Nishikori cites Djokovic's 'aggressive' play in U.S. Open exit

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Kei Nishikori was run ragged by Novak Djokovic in their U.S. Open semi-final on Friday and conceded he had been overwhelmed by the Serb’s aggression and energy. Djokovic needed just two hours and 23 minutes to record a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory at Flushing Meadows as Nishikori came off second best in every department. “He was playing aggressive. Yeah, I didn’t have (much) energy to stay with him. He was hitting side to side,” Nishikori told reporters. “Wasn’t easy to stay with him tonight.” Nishikori, beloved in his home country and among the world’s highest paid tennis players thanks to a bevy of endorsement deals, entered the match with the odds stacked against him, trailing his Serbian competitor 2-14 in their previous meetings. Djokovic, who won Wimbledon in July, forced his opponent into 36 errors and kept him on the run throughout the match. “I think I was just tired from last couple matches. I was (trying) to give 100 percent, but he was playing very solid,” Nishikori said. “Maybe if he wasn’t Novak, I might have (a) chance to play little better. “He’s playing better everything. He’s staying more solid and not giving me many free points,” said Nishikori, who reached the final at Flushing Meadows in 2014. window.RCOM_Data = {“header_h3yaq8bwaf”:{“template”:”header”,”evergreens”:[{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/news/world”,”name”:”World”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/finance”,”name”:”Business”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/finance/markets”,”name”:”Markets”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/politics”,”name”:”Politics”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.tv/”,”name”:”TV”,”sponsored”:false}],”topics”:[{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/subjects/myanmar-reporters”,”name”:”Detained In Myanmar”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/energy-environment”,”name”:”Energy u0026 Environment”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/brexit”,”name”:”Brexit”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/north-korea”,”name”:”North 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Tennery”,”journalist_url”:”/journalists/amy-tennery”}],”shareUrl”:”https://reut.rs/2O49yHW”,”published”:1536375662,”updated”:1536376250,”path”:”/article/us-tennis-usopen-nishikori/nishikori-cites-djokovics-aggressive-play-in-u-s-open-exit-idUSKCN1LO03Z”,”location”:”NEW YORK”,”body”:”u003cpu003eBy Amy Tenneryu003c/pu003enu003cpu003eNEW YORK (Reuters) – Kei Nishikori was run ragged by Novak Djokovic in their U.S. Open semi-final on Friday and conceded he had been overwhelmed by the Serbu0027s aggression and energy.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eDjokovic needed just two hours and 23 minutes to record a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory at Flushing Meadows as Nishikori came off second best in every department.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003e”He was playing aggressive. Yeah, I didnu0027t have (much) energy to stay with him. He was hitting side to side,” Nishikori told reporters. “Wasnu0027t easy to stay with him tonight.”u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eNishikori, beloved in his home country and among the worldu0027s highest paid tennis players thanks to a bevy of endorsement deals, entered the match with the odds stacked against him, trailing his Serbian competitor 2-14 in their previous meetings.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eDjokovic, who won Wimbledon in July, forced his opponent into 36 errors and kept him on the run throughout the match.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003e”I think I was just tired from last couple matches. I was (trying) to give 100 percent, but he was playing very solid,” Nishikori said. “Maybe if he wasnu0027t Novak, I might have (a) chance to play little better.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003e”Heu0027s playing better everything. Heu0027s staying more solid and not giving me many free points,” said Nishikori, who reached the final at Flushing Meadows in 2014.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eu003c/pu003enu003cpu003eu003c/pu003en”,”attribution”:{“type”:”default”,”content”:”Editing by Peter Rutherford”},”images”:[{“url”:”//s2.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180908u0026tu003d2u0026iu003d1302076881u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE8704C”,”title”:”Tennis: US Open”,”caption”:”Sep 7, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after his match against Kei Nishikori of Japan (not pictured) in a menu0027s semi-final match on day twelve of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports”},{“url”:”//s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180908u0026tu003d2u0026iu003d1302076882u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE8704L”,”title”:”Tennis: US Open”,”caption”:”Sep 7, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Kei Nishikori of Japan hits a backhand against Novak Djokovic of Serbia (not pictured) in a menu0027s semi-final match on day twelve of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports”}],”channel_stories”:[{“id”:”USKCN1LN2QT”,”updated”:1536362101,”headline”:”Serena, Osaka ready to write history in U.S. Open final”,”path”:”/article/us-tennis-usopen-williams-osaka/serena-osaka-ready-to-write-history-in-u-s-open-final-idUSKCN1LN2QT”,”image”:”//s4.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180907u0026tu003d1u0026iu003d1302026524u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE861RW”},{“id”:”USKCN1LN2D9″,”updated”:1536350277,”headline”:”Americans Bryan and Sock win U.S. Open doubles title”,”path”:”/article/us-tennis-usopen-doubles/americans-bryan-and-sock-win-u-s-open-doubles-title-idUSKCN1LN2D9″},{“id”:”USKCN1LO02S”,”updated”:1536370231,”headline”:”NFL notebook: Falcons lose Pro Bowl S Neal for season”,”path”:”/article/us-football-nfl-notebook/nfl-notebook-falcons-lose-pro-bowl-s-neal-for-season-idUSKCN1LO02S”,”image”:”//s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180908u0026tu003d1u0026iu003d1302058186u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE8701L”}],”description”:”Kei Nishikori was run ragged by Novak Djokovic in their U.S. Open semi-final on Friday and conceded he had been overwhelmed by the Serbu0027s aggression and energy.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eDjokovic needed just two hours and 23 minutes to record a”,”dart_zone”:”us.reuters/sports/tennis/article”,”link_to_parent”:false,”show_others_in_parent”:false,”canvas_enable”:false},”translations”:{“shared”:{“disclaimer”:”Disclaimer”,”sponsored_content”:”Sponsored”,”related_coverage”:”Related Coverage”,”sponsored_topics”:”Sponsored”,”sponsored_stories”:”Sponsored”,”updated”:”Updated []”,”slideshow”:”Slideshow”,”featured”:”Featured”,”edition”:”Edition”,”trending”:”Trending”,”advertisement”:”Advertisement”,”visit_now”:”Visit Now”,”show_full_article”:”Show Full Article”,”breaking_news”:”Breaking News”,”live_update”:”Live Update”,”the_wire”:”The Wire”,”image_count”:”[] Images”,”sections”:”Sections”,”get_the_app_banner_top”:”Better questions. 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