Nadal Retires Due To Knee Putting Del Potro Into US Open Final Against Djokovic

by Staff | September 7th, 2018, 11:40 pm

For the second time this year Rafael Nadal couldn’t finish a hard court Grand Slam. The Spaniard was resuming his US Open title defense this evening in the semifinals against Juan Martin del Potro when once again knee troubles arose, forcing him to retire down 7-6(3), 6-2 due to tendinitis in his right knee.

“I waited as much as I can,” Nadal said. “You could imagine very difficult for me to say goodbye before the match finish. But at some point you have to take a decision. It was so difficult for me to keep playing at the same time that way, having too much pain.”

The two former champions went back and forth, twice trading breaks in a very competitive first set. Nadal sought out the trainer at 3-4 to wrap his right knee, only two have the trainer remove the strapping on the very next changeover. The Argentine pulled ahead in the breaker and took the opener, just as he did a year ago in this same round against Rafa.

But after nearly 16 hours of play leading up to the match, Nadal’s right knee couldn’t hold up anymore. Nadal once again asked for the trainer to wrap the knee, but nothing was working. The pain was there, preventing the World No. 1 from going after shots and playing defense.

Nadal even quipped to the umpire that the bad calls didn’t matter anymore because he was going to retire. After dropping the second he finally did.

“That was not a tennis match at the end,” Nadal said. “It was just one player playing, the other one staying on the other side of the court. I hate to retired, but stay one more set out there playing like this will be too much for me.”

Nadal said early on he felt something wasn’t right.

“I think was 2-All in the first, 15-Love, something like this in the first set, that I felt,” he said. “I said too my box immediately that I felt something on the knee. After that, I was just trying to see if in some moment the thing can improve during the match. But no, was not the day.”

With Davis Cup next weekend and then Laver Cup, Nadal isn’t sure when he’ll be ready to play again.

“It’s not an injury that tells you three weeks off and you are back,” he said. “Is not an injury that tells you six months off, you are back. Is maybe an injury that in one week you feel better, is an injury that maybe in six months you don’t feel better.

“I know what is going on with the knee. But the good thing is I know how I have to work to be better as soon as possible because we have a lot of experience on that.”

Del Potro advanced to his first Grand Slam final since his 2009 US Open title when he also beat Nadal in the final.

“I cannot believe that I will have a chance to play another Grand Slam finals in here, which is my favorite tournament,” said del Potro who had lost to Rafa in three of the last four Slams coming in. ‘So it would be special to me. Would be a big challenge, as well, because I’ve been fighting with many, many problems to get in this moment.

“I’m here now. It will be a difficult match, of course. But anyway, I think I’ve been doing a good tournament. And in the finals, anything can happen. If I win, great. If not, I been playing a great tournament and I will be happy anyways.”

Del Potro said he noticed Nadal’s knee issues.

“I saw him suffering a lot during the second set,” said del Potro. “I was trying just to do my game. But, of course, I saw Rafa with some pains. I say to myself that just stay focus on my game, don’t look at him because you never know what could happen in that situations.

“But, of course, when I saw him with bad movements, I start to play aggressive, putting him running a lot. Then he decide to stop.”

Del Potro will have to repeat his 2009 performance when he beat two of the Big 4, only Sunday he’ll face Novak Djokovic instead of Roger Federer.

Djokovic crushed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to reach his eighth US Open final and 23rd Grand Slam final. The reigning Wimbledon champion has won his last 13 matches in Grand Slam play, and against Nishikori, it’s 14 straight sets since losing to the Japanese No. 1 in the 2014 US Open semifinals.

I was coming into today’s match knowing I’m going to play a player who is very quick and takes away a lot of the time from his opponent,” said Djokovic. “He just likes to go for his shots. I knew that if I managed to sustain that speed of his shots, that I’ll have my chance to kind of breakthrough and to make him feel uncomfortable and start making errors.

“That’s what happened. I thought in the important moments I came up with some good second serves, some good first serves. I was returning well. I was putting constant pressure on him, trying to move him around the court, take away the rhythm from him, not give him the same look always. The match was really, really good from my side.”

