Wednesday, November 21, 2018 09:07:45 PM
AFP, New York :
Juan Martin del Potro set up a US Open final clash against Novak Djokovic on Friday after defending champion and world number one Rafael Nadal quit his last-four clash against the giant Argentine with a knee injury.
Third seed Del Potro, the champion in 2009, was 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 ahead when Nadal retired.
Del Potro will now face Djokovic, the 2011 and 2015 winner, 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.
Djokovic boasts a 14-4 lead over Del Potro in a 10-year rivalry, including two wins without dropping a set at the US Open in 2007 and 2012.
"We have never met in a Grand Slam final. I have tremendous respect for him as a person and a player. He's a great guy," said Djokovic who missed the 2017 tournament through injury.
"He's had lots of injury problems in the past but he's a big-match player."
Nadal was devastated by having to pull out although he believes he hasn't suffered any long term damage.
"I hate to retire," said Nadal, a player plagued by a series of knee injuries throughout his career.
He also retired trailing in the fifth set of his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic in January.
"It's not a tennis match when one is playing and the other is at the side of the court."
Nadal, bidding for a fourth title in New York and 18th major, had spent the best part of 16 hours getting to the semi-finals.
That included almost five hours to defeat Dominic Thiem in an epic quarter-final which stretched into the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The effort took its toll, with the Spaniard twice needing to have his right knee bandaged before calling it a day after the conclusion of the second set.
"Well of course it's not the best way to win a match. I love to play against Rafa because he's the biggest fighter in this sport and I don't like to see him suffering," said 29-year-old Del Potro who will be playing in his second Slam final.
"I am sad for him but I'm also happy to do my best."
Nadal's challenge looked doomed even as early as the first set, as he was feeling the injury after just four games, he admitted.
He needed his right knee strapped after the seventh game before gallantly fighting off two set points in the 10th game, breaking Del Potro who was serving for the set.
But the Argentine swept through the tiebreaker, wrapping up the opener after 69 minutes of impressive shot-making.
The Spaniard called a medical timeout after three games of the second set to have the right knee rebandaged.
Del Potro sensed blood and broke for 3-1 as Nadal struggled for movement.
He broke again for 5-2 on his way to a two-set lead and eventual victory.
"It means a lot to be back in the final," added Del Potro after his sixth win over Nadal, all on hard court.
"I didn't expect to get to another Grand Slam final in my favourite tournament.
"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."
Wimbledon champion Djokovic, playing in his 11th US Open semi-final, claimed a 15th win in 17 clashes against Nishikori.
It was plain sailing for the 31-year-old Serb who is chasing a 14th Slam title to take him level with Pete Sampras on the all-time list.
He broke serve four times while an under-par Nishikori saved 13 of the 17 break points he faced and committed 51 unforced errors.
FOR the first time in the country, the government on November 15 introduced the 'Smart School' at Pirpur village of Alokdia Union Parishad in Chuadanga Sadar Upazila spending Tk 5 lakh. The Smart School concept is comparatively a new idea in our country. But in the developed countries it is ...
Preity Zinta has apologised for her views on the #MeToo movement during an interview with a Bollywood website. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the actor claimed that despite being a supporter of the movement, her comment was taken out of context."My reason for saying 'I wish something like this ...
AFP, London :British Prime Minister Theresa May gathers her new-look cabinet Tuesday, facing some relief from party plotting over Brexit but under fresh pressure from her Northern Irish allies.The Conservative leader holds her first cabinet meeting since two ministers quit last week over the divorce deal with the European Union, ...
AFP :Three leading Hong Kong democracy campaigners pleaded not guilty on Monday to public nuisance charges over their involvement in massive rallies calling for political reform, as room for opposition in the semi-autonomous city shrinks under an assertive China.The pioneering trio are among nine activists all facing public nuisance charges ...
FOUR people were killed and 50 others injured in two separate clashes between two factions of locals in Raipura upazila of Narsingdi on Friday last. Of the dead Tofayel Rana -- an SSC examinee from Bashgari High School -- and three others Morom, Sohrab and Swapan were killed in gun ...
Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Mehazabien Chowdhury has already established herself in the field of acting that directors always want to keep in engage with works. If Mehazabien likes story and character she always tries to work. After Mizanur Rahman Aryan’s Boro Chhele, Mehazabien became more selective in the selection of story ...
President of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Nazmul Hassan Papon MP assumed the post of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) President for a two- year term at its Annual General Meeting held in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Saturday.Nazmul Hassan Papon is the 3rd ACC President from Bangladesh following in the ...
AFP, Kandy :Jack Leach's first five-wicket haul clinched an overwhelming win for England in the second Test against Sri Lanka on Sunday that sealed the series with a match to go.England needed just 30 minutes on the fifth day to take the final three wickets with Leach fittingly getting last ...
THE ongoing trade war between the US and China has created a better opportunity for Bangladesh, especially for garment sectors. The exporters have been receiving a greater number of work orders from both China and the US. The current trade war has opened an opportune moment for us (Bangladesh) as ...
AFP, Colombo :Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday called crucial talks with political leaders in a bid to end a power struggle with the prime minister he sacked last month.The Indian Ocean nation has been paralysed since October 26 when Sirisena deposed Ranil Wickremesinghe as premier and replaced him ...
AFP, Washington :The US government has not reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the State Department said Saturday following reports that the CIA had held the Saudi Crown Prince responsible."Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate," State Department spokeswoman ...