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Del Potro reaches US Open final after Nadal's knee trouble returns

Del Potro reaches US Open final after Nadal's knee trouble returns”

Two wins from being the first men's repeat champion at the U.S. Open in a decade, Rafael Nadal meets Juan Martin del Potro in one semifinal.

Del Potro was leading 7-6 (3) 6-2 after two hours of play when Nadal shook his head and said he had to retire, becoming the first man in the half-century professional era to do so during a semifinal or final at the US Open.

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 can not compare the knee with other times because the pain on the knee is always very similar", he said. Two games later the trainer was back to remove the tape.

The outcome was not too surprising after what Nadal went through in his quarterfinals match.

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, celebrates after defeating Dominic Thiem, of Austria, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, early September 5, 2018, in NY. In 2017, Nadal won his first Slams in three years (the French and U.S. Opens), then won his 11th French Open this year.

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He will face Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's final.

As his opponent limped increasingly heavily between points, Del Potro ruthlessly fired in winners, his backhand proving nearly as potent as his famously magnificent forehand.

Sep 7, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates his semi-final win over Kei Nishikori of Japan on day twelve of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Kei Nishikori, of Japan, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in NY.

I know the things are going the right way. I didn't get the chance to feel better with myself, to do this again. But the good thing is I know how I have to work to be better as soon as possible because we have a lot of experience on that.

'It's definitely one of my favourite tournaments to play because of the conditions and because of the fact that I've played so well in each year that I keep on coming back to the US Open.

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"Yeah, for sure it's going to give me good confidence", Nishikori said, "even though I (don't) remember".

A surprisingly poor record and in four of those five losses he dropped the first set, which supports the argument that Del Potro's best chance is to hit the ground running.

Djokovic said: "I personally like him very much, not just as a player but as a person".

While Djokovic can pull level with Pete Sampras on 14 majors - and move to within three of Rafael Nadal and six back from Roger Federer - Del Potro's career at the Slams has been torpedoed by a series of wrist injuries.

Wimbledon victor Djokovic kept Nishikori under relentless pressure, carving out 17 break point opportunities and winning 80 per cent of his own first serve points to win in two hours and 23 minutes. "A big challenge because I've been fighting with many, many problems to get to this moment", he said. But Millman scuttled that showdown by stunning the 20-time Grand Slam champ in four sets in the fourth round on a hot and humid evening that Federer said sapped his energy and made it hard to breathe.

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