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

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

An injured Rafael Nadal abandoned the US Open after battling through his semifinal with Juan Martin del Potro.

"I hate to retire", said Nadal, a player plagued by a series of knee injuries throughout his career.

Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the final of the US Open after world No.1 Rafael Nadal retired with a knee injury during the semi-final on Friday.

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. The Spaniard winced and limped in the second set.

Top-seeded American Cori Gauff has been eliminated in the junior girls' singles quarterfinals.

Del Potro also acknowledged their close friendship and noted that his opponent won Wimbledon, the most recent grand slam. Yeah, last year was a fantastic year.

Tiger Woods and Serena Williams both know how to make a comeback. "But the challenge of playing him on hard (courts) of course is even higher for me personally than playing against him on clay", said Nadal, who has three US Opens among his 17 Grand Slam titles.

"It is not an injury that tells you, 'three weeks off, you are back".

The Nike endorsers are rooting each other on about 120 miles apart - Williams at Flushing Meadows and Woods in the BMW Championship in suburban Philadelphia. "If not, I've been playing a great tournament and I will be happy anyway". But, boy, he never gave up. I have been suffering a lot. I'm not at liberty to talk about it. Having fallen to No 577 in the rankings previous year, Del Potro has risen to the third best player in the world.

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Woods said he's been watching a lot of tennis this week and returned the tip of the cap toward Williams. "Having a child and having all the duties of a mother and trying to come back and trying to play at the elite level and she's doing it, back to back finals, that's pretty impressive".

And he will start the heavy favourite, boasting a 14-4 record over the Argentine who will be playing in just his second final at the Slams. But Novak has won the Wimbledon already.

All that was certain at that point was that his bid for a fourth US Open title, and second in a row, was gone. He did have some knee issues earlier in the tournament, when he had it taped during his win against Karen Khachanov in the third round. An array of unforced errors for the Spaniard resulted in the first set going del Potro's way.

After winning Wimbledon, Djokovic has shown he is indisputably back to his best following elbow surgery and revelled in the cooler conditions in a dominant semi-final victory over Kei Nishikori.

All four players are past finalists at Flushing Meadows, the first time that's happened at the U.S. Open since 2011.

The Argentinian looked set to be a major rival to the big four when he won the US Open title in 2009 aged just 20, beating Nadal in the semi-finals and Roger Federer in the final.

Federer's run was ended the next year by del Potro for the Argentine's only major title.

"I can't really say he's a great match-up for me", said the Serb.

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