Juan Martin Del Potro: After nearly quitting, 'everything is almost perfect'

Juan Martin Del Potro: After nearly quitting, 'everything is almost perfect'

Juan Martin Del Potro: After nearly quitting, 'everything is almost perfect'

After just seven games, he called the trainer out onto the court to apply tape to his right knee, a part of his body that is particularly brittle.

Nadal, 32, had spent a total of 15 hours and 54 minutes on court - three hours and 38 minutes more than Del Potro - going into the match, and it showed.

The No. 1-seeded Nadal has a history of tendinitis in his knees and he said he felt a problem in the right one early in the first set.

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during his men´s singles semi-final match against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina on Day Twelve of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2018. "It was not a tennis match at the end".

"I hate to retire, but to stay one more set out there, playing like this, would be too much for me", Nadal said.

However, his condition notably deteriorated against Del Potro and a medical timeout early in the second set failed to bring the desired results for the Spaniard, forcing him to end the contest when trailing 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

A dejected Nadal said later: 'I had some issues during the tournament.

"It's not the best way to win a match", said Del Potro, who also beat Nadal at the same stage of the 2009 U.S. Open to reach what had been his one and only Grand Slam final. "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.

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A slow and wet course got even slower and wetter on Friday, and golfers were spinning approach shots completely off of greens. He added another birdie on the first hole, his 10th of the day, to get to seven-under.

He should have won the first set more easily, as he served for the first set at 5-4 and blew two set points with unforced errors.

"We have never met in a Grand Slam final. I don't know. I would give slight advantage to Rafa, but I feel it's going to be a great match".

The 29 year-old from Tandil was awaiting the victor of the second match between Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori. But at some point you have to take a decision.

The No. 6-seeded Djokovic missed last year's tournament with an injured right elbow.

Reaching a second consecutive Grand Slam final suggests the 13-times major champion is almost back to his best, though he will need to be even more clinical against Del Potro, who has only dropped one set in six matches in NY.

"One of the keys. will be how well can I return, how many returns I can get back in play, but also try to have some depth in that return, and how accurately I can serve myself". I am having a lot of success.

Still, he retains the No. 1 ranking no matter if del Potro or Djokovic lifts the U.S. Open trophy Sunday.

Nadal tried to play through the pain but when Del Potro blasted a forehand victor to go ahead 7-6 (3) 6-2 the Spaniard removed his headband and said he could not continue. "I had my biggest memories on the tennis court playing on this court ... but I was a kid".

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