Del Potro through to U.S. Open final after Nadal retires

08 September, 2018, 08:59 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • Rafael Nadal agrees with Serena Williams 'Now wins are more special'

Nadal suffered a recurrence of his persistent knee injuries during a gruelling third round victory against Karen Khachanov and the problem became worse during the first set on Friday.

Nadal, bidding for a fourth title in NY and 18th major, had spent the best part of 16 hours getting to the semi-finals.

Nadal's challenge looked doomed even as early as the first set, feeling the injury after just four games, he admitted.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal retired injured from his semi-final match against No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro.

"It's not a tennis match when one is playing and the other is at the side of the court".

Del Potro, who has also had his career disrupted by injuries, was not happy to get the victory the way he did but the big-hitting Argentine will now get a chance to raise a Grand Slam trophy nine years after his first. "I know what is going on with the knee. It's about not having the chance to fight for it", Nadal, who retired in his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic with a torn inner hip muscle, added.

Djokovic boasts a 14-4 lead over Del Potro in a 10-year rivalry, including two wins without dropping a set at the US Open in 2007 and 2012.

Nadal would figure to have a tougher time in his fourth meeting with del Potro in the last five Grand Slam tournaments. Lot of people in this room, including myself, would never have thought that at the age of 32 I will be here fighting for titles, fighting for the first positions of the rankings.

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The Spaniard called a medical timeout after three games of the second set to have the right knee rebandaged.

The popular Argentinian, whose career has been blighted by serious wrist problems since that maiden grand slam success, will face Novak Djokovic or Kei Nishikori in the final.

"From my experience, and I can only talk about myself, this has been definitely the toughest US Open in the last ten years that I have played in in terms of conditions", said the 13-time major victor.

Djokovic missed the tournament previous year because of an injured right elbow that eventually required surgery.

Sep 7, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain winces while receiving treatment from an ATP trainer during a changeover against Juan Mart'n Del Potro of Argentina (not pictured) in a men's semi-final match on day twelve of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

That hasn't stopped him amassing 17 Grand Slam titles, three short of Swiss great Roger Federer's record 20. But at some point you have to take a decision.

Nadal was able to feel at least some pleasure for Del Potro after all his struggles: 'He's a player that went through lot of issues during his career, like me too. Certainly, the market has made a big adjustment on predicted pricing, and I'm not at all convinced that it should do to this extent.

"It means the world to me obviously", he added.

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