Nishikori, who like Djokovic also missed the 2017 US Open, wasn’t up to the challenge today.

“He was playing very solid with everything, serve, return and groundstrokes,” said Nishikori. “He was playing aggressive. I didn’t have much energy to stay with him. He was hitting side to side. I think I was just tired from the last couple matches. I was trying to give 100 percent, but he was playing very solid. Maybe if he wasn’t Novak, I might have chance to play a little better. But he was playing great tennis today. Credit to him.

Djokovic enters the final blisteringly hot, winning his last 13 sets at the US Open. And he leads del Potro 14-4 winning all three meetings last year and in Slams his 4-0, 2-0 at the US Open.

“It will be a difficult match because we are close friends,” del Potro said of the Serb. “For sure we both wants to win. But Novak has won the Wimbledon already. He’s playing so good. He will be the favorite to win on Sunday.

“But I don’t know. When I played Roger nine years ago, he was the favorite to win, as well. I will try to make the surprise again.”

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44 Comments for Nadal Retires Due To Knee Putting Del Potro Into US Open Final Against Djokovic

Margot Says:

How disappointing for Rafa and his fans. So sorry you guys n’ gals.
Not great for JMDP either, I guess that’s not the way he would’ve chosen to get to the final. But it’s not just about one match and it’s a fantastic achievement after all his injuries.
And, on the other side SUPERNole is back!
Hope it’s a great final!

Joshua Says:

Hi, everyone. What is the criteria for me to win US Open Men Bracket. I m currently #1, but joint point leader with RZ. It s also certain we both finish with same points.

Daniel Says:


If both of you picked Djoko I think it would come down to who got closer to tha ace count by winner. I think that was the criteria when we submit the bracket.

kriket Says:

Remember when players used to just stand there between points adjusting the racquet strings with their fingers?
Now Nadal is bringing two towels everywhere around the court with him :)

chofer Says:


Look who’s having an actual crystal ball!!


Impressive, nomatter what happens here.

chofer Says:


I’m seconf guessing Delpo’s pick now. The wau Novak is playing (so deep) will neitralize Delpo’s weapon, as je likes to dictate from inside the baseline. Putting hin on defense,it will be a hard task.

Let’s see. I think I’ve already said I wanted Delpo to get rid off the “one slam wonder” tag. The opportunity it’s too good for that. Unfortunately, on the other side of the net is Nole. And playing great again.

It’s not like Cilic who had Nishi or even Wawa, who had an erratic Nole in the F (I predicted a Wawrinka win in that final against 99% of the posters in the forum; but that was obvious to me at that time)

Hope Delpo proves me wrong. It’s really this one. Then, I don’t care!!

On Nadal comments here and everywhere: I can’t believe some people has the nerve to call him a “quitter”. That a GOAT should never quit.

I am beyond apalled as some fandom bordering stupidity, if not downright “mala leche” (google it) I knwe some Fedfans are inssuferable (FedExpress). Then, I think some Rafans are also, too. The “humble” is missing in action.

Those fans are neither funny not supposrt some insight on their idols. One is a whiner, the other a jerk.

Let’s call them what they are, right? They’re not the only ones around the web.

chofer Says:

Sorry the typos. I just woke up. Saw some comments here and there I wish I was blind. That.

skeezer Says:

Know todays tennis headlines seem to be more about Nadal, but not to forget Delpos road to get where he is also;
Vamos gentle giant!

rognadfan Says:

Well that was a real bummer, the first one. It would’ve been an epic one but to me, I thought Delpo was going to get this one against Rafa this time. Any way sad he had to retire and good luck for the speedy recovery. I think we will see rafa in Australlia next year again. And that’s fine, he played a lot of tennis, may be a little too much this year.

The second was was never going to be an exciting match up, not this time. Nishikori is not fully there plus he is just a ‘poor mans Nole’ imho.

