US Open 2018: Djokovic to face Potro in final

Djokovic v Del Potro US Open final preview

Djokovic and Del Potro meet in a Grand Slam final for the first time

"It's about not having the chance to fight for it", Nadal, who retired in his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic with a torn inner hip muscle, added. Djokovic often gets lost in the adoration given to Federer and Nadal, but his accomplishments should not be underplayed.

The Serb became just the third man in the Open Era to reach eight finals in NY on Friday with another straight sets win over Kei Nishikori, matching Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl.

History will remind us in the future of just how good Djokovic was, but the time between July 2016 and July this year will also come up for assessment as potentially a time of missed opportunity for many on the ATP Tour.

"I like to play always with the No. 1 of the world, doesn't matter the tournament or the conditions or the weather", del Potro said of the three-time US Open champion and 17-time Grand Slam title holder Nadal.

"He's a dear friend", Djokovic said of Del Potro, who won the title in 2009. If they play four sets or more in Sunday's final that translates to odds of [1.75] that we'll see a tie-break, and [2.30] that we won't; with three sets seeing those odds flip to [2.30] and [1.75] the other way. Victory over Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday will give him not only his 14th major title but also underline the Serbian is ready to reclaim his mantle as the top dog in the sport.

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Nadal was clearly rattled and lost the first three points of the tiebreak that Thiem won 7-4 to force a fourth set. He's a great guy, a close friend who will have many more opportunities to win the big titles.

Djokovic will be in his 23rd championship match at the majors and eighth in NY. But they were claimed by Federer (3), Nadal (3), Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

This is their fourth meeting this year with Djokovic winning in Madrid, Rome and at Wimbledon on his way to a 13th Grand Slam title.

But, when he took a medical time-out early in the second set and returned hobbling to the court, it was clear something was seriously wrong, and, after going down 7-6 (7/3) 6-2, Nadal decided he could he longer continue.

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

The two have faced off in the US Open semi-finals twice before, with del Potro beating the Spaniard in 2009 on route to his first Grand slam win.

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Nadal appeared to be having trouble with his right knee and even pointed to it while explaining to Del Potro his reason for retiring.

The first seed will be key.

As his opponent limped increasingly heavily between points, Del Potro ruthlessly fired in winners, his backhand proving nearly as potent as his famously magnificent forehand.

Williams dropped the first two games to the 19th-seeded Sevastova with the roof closed at Arthur Ashe Stadium, and then won five straight against the first-time Grand Slam semifinalist from Latvia. An array of unforced errors for the Spaniard resulted in the first set going del Potro's way. That's where he got, I feel like, a great confidence boost.

Del Potro has never beaten Djokovic at a grand slam tournament before, his best effort being an epic five-set loss to his rival in the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2013. Nadal bested the Argentine in their meeting a year ago.

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"He has alternated his backhand over the years because of the left wrist injury".

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