Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro: 3 keys to the match

Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro: 3 keys to the match

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

The first semi-final was decided on Wednesday morning at 2:00 AM local time when the World no. 1 Rafael Nadal survived a bagel in the first set to win an epic 5-setter against Dominic Thiem. You could imagine it was very hard for me to say goodbye before the match finish.

Now, Nadal might have to face those same two players again to defend his title at Flushing Meadows.

In the women's draw, Naomi Osaka will live out her childhood dream when she faces 23-time major victor Serena Williams in the final.

Now they are set to face each other on Sunday for the first time in a grand slam final on the biggest stage in tennis, the US Open in NY. Djokovic shut himself down for the last half of 2017, sitting out the U.S. Open among other events and, after a brief attempt to play at the start of this season, had an operation in February.

All that was certain at that point was that his bid for a fourth US Open title, and second in a row, was gone. Del Potro, by contrast, has completed his victories in 12 hours and 16 minutes and has dropped just one set, to John Isner, en route to the semi-finals.

More news: Hurricane Florence continues to strengthen

"I had some issues during the tournament", he said, per The Metro.

Del Potro sensed blood and broke for 3-1 as Nadal struggled for movement.

Novak Djokovic hailed Juan Martin del Potro as a "gentle giant" but he'll have no hesitation in attempting to cut his close friend down to size in Sunday's US Open final.

But del Potro might have an ace up his sleeve - a group of 14 mates who have come to NY from his home town of Tandil, Argentina.

Now, the Argentine has regained strength there, allowing him to change it up from slice to power. "That can help him", 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic said after Nishikori beat him Thursday.

"In the other case, Rafa had a tougher draw to go through the semis".

More news: Everything That Happened This Week In The Trump-Russia Story

Here's the thing about those boys from Juan Martin del Potro's hometown of Tandil, Argentina - you know the ones - who every night fill a different suite, drink beer, provide laughs and make Arthur Ashe Stadium sound like a soccer pitch: The thing about those boys is it's possible we've been underestimating their value.

Feel the pain: Rafael Nadal courtside suffering from a right knee injury.

Del Potro may be the higher seeded player at No 3, but Djokovic, the No 6 seed, is the favourite to be the victor in NY.

It was plain sailing for the 31-year-old Serb who is chasing a 14th Slam title to take him level with Pete Sampras on the all-time list.

But Djokovic, who looked on from the sidelines while Federer and Nadal padded their Grand Slam totals, now stands one victory away from winning Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year for the third time in his career.

This one, given the added difficulty created by unusually high heat and humidity, would certainly be meaningful.

More news: Novak Djokovic and John Millman discuss brutal heat during US Open match

Djokovic, who was forced to skip last year's tournament due to an elbow injury and returned to the tour this year after surgery, said he was thrilled to be back on the big stage.

Related Articles