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9 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Del Potro, Djokovic in US Open final

Nadal quits with knee injury
AFP

AFP, NEW YORK: Juan Martin del Potro set up a US Open final clash against Novak Djokovic on Friday after defending champion and world number one Rafael Nadal quit his last-four clash against the giant Argentine with a knee injury.

Third seed Del Potro, the champion in 2009, was 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 ahead when Nadal retired. Del Potro will now face Djokovic, the 2011 and 2015 winner, who reached his eighth final at the tournament and 23rd of his Grand Slam career with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 stroll past Japan's Kei Nishikori.

Djokovic boasts a 14-4 lead over Del Potro in a 10-year rivalry, including two wins without dropping a set at the US Open in 2007 and 2012.

Nadal was devastated by having to pull out although he believes he hasn't suffered any long term damage. He also retired trailing in the fifth set of his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic in January.

Nadal, bidding for a fourth title in New York and 18th major, had spent the best part of 16 hours getting to the semi-finals.

That included almost five hours to defeat Dominic Thiem in an epic quarter-final which stretched into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The effort took its toll, with the Spaniard twice needing to have his right knee bandaged before calling it a day after the conclusion of the second set.

Nadal's challenge looked doomed even as early as the first set, as he was feeling the injury after just four games, he admitted.

He needed his right knee strapped after the seventh game before gallantly fighting off two set points in the 10th game, breaking Del Potro who was serving for the set.

But the Argentine swept through the tiebreaker, wrapping up the opener after 69 minutes of impressive shot-making. The Spaniard called a medical timeout after three games of the second set to have the right knee rebandaged.

Del Potro sensed blood and broke for 3-1 as Nadal struggled for movement. He broke again for 5-2 on his way to a two-set lead and eventual victory.

“I didn't expect to get to another Grand Slam final in my favourite tournament.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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