Britain’s Andy Murray made his earliest Grand Slam exit of the year as Japan’s Kei Nishikori fought back to win their US Open quarter-final in five sets.

Murray, seeded second, led by two sets to one but eventually lost 1-6 6-4 4-6 6-1 7-5 in three hours 57 minutes.

The Wimbledon champion lost his rhythm after rain brought the roof across, then his cool when the stadium sound system interrupted a break point.

“It was too exciting on the court, but I tried to stay calm,” said Nishikori.

Sixth seed Nishikori, the 2014 runner-up in New York, goes on to face Stan Wawrinka who beat Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Nishikori added: “I didn’t start well – he has a great return – but I finished well.

“The rain delay helped me to change tactics. I tried to hit a few more drop-shots than usual today and it worked really well.”

Murray, 29, had been on course to become only the fourth man since the Open era began in 1968 to reach all four major finals in the same year.

He was Australian and French Open runner-up before winning Wimbledon.


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