Rafael Nadal expects big challenge from ‘great player’ Juan Martin del Potro

Rafael Nadal in action

Rafael Nadal admits he will need to “play at his highest level” if he is to get the better of Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open semi-final.

They are familiar foes at this stage of the US Open as they also met in last year’s semi-final with Nadal coming out on top before lifting the trophy a few days later.

Their most recent ATP meeting was in the quarter-final at Wimbledon this year while they also met in the semi-final of the French Open with Nadal winning both matches.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner, who leads the head-to-head 11-5, expects another major test from Del Potro.

“It will be a very tough one,” he said. “Juan Martin is a great player.

“He’s a great player on grass. Well, he’s a great player everywhere. But the challenge of playing him on hard of course is even higher for me personally than playing against him on clay, like what happened in Roland Garros.

“It will be a big challenge. We know each other very well. I know he’s playing well. I know that I will have to play at my highest level to keep having chances of success.

“I am focused on try to make that happen.”

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