Novak Djokovic sat out last year's U.S. Open to rest an elbow injury that eventually required surgery, but that pain and frustration felt like a distant memory on Friday when the Serb completed his march to the NY final with authority. "When you play a big server like Del Potro, you feel pressure also on your service games". I [had] been suffering a lot.
"I was fortunate not to be too long away, but I did carry my injury for over two years, so I understand what a player goes through", the 31-year-old Serb said. The two that preceded the Wimbledon classic were easier victories, a semifinal rout en route to the French Open title and a four-set victory in last year's U.S. Open semifinals, when Nadal dominated the last three sets. He barely took any time between points while serving - and he's known as one of the slowest guys on tour.
Either del Potro or Djokovic will add to their Flushing Meadows trophy haul, and it should be an epic as both players will have plenty in the tank after relatively straightforward semifinal victories.
"They are very important for me to be in this stage at the moment because they were behind me in that year, trying to keep my mind positive to never give up during my wrist problems", said Del Potro after reaching the final when defending champion Rafael Nadal retired injured after dropping the first two sets. "Help me make sure she sees it!"
"I waited as much as I can", he said.More news: National Football League notebook: Rodgers leaves with leg injury
After having his right knee taped, Nadal threw in a sloppy game to be broken again at 4-4, giving Del Potro the chance to serve out the opener.
Between del Potro's five-set victory over Roger Federer to claim the 2009 U.S. Open title and Sunday's final against Novak Djokovic, the 6-foot-6 Argentine underwent four wrist surgeries, including three on his left wrist that made it hard to hit a two-handed backhand properly.
After needing two four-setters in the opening two rounds, Djokovic has glided into the final, his 23rd at the Slams.
On a close call, Nadal argued with the chair umpire James Keothavong, first saying that it didn't matter because he "was going to retire anyway".
On that day it was his right knee, the same one that needed attending to on Friday night and in the semi-final against Del Potro.More news: Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro, US Open 2018 final
That's what I try to do tomorrow, with the ice bath, then massage, then came for hit the ball a little bit also. Del Potro was sympathetic, but he could not hide a beaming smile.
Roger Federer, beaten by Del Potro in the Indian Wells final in March, was impressed by Del Potro's willingness to reinvent his game.
'But I don't know. I lost four matches. I am very competitive at the age of 32. But he was always a top-five player in the eyes, I think, of everyone.
Djokovic will be in his 23rd championship match at the majors and eighth in NY. Is just my normal thing of every day, just to do the work the right way, just enjoy the moments when I have the chance to play with healthy conditions.More news: Here’s What Shahid Kapoor Has Named His Son