Juan Martín Del Potro's Family: 5 Fast Facts to Know

Rafael Nadal will face Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open semi-final

Rafael Nadal will face Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open semi-final

Still, he retains the No. 1 ranking no matter if Del Potro or the Novak Djokovic-Kei Nishikori semifinal victor lifts the U.S. Open trophy Sunday. Del Potro, 29, is familiar with the feeling of losing out on trophies because of injuries. Yeah, I mean, I think I have two finals won and five losses.

Few would have predicted such a remarkable season for Djokovic, who lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open, underwent surgery on his right elbow and fell at the first hurdle in Indian Wells and Miami on his return.

"It's tough, these moments, but on the other hand I'm going to keep going and I'm going to keep working hard to keep having opportunities".

Despite again appearing to struggle with the humid conditions, Djokovic battled past Roger Federer's conqueror John Millman in straight sets on Wednesday to continue his bid for a third US Open title. But, you know, he's got two days now to recover, so he's going to be fresh.

On Friday, in the two sets he played, del Potro showed just why Djokovic and the rest rate him so highly.

"I thought in the important moments I came up with some good second serves, some good first serves".

"I can't say that I am happy because I am not".

If there is one player on tour who understands the physical toll of tennis and Nadal's pain in his retirement, it is del Potro.

Federer and Nadal have won six majors between themselves, but both men have had to be careful how much tennis they play. Nadal retired from the match.

"We have never played in the final of a Grand Slam and he's playing the tennis of his life, without a doubt, in the last 15 months", said the Serb. And while he still had the devastating forehand that's been one of tennis' signature shots and carried him to the 2009 title, repeated wrist injuries had made him one dimensional on the backhand side.

Unfortunately for Nishikori, Djokovic has been the victor in all 13 meetings since that match and has generally dominated this rivalry, so the Japanese player knows he is up against it here. But del Potro also is a fan favourite, admired for his gracious demeanor and perseverance through his many wrist problems. "So I'm sad for him". I know how much frustration can be when you can't do the thing that you want to do.

Djokovic went into cruise control in the third set, winning four consecutive games from 2-2 to win the match and book his spot in the final. At 29 and back to near his best, the Argentinian attracts admiration throughout the game for the way he has fought back from almost quitting the sport in 2015 to a career-best No 3 world ranking, and now is on his favourite stage again. That's where he got, I feel like, a great confidence boost. I think people can relate to that and appreciate what he brings to the tennis.

There were other issues for him, too, including in the third set when, ahead by a break, he was called by the chair umpire for allowing the 25-second serve clock, making its Grand Slam debut at this tournament, run out on back-to-back points.

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