Imperious Novak Djokovic cruises past Kei Nishikori to reach US Open final

Imperious Novak Djokovic cruises past Kei Nishikori to reach US Open final

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, celebrates after defeating Kei Nishikori, of Japan, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in NY.

Djokovic, the 2011 and 2015 champion, will be looking to complete the Wimbledon-US Open double for a third time when he tackles the 2009 victor in NY with a 14th major within touching distance.

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.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal retired injured from his semi-final match against No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro.

The three-time champion retired at the end of the second set with Del Potro leading 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 on Arthur Ashe.

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"We have never met in a Grand Slam final".

The defending champion had his knee massaged and re-taped and bravely continued through the second set before telling the umpire he was unable to continue. Djokovic, another player whose recent injury cost him time at the top of the tennis pyramid, won Wimbledon this year and is rounding into his elite form again. So I don't know what can happen in a couple of days or in a couple of weeks.

"I love to play against Rafa because he's the biggest fighter in this sport and I don't like to see him suffering on court like today so I'm sad for him but I'm also happy to move forward". "I was in too much pain".

"[He's] playing very solid everything: serve, return, groundstrokes". "The problem is this time was something little bit more aggressive because was in one movement".

Del Potro's game couldn't be much more different and Djokovic will have to come up with the answers to the enormous firepower at the Argentine's disposal.

The 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.

"This year have been a fantastic year until this moment", said Nadal, who counts the French Open among his five titles this year.

"That's frustrating. Can't tell you another thing".

"I will keep going".

He holds a 14-4 career record over del Potro, and has won six of their last seven matches dating to the 2013 Wimbledon semi-final, which Djokovic won in five tough sets.

The 32-year-old has long suffered with tendinitis in his knees, presumably brought about by his intense style of play - his mobility is perhaps his greatest asset, especially his ability to change direction during the course of a point. I am enjoying on court. Djokovic faced only two break points, both in the second, and erased them both.

"I didn't expect to get into another Grand Slam final", del Potro said. "I was a kid then; now I am much older".

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