best Grand Slam performance since reaching the final four of the 2016 US Open with an impressive victory over Cilic.

The victory also completed a historic day for Japanese tennis with Naomi Osaka routing Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-1 and the pair became the first Japanese man and woman to reach the semi-finals of the same grand slam.

"It's great to see," said Nishikori. "I think she can win a title now, even though grand slam. I feel it is a big chance for her. I am also happy for myself."

The match was a repeat of the 2014 US Open final, which Cilic won, and the Croatian made a strong start as he took the opening set.

However Nishikori fought back and took the next two sets before Cilic forced a decider.

Nishikori raced into a 4-1 lead but Cilic broke back to take the set to 4-4.

Nishikori served out to go to 5-4 and he then found the break to take the match.

He will face Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic in the last four.

After reaching the final in Monte Carlo, the French Open fourth round and the Wimbledon quarter-finals, Nishikori believes an elusive first grand slam is within reach.

"Yeah, always excited to play Novak because it's great challenge for me," said Nishikori about the possibility of facing Djokovic, before he beat Millman in the quarter-finals.

"Always exciting to play him. Especially after coming from injury, I think I'm enjoying this challenge."

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