Final should be fun. Both guys are at the top of there game right now, that means, Nole will probally get the second slam. But hope Delpo puts up a great fight and try to get his second.
This final will be just the third match of this US open for me due to a move to well, the northeast (what an irony that is), but I am looking forward to this one, eagerly.

kriket Says:

Đoković has to take this chance at another slam, where he doesn’t have to face either Nadal, Federer or Wawrinka. Nadal and Federer certainly took their chances while he was injured to add up a cpl more slams to their tally. Delpo is tough but Đoković should be able to manage him, if he plays on par with his abilities.
They both kinda deserve another slam, but Đoković maybe a little more, considering how many slams Fedal have, and the fact that he has a positive h2h against both of them.

Madmax Says:

It is not disappointing for Rafa at all. He is used to the pain in his knee, but he usually plays through it without any complaints. I think everyone should stop feeling sorry. If it was not for the knee, he would have won, but he didn’t and let’s face it, Delpo was lucky in this match, because it was only because of Rafa’s knee that he lost. Right?

Stop going on about injuries. All our players play with injuries, they just don’t go on about it. Either play or don’t.

Madmax Says:

Everyone wants players on the tour to do well. Except Wogboy. What a serious loser that guy is. Hateful. A back stabber, a turncoat and an anti novak and his family non-fan.

Everyone loves a good sob story. No one will be sad if Delpo wins another Slam, after all his injuries, he doesn’t go on about them. He just plays. I do think though that Novak will pull through.

Perhaps the wind up merchant Wogboy can plant another tree!

Madmax Says:

Some people just don’t go on and on about their injuries. They just deal with it as part of the package, and when they don’t say anything about it, then it comes out like this, and then you realise what these athletes carry with them, inside their bodies, after years of dedication.

Ha! I would love to see a 37 year old Wogboy, carry a wooden spade to the base of his tree farm, without collapsing! Silly man!–mary-joe-fernandez/

Mary Joe Fernandez knows Roger Federer very well. The American is the wife of Federer’s agent Tony Godsick, and commenting on ESPN she said something very interesting. Federer was quite ill in the holding room after the match, but he didn’t share the information.

In his press conference, Federer didn’t mention any physical issue and just blamed the humidity and the heat. Prior to the loss, in his many interviews Roger had always said that he was healthy for the first time in three years heading into the US Open, as in 2017 he was dealing with a back injury and in 2016 withdrew.

‘He was not feeling well,’ Fernandez said. ‘He took a long time to lie down and get his breathing under control.’ Mats Wilander thinks Federer’s tactic was wrong: ‘Going forward and being super aggressive, I think it’s something he has been doing for the last couple of years.

chofer Says:


Agree with you in all except thar Rafa would have won. That’s speculation. He was healthy at Wimbledon and Delpo had him two sets to one. It’s not like he can’t win against Rafa.

Don’t let your fandom made you look like the ones you critic.
I cannot tell you how many times Delpo’s wrist was hurting and lose aginst one of the Big Four.And he said nothing until he went to surgery.

As you said with Federer, somtimes we know nothing of what’s going on with a player but it’s safer to sit on a couch and go blah about them.

Mystic - Willow Says:

Im not a sore loser, some you win, some you lose, it goes with the sport, what i dont hold with is having to explain myself to certain people about the the time i go to bed, and how much of matches im watching ….

Madmax Says:


My angle does not seem to be well taken, but no matter. We have all, if we are real fans of tennis, said, if you are fit enough to play, then play – but don’t talk about the injuries afterwards, it detracts from the match and then makes you look sour. If Rafa fans cannot take that, so be it. And if Rafa fans are rafa fans, they stay up at night, come what may and watch the match, they don’t turn off the TV, it’s cowardly, and they know it. That is not a criticism, we all have to take it. Play to win and if you lose, then lose gracefully. Arguing with the umpire then saying, ‘I’m going to retire anyway’, isn’t my idea of the way that a champion should behave.

But Rafa is allowed a bad day. Who isn’t?

Madmax Says:

Mystic – Willow Says:
Im not a sore loser, some you win, some you lose, it goes with the sport, what i dont hold with is having to explain myself to certain people about the the time i go to bed, and how much of matches im watching ….

September 8th, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Oh Willow, be quiet about when you go to bed. No one is interested, except the tree people.

