Wawrinka ready for Nishikori challenge


Stan Wawrinka said he will be ready to succeed where Andy Murray failed when he takes on Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals of the US Open on Friday.

Third seed Wawrinka sealed his place in the last four at Flushing Meadows by ousting a resurgent Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-3 6-2 in a match which ended in the early hours of Thursday morning in New York.

Nishikori saw off Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in a classic quarter-final and can take heart from having won two of his last three matches against Wawrinka.

Two-time major champion Wawrinka has lost both US Open semi-finals he has played in and knows he faces a big challenge as he attempts to avoid a repeat.

The Swiss said: "It's going to be interesting for sure. We played many times against each other. He beat me a few years ago here in the quarter-final in five sets. He beat me in Toronto; I beat him in Australia. I saw him play [against Murray]. He was playing really well.

"It's going to be tough match, for sure. We will see also how I'm going to feel physically [on Friday] to get ready for that.

"But, yeah, I'm ready for a match against Kei."

Wawrinka was pleased with the way he tackled the threat of the powerful Del Potro, who won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and continues to make strides after recovering from a long-term absence due to wrist injuries.

"It was important to stay there, to stay tough. I knew before the match that against Juan Martin it's a tough challenge. He's playing well. He's strong mentally. He doesn't give you much." he added.

"You know it's going to be painful physically and mentally to stay there, so I had to adapt a little bit my game. It's not a player that I can really play always the way I want because he's so aggressive.

"It was important to stay tough there. I knew it will be difficult. But I'm happy with the way I was fighting, with myself. I'm happy with the way I found solution in the third set to take advantage. I saw also that he was starting to go a little bit down. I took advantage of that."