Juan Martin del Potro: It was tough to see crocked Rafael Nadal struggle

Michael Graham
Juan Martin del Potro gestures

Juan Martin del Potro says it wasn’t easy to see “fighter” Rafael Nadal forced to surrender to injury in their US Open semi-final. 

Del Potro was two sets up when Nadal opted to quit with a knee injury, with the world number one’s mobility very clearly hampered throughout their clash on Arthur Ashe.

“Of course it’s not the best way to get through a match,” Del Potro said immediately after Nadal pulled out.

“I love to paly against Rafa because he’s the biggest fighter in this sport and I don’t like to see him suffering like today.

“I’m sad for him but also happy to reach the final.

“The key of the match was the first set. We both played good tennis, it was a tough one.”

Nadal, who saw a second Grand Slam this year ended by injury, said he knew early on it wasn’t going to be his night.

“I had some issues in the tournament,” Nadal said. “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.

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