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Nadal vs del Potro, Djokovic vs Nishikori in US Open semis

Nadal vs del Potro, Djokovic vs Nishikori in US Open semis

Not long after Rafael Nadal hat to quit against Juan Martin del Potro with a knee injury, Novak Djokovic inflicted more conventional pain on Kei Nishikori in straight sets on Friday night to reach the US Open final for the eighth time.

Nadal showed signs of distress nearly from the start as he limped noticeably after a gruelling 69-minute opening set.

In the sixth game of the second set, he argued with umpire James Keothavong over a line call, telling the British official: "It's all right, i'm going to retire, but you were not right on this one".

"I love to play against Rafa because he is the biggest fighter in the sport", Del Potro said.

"He's a player that went through lot of issues during his career, like me, too".

Nadal's stamina and famous fitness have been put to the test on the sweltering Flushing Meadows hardcourts as he has logged almost 16 hours through five matches.

All four players have reached the U.S. Open final - only Nishikori hasn't won it - to make this the first Grand Slam final four since the 2012 Australian Open in which all four players were past finalists.

Del Potro will now face Djokovic, the 2011 and 2015 victor, 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.

Both Nadal and Djokovic are in position for a two-slam season and a chance to inch closer to Federer's men's record of 20 Grand Slam titles.

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"It's not a match when one is playing and the other is at the side of the court", Nadal added.

Nadal, who seemingly was not fit following his epic battle against Dominic Thiem, could not compete towards the end of the second set and was forced to eventually retire at its conclusion.

"I came out of the blocks with great intensity and focus", Djokovic said immediately afterwards.

I am having a lot of success.

Still, he retains the No. 1 ranking no matter if del Potro or Djokovic lifts the U.S. Open trophy Sunday. I know how tough is this thing.

Later, the 13-time major victor Djokovic swept Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to reach his seventh U.S. Open final in his last eight appearances.

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. He is 14-2 against Nishikori, including a victory in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. "I lost four matches".

"I had my biggest memories on this court in 2009 when I beat Rafa and Roger (Federer, in the final). I was a kid then; now i am much older".

But six months later he was sidelined by right wrist problems and, having fought back to the top again, then missed the better part of two years when an injury to his left wrist required three operations.