Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Novak Djokovic cruises to his eighth US Open men's final

Novak Djokovic cruises to his eighth US Open men's final

Sep 7, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain winces while receiving treatment from an ATP trainer during a changeover against Juan Mart'n Del Potro of Argentina (not pictured) in a men's semi-final match on day twelve of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Reaching a second consecutive Grand Slam final suggests the 13-times major champion is almost back to his best, though he will need to be even more clinical against Del Potro, who has only dropped one set in six matches in NY.

Djokovic, the 2011 and 2015 champion, will be looking to complete the Wimbledon-US Open double for a third time when he tackles the 2009 victor in NY with a 14th major within touching distance.

Djokovic missed the tournament a year ago because of an injured right elbow that eventually required surgery.

Nadal, the world's No. 1 player and the defending champion in NY, retired against Juan Martin del Potro, trailing 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 about two hours into the first semifinal of the day in Flushing Meadows.

The opening set went to a tie-break at Arthur Ashe Stadium, but Nadal took a medical timeout early in the second - having already had his troublesome knee taped in the first - and his movement was clearly limited thereafter.

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Nishikori was content to stay at the baseline in the first set, and Djokovic dominated, breaking in the second game and often forcing Nishikori to overhit while on the run. But he was always a top-five player in the eyes, I think, of everyone.

"We have never played in the final of a Grand Slam and he's playing the tennis of his life, without a doubt, in the last 15 months", said the Serb. As everybody knows, I had an issue, it was in the second or third match. "I don't like to see him suffering on court today. I was in too much pain", he said. I have tremendous respect for him as a person and a player.

Nishikori - the first Japanese man to reach a US Open semifinal in the Open era - was a finalist in NY in 2014. "Could have been better playing the final again, but maybe the my next chance".

Nadal has been forced out of tournaments due to left and right knee problems over the last decade, withdrawing before 2009 Wimbledon and the 2012 Olympics and during the 2010 Australian Open.

"It is not an injury that tells you, 'three weeks off, you are back".

Djokovic, the 2011 and 2015 US Open champion, will hae a chance to avenge his loss to Nishikori in the semi-finals in 2014- when the Japanese player finished runner-up to Marin Cilic.

"I will keep going". I am enjoying being on court. Two of them I had to retired.

"All my career everybody say that because of my style, I will have a short career. Two of them I had to retire".

"I didn't expect to get into another Grand Slam final", del Potro said. Now I'm much older.

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