Nadal suffered problems with his right knee during his third-round win over Russian Karen Khachanov but insisted it was not a major issue and subsequently won gruelling matches against Nikoloz Basilashvili and Dominic Thiem.
In Wednesday's other quarter-final, Marin Cilic was ousted in five sets by Kei Nishikori, despite winning more points in the match and creating four more break point chances - such are the fine margins often required to win tennis matches.
The No. 1-seeded Nadal has a history of tendinitis in his knees and he said he felt a problem in the right one early in the first set.
The US Open men's semi-finals take place tonight in NY, and returning to preview the two matches, is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston.
"I hate to retire, but to stay one more set out there, playing like this, would be too much for me", Nadal said.
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By Wednesday afternoon the numbers were down to about 5,800 in Alabama, 3,000 in MS and a little more than 2,000 in Florida. Neighbour Amanda Ray told the Pensacola News Journal that she heard a crack and a scream as the limb fell around 9 p.m.
Del Potro, who has also had his career disrupted by injuries, was not happy to get the victory the way he did but the big-hitting Argentine will now get a chance to raise a Grand Slam trophy nine years after his first. "I was a kid then and now I'm much older".
Only Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras have been to the NY decider as often as the remarkable Serb, who lost on his last visit two years ago, to Stan Wawrinka, and has won twice, against Roger Federer in 2015 and Nadal in 2011, the best season of his career.
Rafael Nadal gave and gave at this U.S. Open, spending 17 hours and 55 minutes pounding his 32-year-old knees on hard court and supplying two marathon blocks of entertainment before his body finally gave out.
Arthur Ashe Stadium had not long emptied, stunned by the retirement of Nadal after two sets, when Djokovic put Nishikori under immediate pressure in the second semi-final.
"We've never faced each other in a Grand Slam final so that will be something new for both of us", Djokovic said.
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Dowd, according to Woodward, told Trump he would end up in an orange prison jumpsuit if he testified before Mueller . Mr Wolff's book attracted attention with its vivid anecdotes but suffered from numerous factual inaccuracies.
Rafael Nadal got medical attention in the second set before retiring at the end of second vs Juan Martin Del Potro.
When is Rafael Nadal vs Juan Martin del Potro on and what time does it start? . He was considered a rising star at the time, but a series of wrist operations - one on his dominant right arm, and three on his left - slowed his career and kept him out of 2½ years' worth of major tournaments. "I love to play against Rafa because he's the biggest fighter in this sport".
It's the 10th time del Potro has beaten the No. 1 player, so this isn't new ground for him.
Reaching a second consecutive Grand Slam final suggests the 13-times major champion is almost back to his best, though he will need to be even more clinical against Del Potro, who has only dropped one set in six matches in NY. But at some point you have to take a decision.
"It means a lot to me".
US, India to carry out large-scale joint military exercises in 2019
He said Washington was also working with New Delhi to tackle the issue of India's oil imports from Iran, which face US sanctions. The United States has emerged as India's second largest arms supplier, closing US$15 billion worth of deals in the past decade.
While Djokovic has been able to routinely beat Nishikori in their previous meetings, Nadal and Del Potro have only met on four occasions since 2013.
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