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US Open - Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin del Potro Preview & Prediction

08 September, 2018, 08:56 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Rafael Nadal

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.

The world number one had spent more almost 16 hours on court in reaching the last four, averaging more than four hours a match during the last three rounds, and that took its toll here.

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

"That was not a tennis match at the end, no?"

Del Potro now awaits the result of Novac Djokovic's match against Kei Nishikori to find out his opponent in the final, following the 7-6 (3), 6-2 injury win.

"I hate to retire", said Nadal, a player plagued by a series of knee injuries throughout his career. Nine years ago, he stunned Nadal in the semifinals, then Roger Federer in the final, to win the US Open at age 20. After losing the first three matches of his comeback this year, he has gone on to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, lose to Nadal in the semi-finals in Rome and in the Queen's final to Cilic, before beating Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon final.

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Thiem was 4-2 ahead in the fourth set before he was again reeled in and he was two points from defeat in the 12th game. But he dug in and trusted in his big weapons, and was rewarded, coming back to win 6-7 6-3 5-7 6-4 6-1.

"It's tough, these moments, but on the other hand I'm going to keep going and I'm going to keep working hard to keep having opportunities".

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.

"Negative thing is two of them have been in quarter-finals and semi-finals of a Grand Slam, close to fight for titles. I think the key of the match was the first set".

Grimacing with every sudden move, the 17-time Grand Slam victor called for the trainer during the changeover on serve at 2-1 in the second.

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.

After edging a 69-minute set, Del Potro applied pressure early in the second, thundering winners off both wings to get to 15-40 in game two.

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Djokovic and del Potro will face each other in the finals on Sunday.

Nadal has played 13 sets in his last three matches and it appears to have come at a cost.

"I feel that this tournament, Juan Martin is hitting a little bit bigger off his backhand".

"It means a lot to me".

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

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

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One of the greatest players of all time, the one chink in the Spaniard's armour has always been his knees with injuries plaguing him throughout his career. "I had my biggest memories on the tennis court playing on this court ... but I was a kid".

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