Men’s semis dominate Day 12 with Nadal, del Potro, Djokovic and Nishikori

07 Septembre, 2018, 12:25 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Victory roar Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Dominic Thiem in their epic quarter-final

Rafael Nadal has looked vulnerable at times, particularly against Thiem, but feels he was playing better tennis earlier in the tournament than he was a year ago.

Nadal won comfortably at the French Open and dominated a tired Del Potro after losing the first set at the same stage here last year, but their clash in the Wimbledon quarter-finals was one of the matches of the year.

"It will be a very tough one", three-time US Open victor Nadal said.

"He (Del Potro) is a great player everywhere".

"I know that I will have to play at my highest level to keep having chances of success. I am focused on trying to make that happen". After that win, the 6-foot-6 del Potro was hailed as the next big thing, only to have a series of wrist injuries and subsequent surgeries detour his ascent.

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"I just have the chance to play the greatest in this sport, and it's fantastic for me".

"For sure it [the 2014 win] is going to give me good confidence, even though I didn't remember", Nishikori said.

World number one Nadal faces big-serving Argentine third seed Juan Martin del Potro while sixth seed Novak Djokovic meets Japanese 21st seed Kei Nishikori bidding to secure a seventh trip to the showcase match at Flushing Meadows.

"I think the beginning of the tournament I played a little bit better this year than last year but every year is completely different", he said. I've seen a chance, but I haven't been able to make the last step.

Djokovic is aiming for a 14th Grand Slam title, which will take him level with American Pete Sampras in third in the men's all-time list. He has also won 24 of his last 26 matches, including the US Open tune-up event in Cincinnati last month. But the challenge of playing him on hard courts, of course, is even higher for me personally. 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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