Raonic ousted in overnight battle at U.S. Open
Milos Raonic serves to Kei Nishikori of Japan, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. (AP / Jason DeCrow)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, September 2, 2014 6:27AM EDT
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Milos Raonic was eliminated from the U.S. Open by Japan's Kei Nishikori in five sets early Tuesday.
The 10th-seeded Nishikori prevailed 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the quarter-finals after a match that had both players straining to find extra reserves of energy at the end.
The match, which started just after 10 p.m. ET on Monday, ended at 2:26 a.m. ET on Tuesday morning, equalling the finishing time of a 1993 encounter between Swedes Mats Wilander and Mikael Pernfors and a 2012 match between Philipp Kohlschreiber and John Isner. At four hours 19 minutes, it's the longest match at this year's U.S. Open.
With Raonic's defeat, there are no Canadians remaining in the event, as Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que. was beaten in straight sets by Ekaterina Makarova in her fourth round match on Monday.
Nishikori will face third-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in the quarter-finals.
Fifth-seeded Raonic found himself in a battle with Nishikori, whose service returns and baseline play had the towering Canadian on his heels for much of the late night match.
After a rare tiebreak loss in the second set, Raonic staved off eight break points in the third. It was his seventh tiebreaker win of the tournament, the most since Younes El Ayanoui in 2003.
Raonic is 24-10 in tiebreakers for the year, including 16-2 in the hardcourt season.
Wawrinka defeated Tommy Robredo of Spain in four sets on Monday.