IMG Bollettieri’s Nishikori battles to marathon victory!
At 4 hours, 59 seconds, it marked the 3rd-longest match in US Open history.
That Japan native and IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy player Kei Nishikori also had to battle 100-plus degree court temperatures only adds to the unbelievable story of Nishikori’s 5-7, 7-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 victory over No. 11-seeded Marin Cilic.
The 20-year-old rose as high as No. 56 in the world in early 2009 before missing much of last year with an elbow injury.
“Kei was a true warrior today,” said Nick Bollettieri. “He is without a doubt one of the best conditioned players on tour. His work ethic and desire to train as hard as he can came through today by outlasting a tough opponent in brutal weather.”
Check out this video of Kei Nishikori, Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova and others training at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy before the 2010 US Open:
IMG Bollettieri players have now knocked out the No. 11 and No. 15 seeds, with 18-year-old Ryan Harrison defeating Ivan Ljubicic on Wednesday. Academy player Ricardas Berankis, 20, today almost claimed the No. 13 seed in Jurgen Melzer. Berankis saved four match points, but ultimately fell 4-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-1, 5-7 to the Austrian. Taylor Dent also fell 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 to No. 5-seeded Robin Soderling.
On the women’s side, the Academy’s Jelena Jankovic (No. 4) advanced with 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win against Mirjana Lucic, while Vera Zvonareva (No. 7) defeated fellow Academy player Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 7-6.