Kei Nishikori has become the first Asian male to reach a Grand Slam final after his stunning four-set victory over Novak Djokovic.
The number 10 seed upset the odds to dump out the favourite at Flushing Meadows, winning 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 to claim the biggest scalp of his career and set up a meeting with either Roger Federer or Marian Cilic on Monday night.
Nishikori came into the match off the back of two gruelling five-set victories, beating fifth seed Milos Raonic and third seed Stanislas Wawrinka in consecutive matches to set up the meeting with the seven-time Grand Slam champion.
The 27-year-old from Belgrade won't be adding to that tally in 2014 however, as after an impressive fightback in the second set he lost the big points when it mattered in a crucial third.
After trading breaks early, it was Nishikori who claimed the decisive break in game seven and held on to claim the opening set.
However, his previous efforts appeared to be taking their toll as the match progressed, and Djokovic took advantage to stroll through the second and seemingly move closer to a third major final of the year.
Crucial third set
However, impressive hitting from his undaunted opponent kept the match close and ultimately forced the decisive tiebreak in the third - although he had the chance to claim it earlier after serving at 5-4 but throwing in a double at break point.
The 24-year-old was able to regroup though and kept the pressure on his opponent throughout. Djokovic threw in some unforced errors, and Nishikori claimed it 7-4.
It took the wind out of the world number one's sails, and as he tired under the sun in New York, Nishikori sensed his opportunity and broke at the beginning of the fourth set.
Having only ever reached one quarter-final in a major, there was still plenty for the Japanese sensation to do, but he saved some break points and took his chance again on the Djokovic serve at 3-5 to claim a famous victory.
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