New York - Andy
Murray contests his sixth US Open quarter-final on Wednesday looking to
maintain his stranglehold over Kei Nishikori and take a step closer to a
dream title showdown with Novak Djokovic.
Murray won the first of his three career majors at the US Open in
2012 and will be the favourite to make a fourth semi-final at the
season's last Grand Slam.
The world number two has a 7-1 record against Nishikori whose only win over the Briton came at the World Tour Finals in 2014.
This year, Murray came out on top in five sets to help steer Britain
past Japan in the Davis Cup before cantering to a straight sets win in
the Olympics semi-finals.
All in all, Murray is on a 26-1 run since losing the French Open
final to Djokovic in June, collecting the Queen's Club, Wimbledon and
Olympic titles on the way.
But he won't under-estimate the threat posed by Nishikori, who made
the final in New York in 2014 having knocked out Djokovic in the
"He played some good stuff at the Olympics and won the bronze," said
Murray who reached the quarter-final with a brutal dismissal of Grigor
Dimitrov where he lost just five games.
"I played a really good match against Kei in Rio and I'll need to do
that again if I want to beat him because he's one of the best players in
the world, plays extremely well on hard court."
Djokovic targets a 10th successive semi-final appearance on Tuesday
when he faces longtime rival Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, one of three Frenchmen
in the last-eight.
World number one Djokovic, the champion in New York in 2011 and 2015, has hardly broken sweat in the first four rounds.
He needed four sets to beat Jerzy Janowicz in his first match before
he enjoyed a walkover in the second, an injury-enforced retirement in
the third followed by a comfortable win over Briton's Kyle Edmund in the
In Tuesday's other men's quarter-final, Lucas Pouille, who knocked
out 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal in five sets on Sunday, faces
French compatriot Gael Monfils.
It is the first time since 1927 that three Frenchmen have reached the last-eight in New York.
Djokovic, looking for his third major of 2016, boasts a remarkable record in New York.
As well as his two titles, the 29-year-old was runner-up in 2007,
2010, 2012 and 2013. He was a semi-finalist in 2005, 2006 and 2014.
The Serb has a 15-6 winning record against ninth seed Tsonga, a run
stretching back to their first meeting in the 2008 Australian Open
"I'm feeling very good. I didn't have much time on the court overall
before the fourth round," said Djokovic who came into the tournament
suffering from a wrist injury.
"Considering I had some struggles before the tournament, I feel great
at this moment physically; mentally as well I'm motivated."
Monfils beat Pouille in their only meeting - in five sets in the first round of the Australian Open in 2015.
But 22-year-old Pouille is now Grand Slam hardened having made a maiden Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon.
Monfils, who turned 30 on September 1, is in his third quarter-final
in New York. In his last appearance at this stage in 2014, he squandered
a two sets lead against Roger Federer.
Wednesday's other quarter-final sees 2009 champion Juan Martin del
Potro, ranked at 142 but on the comeback trail after three wrist
surgeries, tackle third seed Stan Wawrinka, a former Australian and
French Open winner.
Del Potro, the lowest-ranked quarter-finalist in 25 years, has a 4-2
head-to-head record over the 31-year-old Swiss including an impressive
victory at Wimbledon earlier this year.
However, the two have never met on hard courts.
The quarter-final has been dubbed as a battle between Del Potro's hammer of a forehand and Wawrinka's precision backhand.
"It's going to be good challenge to play against him," said Wawrinka
who is in his fourth successive US Open quarter-final and is a two-time
"It's going to be important to try to dictate and be aggressive on the court."
Paths to the US Open men's quarter-finals (x denotes seeding):
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x9)
1st rd: bt Jerzy Janowicz (POL) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
2nd rd: bt Jiri Vesely (CZE) walkover
3rd rd: bt Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 4-2 retired
4th rd: bt Kyle Edmund (GBR) 6-2, 6-1, 6-4
1st rd: bt Guido Andreozzi (ARG) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
2nd rd: bt James Duckworth (AUS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
3rd rd: bt Kevin Anderson (RSA x23) 6-3, 6-4 7-6 (7/4)
4th rd: bt Jack Sock (USA x26) 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (7/9) 6-2
Lucas Pouille (FRA x24) v Gael Monfils (FRA x10)
1st rd: Mikhail Kukushkin 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
2nd rd: Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-2, 6-0
3rd rd: Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x15) 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1
4th rd: Rafael Nadal (ESP x4) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8/6)
1st rd: Gilles Muller 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7/5)
2nd rd: Jan Satral (CZE) 7-5, 6-4, 6-3
3rd rd: Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 6-4, 6-2, 6-4
4th rd: Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) v Stan Wawrinka (SUI x3)
1st rd: bt Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)
2nd rd: bt Steve Johnson (USA x19) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-2
3rd rd: bt David Ferrer (ESP x11) 7-6 (7/3), 6-2, 6-3
4th rd: bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x8) 6-3, 3-2 retired
1st rd: bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-4
2nd rd: bt Alessandro Giannessi (ITA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5
3rd rd: bt Dan Evans (GBR) 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (10/8), 6-2
4th rd: bt Illya Marchenko (UKR) 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN x6) v Andy Murray (GBR x2)
1st rd: bt Benjamin Becker (GER) 6-1, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3
2nd rd: bt Karen Khachanov (RUS) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
3rd rd: bt Nicolas Mahut 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
4th rd: bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO x21) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
1st rd: bt Lukas Rosol (CZE) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
2nd rd: bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-4, 6-1, 6-4
3rd rd: bt Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
4th rd: bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x22) 6-1, 6-2, 6-2