Novak Djokovic sets up US Open final with Juan Martin del Potro

first_imgNovak Djokovic outclassed Kei Nishikori in straight sets in the US Open semi-final on Friday. In Sunday’s final, Djokovic will take on Juan Martin del Potro, who advanced after world No.1 Rafael Nadal retired with a knee injury.The Serb beat Japan’s Nishikori 6-3 6-4 6-2 in second semi-final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.Del Potro won the first semi-final earlier in the day after defending champion Nadal retired after the second set.A weary and wounded Nadal was trailing del Potro 7-6(3) 6-2, sending the Argentine back to the Flushing Meadows final for the first time since his 2009 triumph. Rafael Nadal retired with a knee injury (Reuters Photo)Djokovic, this year’s Wimbledon champion, kept Nishikori under relentless pressure, carving out 17 break point opportunities and winning 80 percent of his own first serve points to win in two hours and 23 minutes.”We’ve played 18 times. I have tremendous respect for him as a person and a player.”@DjokerNole’s thoughts on @delpotrojuan #USOpen pic.twitter.com/ytvBJfdvVvUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2018Twice champion Djokovic, who reached his eighth final at Flushing Meadows and is seeded sixth this year, broke Nishikori in his first service game and closed out the opening set with an ace in 37 minutes without facing a break point.”It felt really good,” Djokovic said courtside. “Easier said than done – you have to execute the shots against Kei Nishikori, who is one of the quicker movers on the tour.”Nishikori improved in the second set, coming to the net more often, but Djokovic was in imperious form. He fended off the only two break points he faced and broke the Japanese again for a 3-2 lead.advertisement Juan Martin del Potro reached the US Open final for the first time since 2009 (Reuters Photo)The Serb dominated from the baseline while Nishikori’s cause was undermined by 51 unforced errors.Djokovic, who was forced to skip last year’s tournament due to an elbow injury and returned to the tour this year after surgery, said he was thrilled to be back on the big stage.”It means the world to me obviously,” he added. “Like thousands of other tennis players around the world I’m trying to be the best I can be.”9 years later:@delpotrojuan will contest his 2nd Grand Slam final here in Flushing Meadows.The 2009 champion awaits the winner of Djokovic/Nishikori…#USOpen pic.twitter.com/lPhFY8AafGUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2018Reaching a second consecutive Grand Slam final suggests the 13-time major champion is nearly 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 New York.Nishikori began the third set with a confident hold of serve but the 28-year-old made four unforced errors in his next service game to set Djokovic on the road to victory.Unfortunately, Rafa Nadal has retired after 2 sets in the semifinals, sending Juan Martin del Potro through to the final…#USOpen pic.twitter.com/uegztbgIylUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2018The Japanese player’s spirit was finally broken and his serve followed, with Djokovic claiming his fourth break with a fist-pumping celebration before serving for the match.for a champion…@delpotrojuan always showing respect…#USOpen pic.twitter.com/GaukdtprbLUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2018The 31-year-old, who was beaten by Nishikori at Flushing Meadows in 2014, sealed victory on his second match point to improve his head-to-head record against the Japanese to 15 wins from 17 meetings.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

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