U.S. Open men's semis preview: Djokovic-Cilic, Wawrinka-Federer
Friday, Sept. 11, at the 2015 U.S. Open features a packed schedule thanks to a rained-out Thursday in New York. All for women's and men's semifinals matches will be played on Arthur Ashe on Friday. For more on the women's semifinals, refer to our semifinal preview. The men's semifinals will be played during a twilight session beginning at 5 p.m. Check out the full television and broadcast schedule here. Full order of play for Friday can be found here.
Novak Djokovic takes on defending champion Marin Cilic: Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic played each other most recently in the quarters of Wimbledon. Now, they’ll face off in the semis for a spot in the finals at the U.S. Open. To get to this stage, Djokovic beat the Spanish lefty Feliciano Lopez in four sets. Meanwhile, Cilic barely got past Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in five tight sets on Arthur Ashe.
After beating Lopez, Djokovic talked about his relationship with Cilic. “I know him very well. I have played with him many, many times. We are great friends. Great guy,” he said. “I know what to do, and I'm hoping I can execute the game plan obviously and play my best.”
Cilic, meanwhile, discussed his ability to reach the semifinals at the U.S. Open, a year after claiming his first major title. “I came to the tournament knowing that I can play well here, that I, you know, just need few matches to get into the rhythm, and that's what happened,” he said.
And while anything can happen on Friday when Djokovic faces Cilic for a spot in the finals, you’ve got to like the Serb’s chances to advance. He owns a perfect 13-0 record against Cilic, including winning the last three matches in straight sets.
Djokovic and Cilic will play in the third match starting at 5 p.m. on Arthur Ashe after the women’s semis.
Buddies Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka vie for spot in the final: Over the years the two Swiss players have developed a rivalry on the court while still being friends off of it (as well as occasional doubles partners, including winning an Olympic gold together in 2008). Just earlier this year, Wawrinka defeated Federer in the Roland Garros quarters en route to his second major title. That win was just Wawrinka’s third against Federer in their 19 total matches. Notably, this marks Federer’s second consecutive U.S. Open semi as he bids for major title No.18 and his sixth U.S. Open title.
To get to the semis, Federer lost just seven games against France’s Richard Gasquet in a dominant straight sets victory. Federer discussed Wawrinka’s career after the win. “I mean, I think a lot comes through practice for Stan, because he's worked very hard throughout his career,” he said. “It took him a while to figure out exactly what his possibilities were. I don't think he was a guy who always, you know, had enough confidence.”
Federer expressed excitement at the opportunity to exact revenge against Wawrinka for the Roland Garros loss from earlier this year, too. “Looking forward to playing him, because he definitely is a big test and a big challenge for me. He beat me in straight at the French, so I hope I can do better this time,” he said.
Wawrinka, on the other hand, took out Kevin Anderson in straight sets on Wednesday. It was a big victory for the Swiss given that Anderson had won four matches in a row against him in recent months. But Wawrinka proved too strong in the quarters
Looking ahead to his match against Federer, Wawrinka said, “I will for sure need to play my best tennis. He's playing really well so far. He loves to play.” He added, “He knows how to play. He had some amazing matches. It's going to be a big challenge. I think I'm ready.”
They play in the last match on Arthur Ashe.