Stay up and watch the match, go to work the next day with sleepy eyes but live girl, live!

Relax, will you.

Madmax Says:


Why did Rafa argue with the umpire? I don’t get it?

Mystic - Willow Says:

Please stop telling me what to do , i dont appreciate it, im perfectly relaxed ….

Madmax Says:

Oh Relax Willow. I am not telling you what to do, it’s just a request. Don’t be so haughty, this is getting silly. And stop feigning the oh woe is me philosophy. You are tougher than that.

Giles, this was interesting. You mentioned something about ticket prices and how expensive they were at the USO, and then I found this:

US Open ticket prices go down after Roger Federer’s loss

Every time Roger Federer enters a Center Court to play a competitive match, we always see a packed crowd. But when he doesn’t play, in most of the cases the difference is notable. After the Swiss player’s loss to Australia’s John Millman in the fourth round, the ticket prices for the US Open Wednesday night session featuring the men’s quarter-final match between Novak Djokovic and Millman, dropped by 75%, from $262 to $61.

It’s pretty amazing that for a 37 year old (I know how much you miss your youth Giles), that he can still pull in the crowd!

J-Kath Says:

To anyone who is interested: Jamie Murray & B. Mattek-Sands just won the mixed doubles final.

Mystic - Willow Says:

J-Kath well done to both ….

Mystic - Willow Says:

Madmax we could go round in circles here, youve attacked everybody here today AM, Giles, J-Kath, Wogboy, all because you cant stand anybody disagreeing with you, cant people be left alone to have an opinion, blog when they want to, sleep when they want to, people dont have to justify themselves to you, its their own personal choice, no woe is me just an observation, just lay off attacking people ….

chofer Says:

Guys, it’s just a match. Whoever has the right to feel whatever they feel about.

What I can’t stand is bragadoccio, bad attitude and whiners (all of them are FedExpress and Not that “Humble” Rafa). The rest are quite fair and fine posters:)

I’ll take the positives: The Final couldn’t be worse than the Sfs combined, right? Both are healthy. So no excuses this time.

And life goes on. Rafa was mad yesterday because the injury appeared out of nowhere in the middle of first set. So “bad day” applies to him, too. Like everyone else. He’ll recover like he did ten thousand times before.

The best thing this sport has is that it gives you opportunities every year to make up for these things unlike, say, the Olympics and the World Cup.

A”revenge” is always lurking around the corner.

The issue to me is that some fans count on the Grand Slam tally like the lost coins you can find in your pockets. And, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Because these champions are already in the history books long time ago now. Not one of them would make sense if not for the other one. Like McEnroe and Borg/Chris and Martina, they come attached. Perhaps, in a future movie too.

As a Delpo fan (I’d assume some Andy fans, too) see these things as super-greedy and ultimately pointless. The respect each other and not one thing they achieved I’m sure they wanted it exchange it for another. Including “bad days” or “injuries”. Those come with the package of being supercompetitive and play most matches than, perhaps, your body will allow.

Take it easy.

Dan the Man Says:

It was always going to be a gargantuan task for Nadal to try to defend the U.S. Open. I am a little surprised he made it all the way to the SF, but for sure a resurgent Djokovic would have beaten him if Delpo didn’t. Nadal has never defended any non-clay title he won in the following year. NEVER. That is quite a statistic, and when you see him having won some clay titles 11 times, that paints a very clear picture about him. He is the master of clay, of All Time, and he frequently breaks through on the the other surfaces. That stat of not ever defending a non-clay tournament looks like it will never be broken during his career.

Margot Says:

chofer: OMG very impressive indeed from that Mitch dude. Hope he’s a betting man!

Mystic - Willow Says:

Rafas beaten Novak at the USO twice, he also beat Delpo last year, not relevant but if he had been fit i couldve been a very different story,, i think Rafa fans can be happy hes won the title three times though ….

chofer Says:


He’s not. He says so. I wish he was, lol!

