Nadal retires to send Del Potro into U.S. Open final

It's not the first time he has been forced out of a tournament because of such an injury. She missed a chance earlier this summer when she fell to Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final. For him will be huge if he's able to win again a Grand Slam. It was established as the surprise theme of his career just months after his sensational upset of Federer in that 2009 US Open final. I'll keep my bet as is and won't be trading out.

A great day for Djokovic - but not so much for Nadal.

All four players have reached the U.S. Open final - only Nishikori hasn't won it. Del Potro had a 7-6 (3), 6-2 lead.

'It's definitely one of my favourite tournaments to play because of the conditions and because of the fact that I've played so well in each year that I keep on coming back to the US Open.

Six months later, tendinitis hit again and impacted on his participation at Roland Garros, where he suffered defeat to Robin Soderling.

But, he is now back to winning ways.

He dug deep for a five-set victory over Marin seventh-seeded Cilic in the quarter-finals, and may have still been feeling the effects against Djokovic. Nadal said. "It was just one player playing, the other one staying on the other side of the court".

He will face Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's final.

The 31-year-old, who was beaten by Nishikori at Flushing Meadows in 2014, sealed victory on his second match point to improve his head-to-head record against the Japanese to 15 wins from 17 meetings.

With Djokovic struggling, there were eight majors to be won.

RAFAEL NADAL: Sorry, but is not fair to compare myself with them. But he took a medical time-out after three games of the second set and, as he limped around the court, it became increasingly clear that he was in serious trouble.

Djokovic can relate to the climb back from a body breakdown.

Del Potro will now face the victor of the other semi-final, Novak Djokovic, in Sunday's final and Nadal was able to put aside his disappointment and wish his conquerer, who has had struggles of his own, the best for the rest of the tournament.

Twelve months ago, a worn out Del Potro was essentially out of gas by the time he faced Nadal, but it was a different story on this occasion as his opponent was not at full fitness.

The first seed will be key.

That Del Potro lives for the big stage and champion clashes is evident. The match was off to a competitive start as the players traded breaks in the first two games of the match.

The rationale was the declining Elo ratings of those big three, and the relative closeness to them of Del Potro, especially on hard courts.

Djokovic knows how it feels to make a return like that.

Whether he beats Novak Djokovic on Sunday to claim his second grand slam title or not, Juan Martin del Potro will still consider himself a victor.

The third seed said persistent wrist ailments almost led to him exiting the sport in 2015, what he called the "worst moment" of his career.

The replica of the US Open trophy that Juan Martin del Potro received when he won the 2009 Open occupies a highly visible place in his home in Tandil, Argentina.

  • Julie Sanders