US Open 2018: Rafa Nadal RETIRES due to injury in semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro

RAFA NADAL has pulled out of the semi-finals of the US Open against Juan Martin del Porto as a result of injury.

Rafa NadalGETTY

Rafa Nadal has pulled out of the US Open

Nadal was the favourite to go on and win the competition after Roger Federer was beaten.

But issues with his knee against Karen Khachanov in the third round were evidently not cleared up in time.

The Spaniard was visited by the tournament trainer and had tape applied to his right knee again at the change of ends at 4-3 in the first set against Del Potro.

At 6-7, 2-6 down against the Argentinian, 17-time Grand Slam champion Nadal pulled out leaving Del Potro to advance to the final.

Nadal looked heartbroken after the decision was made, waving to all corners of the court before quickly making his way down the tunnel.

Del Potro tried to console him and applauded him as he left the court.

He said: “It is not the best way to win a match. I love to play against Rafa because he is the biggest fighter in the sport.

“I don’t like to see him suffering like today. I am sad for him. I think the key of the match was the first set.”

“It means a lot. I didn’t expect to get to another Grand Slam final.

“This is my favorite tournament. I had my biggest memories playing on this court but I was a kid. Now I am much older and I will try to enjoy one more day.

“Enjoy the final because after the final you have to go home. Thank you everyone and see you on Sunday.”

Nadal said: “I had some issues in the tournament. Everyone knows I had an issue in the second or third match.

“It was a little bit better but then yeah. It was in the first set when I felt something on the knee and after that I was just trying to save in some moments to try and improve.

 

“It was not today. I waited as much as I could and as you can imagine it was very difficult for me to say goodbye before the match finished.

“It was difficult for me to keep playing at the same time. I was in too much pain and it was not a tennis match in the end. It was one player playing and one on the other side of the court.

“I hate retiring but to stay one more set out there playing like that is too much for me.”

Del Potro will now go on to face either Kei Nishikori or Novak Djokovicin the final which will be played on Sunday.

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