Nadal retires to send Del Potro into U.S. Open final

Nadal retires to send Del Potro into U.S. Open final

Not long after Rafael Nadal hat to quit against Juan Martin del Potro with a knee injury, Novak Djokovic inflicted more conventional pain on Kei Nishikori in straight sets on Friday night to reach the US Open final for the eighth time.

His retirement puts No. 3 seed Del Potro back into the U.S. Open finals for the first time since the Argentine won the title, his only career Grand Slam championship, in 2009.

Nadal has 17, including three at the U.S. Open, and Djokovic could tie Pete Sampras for third all-time with 14 if he wins his third in Flushing Meadows.

Nishikori, like Djokovic hindered by injury previous year, is also on the upswing as his gritty five-set victory over former champion Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals showed.

World number one and defending champion Nadal, a three-time US Open champion takes on 2009 victor and world number three Del Potro in their third Grand Slam meeting this year.

The defending champion retired down two sets against del Potro with an ailing knee.

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Don't miss out on the latest news and information. "I didn't expect to get in another Grand Slam final".

Nishikori was content to stay at the baseline in the first set, and Djokovic dominated, breaking in the second game and often forcing Nishikori to overhit while on the run.

"I think it was two-all in the first, 15-love, something like this, that I felt [something]".

"But we've played 18 times against each other". "I know what is going on with the knee".

"I was putting constantly pressure on him, trying to move him around the court, take away the rhythm from him, not give him the same look always".

"It's tough, these moments, but on the other hand I'm going to keep going and I'm going to keep working hard to keep having opportunities".

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"[He's] playing very solid everything: serve, return, groundstrokes".

"The problem is this time it was something a little bit more aggressive because it was in one movement".

Comfortable breaks of serve came in each set as the dominant Serb cantered to victory to set up an enticing showpiece encounter with the hugely impressive Del Potro.

When Rafael Nadal finally finished a almost five-hour climb into the U.S. Open semifinals, he thought backward as much as ahead.

Nadal has been forced out of tournaments due to left and right knee problems over the last decade, withdrawing before 2009 Wimbledon and the 2012 Olympics and during the 2010 Australian Open.

Djokovic, the 2011 and 2015 US Open champion, will hae a chance to avenge his loss to Nishikori in the semi-finals in 2014- when the Japanese player finished runner-up to Marin Cilic. I am having success at the age of 32. Is maybe an injury that in one week you feel better, is an injury that maybe in six months you don't feel better. I am enjoying being on court. "All my career everybody said that because of my style, I will have a short career", he noted. Now I'm much older.

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