TOKYO - The Japanese government spokesman September 8 said he was excited that Japan's Kei Nishikori had made it to the finals of the U.S Open after beating world number one Novak Djokovic.
Nishikori secured a monumental upset by sweating out a 6-4 1-6 7-6(4) 6-3 win over Djokovic at the U.S. Open September 6 to become the first Asian man to reach a grand slam final.
Top Japanese spokesperson Yoshihide Suga hoped for a Nishikori win in the final on Monday.
“I think 'magnificent' is the only word to describe this properly. If he has come this far, we definitely want him to win the tournament. He not only represents the hope of all Japanese citizens but will also be the first Asian so we want him to accomplish this great feat,” said Suga.
Tenth seed Nishikori is the first Asian man to reach a grand slam singles final while his opponent, Croatia's Marin Cilic, is also into his first final, less than 12 months after returning from a four-month suspension for what he said was inadvertently taking a banned supplement.
Before this year's U.S. Open, Nishikori and Cilic boasted just one grand slam semi-final appearance between them, the Croat having made it to the last four at the Australian Open in 2010.
Nishikori leads their head-to-head meetings 5-2, including both their meetings this year, in Brisbane and Barcelona, while they split their two previous U.S. Open clashes.