Sunday, February 24, 2019 02:00:58 AM
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.
AP, Milan :When it comes to scoring in Serie A, only Cristiano Ronaldo is more prolific than Krzysztof Piatek.But only just.Netting in AC Milan's 3-0 win over relegation-threatened Empoli on Friday, Piatek moved to 18 league goals this season - only one behind Ronaldo in his first campaign at Juventus.The ...
Already stuttered by injuries to Shakib Al Hasan and Taskin Ahmed, Bangladesh are now sweating over Mushfiqur Rahim's fitness ahead of the three-Test series against New Zealand. Mushfiqur's rib injury resurfaced during the second ODI, making him doubtful for the third ODI, in which he went on to feature despite ...
Chief Justice (CJ) of Bangladesh Syed Mahmud Hossain called upon Rotarians to come forward to implement welfare programmes to build a happy and prosperous Bangladesh.He said it at the national conference of Rotary International District 3281 at the BICC auditorium of Dhaka on Friday morning. Representative of Rotary International President ...
CHEMICAL warehouses in residential buildings, power cables and transformers dangerously set very close to houses and vulnerable gas supply lines — all are set to turn the overcrowded Old Dhaka into hell at any time. Casualties and losses might be multiplied in any fire incidence or earthquake due to narrow ...
AFP, Cucuta :Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido claimed the military helped him defy a travel ban by the government of President Nicolas Maduro as he joined thousands over the Colombian border on Friday for a charity concert to push for humanitarian aid deliveries.Maduro is trying to prevent food and medicines, ...
Entertainment Desk :Melody queen Runa Laila has not lent her voice to a new song for a long time. She has been active on stage both at home and abroad. After the long hiatus, the legendary singer of the Indian Subcontinent is now back with a new song, which will ...
THE death toll from the fire in Chawkbazar area of Old Dhaka has now risen to 80. Scores were injured in the fire that originated around 10:40pm on Wednesday on the ground floor of the five-storey building named Hazi Wahed Mansion. The flames then quickly spread to three other buildings ...
PTI, Washington :The US military will keep around 200 troops in Syria after President Donald Trump's pullout from the war-torn country, the White House said on Thursday."A small peace-keeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.The announcement comes ...
AP, New York :Chelsea shook off their recent troubles and easily advanced in the Europa League with a 3-0 second leg victory over 10-man Malmo on Thursday, a result that takes some pressure off embattled coach Maurizio Sarri.After a scoreless first half, Olivier Giroud tapped in a cross from Willian ...
Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Last Pahela Falgun and Valentine’s Day popular actress Mehazabien Chowdhury acted in several plays and telefilms those were telecasted in different satellite and YouTube channels. Mehazabien acted BU Shuvo’s First Love, Mabrur Rashid Bannah’s Chhotto Pakhir Basha, Mahmudur Rahman Himi’s An Unexpected Story and Misunderstanding, Mizanur Rahman ...
Sports Reporter :Despite Sabbir Rahman's century Bangladesh lost to New Zealand by 88 runs in the third and last One Day International (ODI) match at Dunedin in New Zealand on Wednesday. New Zealand clinched the ODI series 3-0.Sabbir hit a marvelous 102. His 110-ball innings was laced with 12 fours ...
THE nation solemnly remembers the supreme sacrifice of the valiant souls who laid down their lives to establish the right of our mother tongue Bangla as the state language of Pakistan on this day in 1952. As the pioneering movement that led to our ultimate independence, Ekushey invokes the emotional ...
Reuters, Ramallah, West Bank :The Palestinian Authority (PA) will no longer accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel following its decision to trim the sum over the PA's financial support of militants' families, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said.The cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, an interim self-government body set up following ...