Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts during a break in the last set of the semi-final match against Marin Cilic of Croatia at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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It's the U.S. Open final that no one predicted and nobody is more surprised than Japan's Kei Nishikori, the first Asian man to make a grand slam final who faces fellow first-timer Marin Cilic Monday.After top seeds Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were disposed of in the semifinals, the championship match will be the first not to feature Djokovic, Federer or Rafael Nadal since Australia in 2005 .No wonder Nishikori is still pinching himself after his 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 win over Djokovic.Fired up by indignation over the way the case was handled, Cilic is a man on a mission having bettered his previous grand slam best of a semi-final spot at the 2010 Australian Open.Cilic, who is coached by 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, believes the final will come down to a tactical duel.Monday's final also offers up a contrasting clash of styles between the 1.78 meter, 68 kilogram Nishikori and the bigger, heavier 1.98 meter, 82 kilogram Cilic.Federer, the five-time champion and winner of 17 majors, said he always expected Nishikori to one day reach a grand slam final.
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