World No.1 Novak Djokovic scrapped his way into the U.S. Open tennis final for a seventh time with a confounding 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-2 win over enigmatic Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Often viewed as more showman than competitor, the 10th-seeded Monfils tested the patience of both Djokovic and the fans with a display of tennis that swung wildly from dynamic to indifferent.
With Monfils showing little interest and even less effort in dropping the opening two sets on a hot and muggy day, the unhappy Arthur Ashe Stadium fans voiced their displeasure as they showered the Frenchman with jeers and boos.
But when trailing 2-0 and a break down, the player who reached the semi-finals without dropping a set suddenly appeared as Monfils battled back to take the third set.
Djokovic will take the Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka, who outslugged the Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori 4-6 7-5 6-4 6-2 in energy-sapping humidity.
The Swiss took a while to get untracked as 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Nishikori played a near flawless opening set of the semi-final with just two errors.
The Japanese broke Wawrinka to start the second set, but the Swiss started rolling after breaking back in the fourth game and Nishikori, who went five tough sets to upset second seed Andy Murray in a four-hour quarter-final, began to wither.
Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open winner and 2015 French Open champion, broke Nishikori in the last game of the second, third and fourth sets to reach his first U.S. Open final.