Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Djokovic, del Potro need no OT to advance to US Open final

Djokovic, del Potro need no OT to advance to US Open final

As Nadal himself noted during a news conference that closed as he began to choke up, this was the second of those defeats that involved him quitting during a grand slam match because of an injury; the other was in the fifth set of his Australian Open quarterfinal.

While a victory for Del Potro, nine years after he won his sole major trophy at the same venue, is undoubtedly the feelgood moment that most tennis purists will be hoping for.

Nadal beat del Potro in last year's semifinals and then routed Kevin Anderson in the final for his third U.S. Open title. All four players are past finalists at Flushing Meadows, the first time that's happened at the US Open since 2011. With this victory, Del Potro widens his head-to-head against Isner to 8-4.

World number one Rafael Nadal says he "will keep fighting and working hard" after he was forced to retire from his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro because of a knee injury. Nadal last defeated the Argentine in the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon 2018 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Both players missed the 2017 U.S. Open with injuries, but were on the cusp of returning to the finals. In fact, it seemed like long overdue given how well he has played this season, this Slam and even in the first two sets of this match.

Novak Djokovic sat out last year's U.S. Open to rest an elbow injury that eventually required surgery, but that pain and frustration felt like a distant memory on Friday when the Serb completed his march to the NY final with authority.

But, yeah, I think was 2-All in the first, 15-Love, something like this in the first set, that I felt.

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Nishikori has enough about him to make this a competitive affair and we should see plenty of long rallies, but if Djokovic plays to his best then there will only be one victor. He will be looking forward to reaching only the second Grand Slam final of his injury-prone career. "You can imagine, it was very hard to say goodbye". I [had] been suffering a lot. Nadal said. "It was just one player playing, the other one staying on the other side of the court". I didn't expect to get these kinds of emotions playing tennis again.

Djokovic, after winning the French Open in 2016 - his 12th major which also completed his career grand slam - dipped and suddenly became mortal.

"I can not compare the knee with other times because the pain on the knee is always very similar", he said. So no, no. I know what I have. I have tremendous respect for him as a person and a player.

"I think I was just exhausted from last couple matches".

He has the chance to equal Pete Sampras' tally of 14 slam titles but is wary of Del Potro despite his excellent record against the Argentinian. But we all knew that he has a capacity and a quality to get to the point where he is at the moment.

Del Potro took the opening set after a brutal opening set went all the way to a breaker at Flushing Meadows, the Argentine taking it 7-3 with a series of stunning groundstrokes.

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