NEW YORK -- Novak Djokovic served impeccably and used his typical brand of court-covering defense to reach his record-tying eighth US Open final by beating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Friday night.
Djokovic missed the tournament last year because of an injured right elbow that eventually required surgery. But he is back to his best, as evidenced by a Wimbledon title in July and his run at Flushing Meadows.
"I don't know how it looked, but it felt really good," said Djokovic, who is aiming for a third US Open championship and 14th major title. "Great intensity, great focus, good game plan. Obviously easier said than done. You have to execute the shots."
Djokovic has won his past 13 sets in New York.
"Very solid everything," was 2014 Open runner-up Nishikori's assessment after failing to break Djokovic while losing a 14th consecutive match to him. "Serve. Return. Groundstrokes. He was playing aggressive."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.