Del Potro into US Open final as Nadal quits with knee injury

Rafael Nadal agrees with Serena Williams 'Now wins are more special'

The outcome appeared inevitable and Nadal felt he could not continue after conceding the second set.

The US Open men's semi-finals take place tonight in NY, and returning to preview the two matches, is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston.

With this in mind, it's certainly hard to make a case for Nishikori as an underdog tonight, and I want to move on to the other match-up, the first quarter-final, between top seed Rafa Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro. He was forced to come through a marathon opening game of the second set just to hold serve but was broken in the fifth as the pressure began to mount.

"Of course, it's not the best way to win a match", said del Potro, who hugged Nadal when it was over. "I love to play with Rafa because he's the biggest fighter in this sport".

"Yeah, I waited as much as I can", said Nadal, who played 15 hours, 54 minutes on court in his first five matches, his most ever en route to a Slam semifinal. That includes a four-set victory in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, where Djokovic burst out of his malaise to win make his first title in more than a year his 13th Grand Slam crown.

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

He will take a 14-4 winning record against Del Potro into Sunday's final having won six out of their last seven meetings.

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He added that he was still pleased to be doing what he is doing after a career which has seen so many ailments: 'I am very competitive at the age of 32.

Djokovic, rejuvenated by a fourth title at the All England Club after a spell of struggles with form and confidence since wrapping up the career Grand Slam in Paris in 2016, was looking untouchable in cooler conditions under the bright lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium. "I don't know. I would give slight advantage to Rafa, but I feel it's going to be a great match".

A dejected Nadal said later: 'I had some issues during the tournament. But at some point, you have to take a position.

Nadal's level dropped significantly in the second set, unable to move like he would have wanted and facing no less than nine break points to get broken in games four and eight to drop the set 6-2 before he was forced to retire. I know how much frustration there can be when you can't do the thing that you want to do. "I was a kid then; now i am much older". Against Djokovic, del Potro is 4-14 in his career, including 0-3 in majors.

Nadal, who reached the last four in NY on the back of brilliant shot-making and incredible movement, looked out of sorts early against Del Potro and struggled to cover the court with his usual tenacity.

On Sunday, the powerful Argentine with the massive forehand that zips along at more than 100 miles per hour (160 kph) will face two-time U.S. Open champion Novak Djokovic or 2014 runner-up Kei Nishikori.

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