Roger Federer could not pull off another big escape at the U.S. Open, losing 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals Saturday against Croatia’s Marin Cilic.
It was the second significant surprise of the day, coming after Novak Djokovic was beaten 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 by Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who became the first man from Asia to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
Instead of the No. 1-seeded Djokovic against the No. 2-seeded Federer — who have combined to win 24 major championships — in Monday’s final, it will be No. 10 Nishikori against No. 14 Cilic, neither of whom has ever appeared in a Grand Slam title match.
“That’s going to be a sensational day for both of us,” said Cilic, who at 25 is a year older than Nishikori.