"I thought in the important moments I came up with some good second serves, some good first serves". Djokovic converted on four of them, breaking once in each of the first two sets and twice in the third, while Nishikori couldn't capitalize on the two that he earned.
"I always believed I could come back relatively quickly to the level of tennis I was playing", Djokovic said. Two games later the trainer was back to remove the tape.
Djokovic finally sealed the almost two-and-a-half hour match with an outstretched victor down the line - his 16th of the match to 29 unforced errors. We are doing well.' Is reaching the US Open final more special than winning Davis Cup in 2016? Victory over Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday will give him not only his 14th major title but also underline the Serbian is ready to reclaim his mantle as the top dog in the sport.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates victory following his men´s singles semi-final match against Kei Nishikori of Japan on Day Twelve of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2018.
The sixth seed, who is eyeing a third title at Flushing Meadows after triumphs in 2011 and 2015, was never remotely troubled by the Japanese player in a one-sided semi-final.
"I know things are going the right way".
However, after an injury to his right knee forced him to retire from his semi-final against Juan Martin Del Potro on Friday night, his knees are again the subject of many conversations. Today at 2-all in the first I felt it again. 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.
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"I was fortunate not to be too long away, but I did carry my injury for over two years, so I understand what a player goes through", the 31-year-old Serb said. Nadal said. "It was just one player playing, the other one staying on the other side of the court".
Should he win on Sunday, he will equal Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles.
When Nadal missed a forehand wide, then put a backhand into the net, the opening set belonged to del Potro, who shook his fist and yelled, "Vamos!"
"I've been fighting with many, many problems to get [to] this moment", del Potro said.
The game started on an ominous note for Nadal as del Potro broke his serve in the first game of the first set. Not since Roger Federer won five in a row from 2004-08 has a man repeated at the final Grand Slam tournament of the season.
"I was close to quit this sport because I couldn't find a way to fix my wrist problems", he said. As hard as it is to say goodbye before [the] match finished, you have to take a position.
He also retired trailing in the fifth set of his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic in January.