US Open diary: Schiavone retires, Nishikori forgets finest hour

Our latest US Open diary brings you all the latest goings-on from behind the scenes at Flushing Meadows.

Kei Nishikori in action at the US Open.   -  Getty Images

Day 10 of the US Open featured a fond farewell from a grand slam champion and another epic five-set duel.

Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open winner, held a news conference to announce her retirement as Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic battled it out in another lengthy contest on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

All that and more is covered in our latest daily diary from Flushing Meadows.

SCHIAVONE CALLS IT A DAY

Former world number four Schiavone, who beat Sam Stosur to win her sole grand slam in Paris, appeared at peace as she explained her decision to retire.

"When I was 18 years old, I had two dreams," said the 38-year-old Italian. "The first one was to win Roland Garros, and the second was to become top 10 in the world. I accomplished that. So I'm very, very happy and lucky that, as we say in Italia, 'It's done, this part is done.' After 20 years of career and life, I have new dreams."

LLEYTON WHO-ITT?

One of the main spectator walkways inside Flushing Meadows is flanked by flags bearing the faces of past US Open champions. And it was while walking down this walkway on Wednesday morning that something intriguing happened.

For reasons only known to him, one spectator appeared stunned by an illustrious player's appearance among the list of past winners, exclaiming to his friend in apparent disbelief: "Lleyton Hewitt won here?!"

That seemed incredibly harsh on the two-time grand slam champion and former world number one, who won here in 2001, beating the great Pete Sampras in the final.

 

AN UNFORGETTABLE TRIUMPH? APPARENTLY NOT

The last time Nishikori reached the last four of the US Open in 2014, he pulled off the biggest win of his career to date, beating Novak Djokovic to reach the final.

Yet when he was asked if that victory could give him confidence ahead of another semi-final battle with Djokovic, the Japanese gave a surprising answer.

"I forgot about it [beating Djokovic]," said Nishikori.

"For sure, it's gonna give me good confidence, even though I didn't remember. Maybe I will try to watch the match again and get more confidence," he subsequently added.

NADAL-THIEM GOES ON PAST MARIN'S BEDTIME

The previous night's epic contest between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, decided in a fifth-set tie-break after almost five hours, was still a big talking point on Wednesday.

After being involved in a five-setter of his own less than 24 hours on, Cilic was asked if he caught any of Nadal and Thiem's thrilling battle.

"Maybe one set, just in the middle of the match. I needed to sleep," he replied, before adding with a smile.