Reigning U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic moved into the Citi Open semifinals for the first time since 2010 by beating 18-year-old Alexander Zverev of Germany 7-5, 7-6 (3) on Friday.
Nishikori is chasing his third title of the year after Memphis and Barcelona and the 10th of his career.
Blocking Cilic’s path to his second semi-final of the year is Alexander Zverev, who rallied past Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Kei Nishikori withstood 15 aces and managed to break Sam Groth’s big serve twice for a 6-4, 6-4 victory in the Citi Open quarterfinals Friday.
Groth got a look at four break points (one in the first set, three in the second) but could not convert on any occasion.
And Nishikori made it clear he seeks a measure of revenge for Cilic denying his bid to become the first Asian man to win a Grand Slam title.
“It’s going to be great motivation for me”, Nishikori said.
When asked about how he’s handled his being a major victor as he enters each new event, Cilic said, “I think it brought out more concentration and to be more professional at that level as much as I can”. “Physically I wasn’t 100 per cent”.
The rematch comes in Saturday’s semifinals of the Citi Open, a tuneup event for the year’s last Grand Slam tournament. But the tiebreaker got away from me a little bit.
“In the tie-breakers, I was very focused to put all the returns in and be as focused as possible to make him play as many strokes as possible”, Cilic said. I think I’m getting better. “Win or lose”, Cilic said, “it’s going to give me a lot of feedback for my game”.
The men’s quarterfinals on the other half of the draw scheduled for Friday night: No. 8 John Isner of the United States vs. Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania, and No. 15 Jack Sock vs. Steve Johnson in an all-American matchup. “I’m going to be aggressive and I’m going to do what I do”. They were too good. “I’ll concentrate on serving well and try to take advantage of my small chances”.
Those breaks came in the second set, which Querrey served for while ahead 5-3.
Cilic reached only his second semi-final of the year, matching a run on Stuttgart grass.
On the women’s side, Australian second seed Samantha Stosur advanced to the semi-finals when Romania’s Monica Niculescu retired after losing the first four games.
World number five Wozniacki was kicking off her US hardcourt campaign in her first match since playing Wimbledon last month. “I’ve been able to adapt really well”.