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Serena Williams and Ekaterina Makarova sprinted into the semifinals of the U.S. Open Wednesday, while world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and marathon man Kei Nishikori were forced to take the long road into the last four.Having already played the longest match of the tournament in the fourth round, a bruising four-hour 19-minute battle with Canadian Milos Raonic, Nishikori had enough left in the tank to get past third seed Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5), 6-4 in a 4-hour 15-minute test of wills to become the first Japanese man into the last four of a Grand Slam in 81 years. While Murray and Djokovic battled their way through a 73 minute opening set, 32-year-old Williams needed just 63 minutes in total on a sultry evening to breeze past Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 6-2 and became the oldest player to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows since Martina Navratilova in 1991 .
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