U.S. Open: Rafael Nadal in 'too much pain' to continue

Rafael Nadal moves ahead of Ivan Lendl on special Grand Slam list

Novak Djokovic beat Kei Nishikori on Friday night to advance to his eighth US Open men's final.

After a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win over 2014-runner-up Nishikori, Djokovic is now just one win away from equalling Pete Sampras' haul of 14 Grand Slams - which would be another landmark achievement in his remarkable career.

Rafael Nadal tried to put a courageous face on it but the defending US Open champion could not hide his frustration after yet another physical setback denied him the chance to add to his haul of Grand Slam titles.

Djokovic missed last year's tournament owing to an elbow injury.

The world No 1 was forced to stop his semi-final encounter against Juan Martin del Potro after losing the opening two sets 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 against the 2009 champion.

During the sixth game of the second set, after the chair umpire had made a call that Nadal thought came before the ball landed, he approached the chair and said, "It's OK, I'm going to retire because I'm so hurt on the knee, but you are not good on this one".

And he will start the heavy favourite, boasting a 14-4 record over the Argentine who will be playing in just his second final at the Slams.

The effort took its toll, with the Spaniard twice needing to have his right knee bandaged before calling it a day after the conclusion of the second set. Lot of people in this room, including myself, never will think that at the age of 32 I will be here fighting for titles, fighting for the first positions of the rankings.

"But we've played 18 times against each other". His match against Khachanov was the second-longest.

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"I love to play against Rafa because he's the biggest fighter in this sport and I don't like to see him suffering on court like today so I'm sad for him but I'm also happy to move forward".

"These moments are tough but I have to keep going and working hard to get more opportunities". "The problem is this time was something little bit more aggressive because was in one movement".

"It is not an injury that tells you, 'three weeks off, you are back. Could have been better playing the final again, but maybe the my next chance".

"Yeah, for sure it's going to give me good confidence", Nishikori said, "even though I (don't) remember".

His victory over Dominic Thiem reminded him of Wimbledon, where he outlasted Juan Martin del Potro in five sets in the quarterfinals before Novak Djokovic edged him in a 10-8 fifth set in the next round.

"This year have been a fantastic year until this moment", said Nadal, who counts the French Open among his five titles this year.

When Rafael Nadal finally finished a almost five-hour climb into the U.S. Open semifinals, he thought backward as much as ahead. I am enjoying on court. He still can win Majors, he has won three in the last two years. "All my career everybody said that because of my style, I will have a short career", he noted.

"I didn't expect to get into another Grand Slam final", del Potro said.

"I waited as much as I can".

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