Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, reacts after defeating Gael Monfils, of France, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
NEW YORK (AP) The Latest on the U.S. Open (all times local):
No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka and No. 6 Kei Nishikori have split the opening two sets of their U.S. Open semifinal.
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Nishikori took the first set 6-4, then went up an early break in the second. But Wawrinka broke back, saved four break points at 3-all, another pair at 4-all, then broke Nishikori in the last game to grab the second set 7-5.
Wawrinka is a two-time major champion and trying to reach his first final at Flushing Meadows. Nishikori was the U.S. Open runner-up in 2014.
The winner will face No. 1 Novak Djokovic for the title on Sunday.
Gael Monfils says he was just trying to change up his strategy against Novak Djokovic, and he's sorry John McEnroe thinks that's ''unprofessional.''
McEnroe, a commentator for ESPN, accused Monfils of not giving his full effort after falling behind 5-0 in a four-set, semifinal loss to the top-seeded Djokovic on Friday, at one calling him ''unprofessional'' in ''one of the greatest lack-of-effort matches in the semifinal of a major that I've ever seen.''
Told about McEnroe's comments, Monfils says he's ''very sad to learn that such a legend (would) criticize me, because at the end what I can say to John is, `You know, John, I want to be the best. It's tough, you know. And I try my best.'''
Monfils says what McEnroe – a seven-time Grand Slam titlist – saw as a lack of effort was actually an attempt to change up his strategy and give Djokovic another look. He appeared to be acting like he was not interested, and suddenly whip big shots.
''When you change, you change with what you got,'' Monfils said. ''What I got is my speed. I got a little bit of my instinct and flair.''
Facing an opponent who occasionally played as if he had somewhere better to be, Novak Djokovic reached his 21st Grand Slam final and seventh at the U.S. Open with a bizarre 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Gael Monfils on Friday.
Djokovic, the No. 1 seed and defending champion, dipped in form in the third set, and had a trainer massage his left shoulder and, later, his right shoulder. Djokovic entered this match enjoying the easiest path to a major semifinal in the nearly half-century of the Open era: Three of his first five foes either stopped playing or pulled out of the tournament entirely because of injuries.
Then came this contest, which topped them all for oddness, drawing some jeers and whistles from the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium: The 10th-seeded Monfils, normally a showman and in only the second Grand Slam semifinal of his career, seemed to just give up at times.
On Sunday, Djokovic will try for his third U.S. Open championship and 13th major trophy overall, facing No. 3 Stan Wawrinka or No. 6 Kei Nishikori.
Gael Monfils has come to play, suddenly, while Novak Djokovic is getting his left shoulder massaged, as they head to a fourth set in their unusual U.S. Open semifinal.
Djokovic took the first two sets 6-3, 6-2, and went up 2-0 in the third, with Monfils appearing barely interested at times. But Monfils came back to take the third set 6-3, and Djokovic got treatment on his shoulder during a couple of changeovers.
Djokovic ripped his white shirt off as he dropped the third set.
Novak Djokovic has won a bizarre first set against Gael Monfils in their U.S. Open semifinal.
Djokovic raced to a 5-0 lead Friday, with Monfils looking extremely tight and struggling with double-faults. The 12-time major champion had triple set point while serving at 5-1, and Monfils was seemingly trying to give away the game. But that appeared to rattle Djokovic, and Monfils won that game and held in the next one, slicing everything back to draw errors from his opponent or lure him into the net for a passing shot.
Monfils had two break points at 5-3 to get the set back on serve, but Djokovic saved them to finally close it out.
The second edition of the new Laver Cup exhibition event, pitting six men's tennis players from Europe against six from the rest of the world, will be held in the United States in 2018.
The U.S. Tennis Association held a news conference during the U.S. Open on Friday to announce its partnership with the team event, which will debut in Prague in September 2017.
Neither a date nor site has been chosen for 2018.
Roger Federer, whose management company TEAM8 is behind the Laver Cup, and Rafael Nadal have said they will participate next year, when Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe will be the captains of the two squads.
The format includes three singles and one doubles match each day.
Mate Pavic of Croatia and Laura Siegemund of Germany won the U.S. Open mixed doubles championship in their first tournament together, beating the American duo of Rajeev Ram and CoCo Vandeweghe 6-4, 6-4 in the final Friday.
Pavic and Siegemund decided to pair up shortly before the deadline to sign up for the draw at Flushing Meadows and did not drop a set during the tournament.
''I have a great partner. Now I know him a little bit better,'' Siegemund said during the trophy ceremony. ''Our games match. He's a great server. Any girl would like that, I guess.''
They will split $150,000 in prize money for earning the title. Neither had played in a Grand Slam final before.
Ram and Vandeweghe also were first-time partners and eliminated defending champions Martina Hingis and Leander Paes in the second round.
Ram won a silver medal in mixed doubles with Venus Williams at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last month.