After nearly quitting, 'everything is almost perfect': Del Potro

Justin GreeneSep 11, 2018

Del Potro, who turns 30 later this month, reached the final unexpectedly when world No.1 Rafael Nadal pulled out two sets down in the semi-final on Friday.

Djokovic looked imperious from the outset as he dictated the running from the back of the court and remained in total control throughout.

Novak Djokovic says he respects Third-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who he faces in the US Open final at New York City on Sunday.

They had battled for 69 minutes in the first set before Del Potro eventually took it on a tie-break.

Victory on Friday would put the 31-year-old into his eighth final in NY.

Djokovic barely played in the second half of 2017 as his ailing body demanded a lengthy hiatus and the rejuvenated Serb now appears hungrier than ever, intent on making up for lost time by claiming a second Grand Slam title of the year.

Nishikori has enough about him to make this a competitive affair and we should see plenty of long rallies, but if Djokovic plays to his best then there will only be one victor.

Djokovic, who won Wimbledon in July, forced his opponent into 36 errors and kept him on the run.

Djokovic missed last year's tournament owing to an elbow injury.

"[Today] at 2-all in first set, I told my box I felt something in my knee".

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.

But, yes, he's a player that went through lot of issues during his career, like me too.

Now ranked a career-high No. 3, del Potro would establish a professional-era record for most major appearances from a first to a second such title, 22, if he wins Sunday. "I just have the chance to play the greatest in this sport, and it's fantastic for me".

At the conclusion of his third round game at the US Open, Rafael Nadal was reluctant to talk about his knees, insisting that it was not the time for that conversation.

"I've been fighting with many, many problems to get (to) this moment". However, his worries here have been induced by the extreme heat, rather than the strain on his limbs and he appreciated the significant drop in temperature for his routine straight-sets win over Kei Nishikori in the second semi-final. But the good thing is I know how I have to work to be better as soon as possible because we have a lot of experience on that.

"I didn't expect to get this kind of emotions playing tennis again".

The three-time champion retired at the end of the second set with Del Potro leading 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 on Arthur Ashe. But Novak has won the Wimbledon already. That was followed by three procedures on his left wrist, which sidelined him for 2½ years' worth of Grand Slam tournaments.

Roger Federer, beaten by Del Potro in the Indian Wells final in March, was impressed by Del Potro's willingness to reinvent his game.

On that day it was his right knee, the same one that needed attending to on Friday night and in the semi-final against Del Potro.

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