Djokovic eases past Nishikori to reach U.S. Open final

US Open 2018 results: Juan Martin del Potro advances to finals after Rafael Nadal retires

Nishikori stumbled into a buzzsaw in the shape of Djokovic on Friday, but the Japanese star leaves the US Open pleased with a semi-final run one year after missing the tournament through injury. It's inspiring, actually. I don't think a lot of people really know how bad it was.

After fearing his career was over following a trio of operations to his injured left wrist, which forced him to miss the best part of two years, the 29-year-old returned and rebuilt his game.

"I personally like him very much, not just as a player but as a person", said Djokovic of Del Potro. You could imagine [it was] very hard for me to say goodbye before the match finished.

At the conclusion of his third round game at the US Open, Rafael Nadal was reluctant to talk about his knees, insisting that it was not the time for that conversation.

The friends who have come to NY from his home town of Tandil and been so vocal in their support played an important role in keeping Del Potro believing that things would one day be better.

"I can't believe that I will have the chance to play another Grand Slam final here, which is my favorite tournament", del Potro said after reaching the final when defending champion Rafael Nadal quit their semi-final when trailing by two sets because of a knee injury.

Where can I stream Kei Nishikori vs Novak Djokovic? . Now I'm much older. I said too my box immediately that I felt something on the knee.

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Del Potro beat Nadal in the last four at Flushing Meadows nine years ago on his way to the title, but had suffered misery in recent contests with the Spaniard, losing three successive slam meetings starting with a defeat at this stage of the 2017 US Open. I didn't expect to get in another Grand Slam final. His wrist injuries required him to make changes to his game, adding a slice backhand option to his armoury.

On a close call, Nadal argued with the chair umpire James Keothavong, first saying that it didn't matter because he "was going to retire anyway".

"I didn't know if I will be a tennis player again or not".

That's what I try to do tomorrow, with the ice bath, then massage, then came for hit the ball a little bit also. Del Potro, like Wawrinka, can become a risky opponent if he builds up some momentum and can draw the match into becoming a slug-fest from the baseline.

Asked whether his five-setter with Thiem may have had an impact on his knee, Nadal replied: "You never know". Is just my normal thing of every day, just to do the work the right way, just enjoy the moments when I have the chance to play with healthy conditions.

"But at the same time, I felt like the six months off served me very well to find new motivation, inspiration, to recharge my batteries". Also was one of my best week ever on tour, playing for my country in Rio.

However, one stat that doesn't bode well in Djokovic's favour is his record in NY when facing an opponent for the first time in the final.

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