Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

After nearly quitting, 'everything is almost perfect': Juan Martin del Potro

After nearly quitting, 'everything is almost perfect': Juan Martin del Potro

The Serbian has won 13 straight sets entering his eighth U.S. Open final.

Del Potro, whose own injury troubles have been well-documented, will therefore get a chance to repeat his 2009 triumph in NY.

"It means the world to me obviously", he added.

Nishikori made history in reaching the 2014 US Open final, but said he could hardly bring himself to watch last year's tournament as he battled a wrist injury that brought his 2017 season to a premature close.

Nadal said he "hated retiring" but was in "too much pain" to continue the defence of his US Open title.

Rafael Nadal grimaces as he lunges for a shot during his semi-final clash with Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday. The Spaniard retired after losing the first two sets as his right knee gave way with del Potro expres

Rafael Nadal insists he remains determined to fight for titles at the "highest level" after his US Open defence ended in retirement.

Tiger Woods and Serena Williams both know how to make a comeback.

But del Potro might have an ace up his sleeve - a group of 14 mates who have come to NY from his home town of Tandil, Argentina.

"They are very important for me to be in this stage at the moment because they were behind me in (those) years, trying to keep my mind in positive way, [to] never give up during my wrist problems", Del Potro said. "Yeah, I didn't have [the] energy to stay with him", Nishikori said. Now I'm much older.

Djokovic, who beat Nishikori in the Wimbledon quarters, said he expected a tough match against an opponent with a lethal two-handed backhand who is one of the fastest players on tour.

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As he prepares to play in his first Grand Slam final since that one almost a decade ago, meeting 13-time major champion Novak Djokovic for the championship at Flushing Meadows on Sunday, del Potro seems at ease talking about it all.

This has been the Serbian's most consistent slam - aside from past year, when he was sidelined by an elbow problem, he has not lost before the semi-finals since 2006 - but he has only won the title twice. "So I'm happy just to be a tennis player again". In the months that followed, he was briefly haunted by the old spectre of injuries again - he retired in Rome with a groin strain, withdrew from Queen's with an adductor injury and missed the Rogers Cup due a left wrist injury. He rose after a quick chat, shook the chair umpire's hand and then told Del Potro.

Nadal hardly ever retires.

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.

Grimacing with every sudden move, the 17-time grand slam victor called for the trainer during the changeover on serve at 2-1 in the second. But I know what's expecting me.

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"He's playing better everything".

"I think I was just exhausted from last couple matches". "I have a very good head-to-head score against him". Is just my normal thing of every day, just to do the work the right way, just enjoy the moments when I have the chance to play with healthy conditions.

Maybe "the tennis of his life" will be enough to be crowned champion in NY again, nine years after his ground-breaking campaign.

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