J-Kath Says:

Mystic-Willow: He/She needs help .. also kind of weird – who else on TX would save a bunch of previous posts that try to demonstrate what a fan once said about the fan’s favourite player……for me that’s kind of creepy. Maybe needs sectioned…

Truth Says:

Could’ve been.
Anyone with a brain knows Novak had a horrible serve in the humidity of summer 2013. He double faulted & choked badly. He didn’t change the serve for effective serve holds in the Cincinnati and US Open until this year.

Truth Says:

Of course there’s a crowd for Fred.
Fed floons are desperate to say Fed’s the prettiest and bestEST thing in sports.
Just like the Serena floons’ mentality.

Amit Says:

If someone does not support his/her fave player like a faithful dog all the time and conveniently chooses to skip the match of his fave player, due to more urgent need of either sleep/work, then that doesnt make him/her a coward! I myself almost always miss Fed matches, coz i gotta make money/sleep! So.i am not buying the coward/unfaithful theory.. thanks to the supporters and the opposition both, in advance..

Amit Says:

Those who got jobs, they may be Fed/Rafa/Joker fans, they just not gonna stay up all night to watch their matches just to earn the mythical loyal fan tag! Its BS, this so called fandom values! They are just players, not our bros/gf/bf! Dollars earned give way more pleasure than a certain fave player doing whatever! Those who focus more on sportsmen than their own personal life, are either filthy rich or are eager to become biggest losers ever.. simple as that…

Daniel Says:

I also didn’t finihs many maches this week: Fed x Millmann, Nadal x Thiem ans anoher late night. Had to woke uo ealry all week and couldn’t go beyond 1 am and I am just 1 hour ahead NY.

But there were times in AO I wike up 2 am to see Fed play if I had a lighter day next morning. And AO for me is 12 hours difenrence.

All realtive.

Amit Says:

I agree daniel

Tom Jones Says:

So, Rafa is getting hit off the court vs Wawa AO final and now Del Po hitting him off the court and he just ‘happens’ to get hurt.


In the 2009 US Open semis, Delpo beat Nadal 6-2 6-2 6-2

Rafa was not about to literally be humiliated again so he basically had to find a reason to retire early.

Rafa for the most part is simply not a hard court player for 7 straight rounds and he only has won the US Open 3 times because of how slow the courts are and 1 year his draw was ridiculously easy.

Mystic - Willow Says:

Amit / Daniel thankyou ;-)

J-Kath one word un-hinged ….

J-Kath Says:


Madmax Says:

Mystic – Willow Says:
Madmax we could go round in circles here, youve attacked everybody here today AM, Giles, J-Kath, Wogboy, all because you cant stand anybody disagreeing with you, cant people be left alone to have an opinion, blog when they want to, sleep when they want to, people dont have to justify themselves to you, its their own personal choice, no woe is me just an observation, just lay off attacking people ….

September 8th, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Right back atcha Willow. Did you think it was an attack? Really. I don’t see it that way. Strong opinions cause friction, but I love ya Willow. I do.

Madmax Says:

Willow, you just take things a bit too personally – try and get over it quickly. It’s just differences of opinion. That is all.

Madmax Says:

Have to say, ‘lay off attacking people’. Come on Willow. Now let’s be fair. It’s good that you have a bit of fire in your belly. But we know who the attackers are on this site and I am not one of them. But I can take it Willow. Water off a duck’s back. Really. Take it easy. See you for another discussion if you are around.

Mystic - Willow Says:

Madmax whatever hun, frankly my dear i dont give a damn whether you like me or hate me, that goes for the rest of the cliques here, im not here to win any popularity contests, i might be here for another discussion, and i might not, because believe it or not tennis aint the be all and end all, and i dont particlarly care who wins the final, if Novak wins the final and goes on to surpass Nadal and win a gazzilion more GS all power to him, if Delpo wins the he will have the one GS title monkey off his back so all power to him, just me but dont really care either way, and please stop repeating what everyones saying we all know and we aint blind , peace ….

Truth Says:

Hilarious. You dont care but you care whether Fed would dominate Novak if they are age 22-27.
It’s obvious that Fedal would NOT dominate Novak at the US Open!
Fedal couldn’t even face each other at the US Open.
Fed needed 2 years of easy draws and a declining Nadal to win anything!

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