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Nadal hobbled out of a semi-final match against Del Potro after two sets.

Osaka's dream of playing her idol, the American player Serena Williams, in the U.S. Open final has become a reality. If it was not time spent out of the sport rehabilitating his problematic wrists, it was the constant breaks in momentum these sideline stints created upon each comeback to the ATP World Tour.

It comes seven years after the New York Times revealed top chair umpires were skipping the US Open because of how poorly it paid officials.

"This might sound amusing, but my nickname is Nole".

The Serb now leads del Potro 15-4 in career meetings, and 5-0 in Grand Slam encounters. "When they shout Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole, that's what I hear". But it took me actually three, four months.

"Of course he can", said Del Potro when asked if Djokovic can claim the record over Federer who is nearly six years his senior.

"Federer might have been doing it for over 20 years but Djokovic's peak has been so recent when the prize has gotten so big", explains Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes magazine. The pain of defeat stung, sure, but the emotions were as much a culmination of a tough stint since that maiden US Open title all those years ago.

When Djokovic is in peak health, as he finally is following a long bout with a right elbow injury that eventually required surgery after this year's Australian Open, he is most definitely a man on a mission.

Hard to pin back and aggressive from the baseline when presented his chances, Djokovic broke for 5-3 and served the opener out easily. Osaka was also able to neutralize the Williams serve, widely regarded as one of the best in all of tennis, as she won 45% of return points.

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Del Potro cracked first when serving in the eighth game of the first set.

The effort took its toll on a suddenly weary-looking Del Potro as a 95-minute set was claimed by Djokovic in the tiebreak.

When it ended, thanks to a three-game closing run by Djokovic, he flung his racket away and landed on his back, arms and legs spread wide. And it all started with Djokovic getting erked by crowd reaction and constant singing for Del Potro. On the next point, however, he sent a backhand into the middle of the net. Three unforced errors resulted on that side, with Djokovic forcing an error on the final point as he overturned a 3-1 deficit.

The Serb appeared to be on course for an easy victory when he went up a break in the second set to go up 6-3, 3-1. Djokovic puffed out his cheeks, knowing the job was virtually done.

"I would say last night it's unfortunate and we have to have consistency because when you look at what Serena is feeling, we watch the guys do this all the time", Adams said.

Djokovic began the second set in the same vein applying vast pressure on Del Potro's serve.

Djokovic's coach, Marian Vajda, called that moment the match's "turning point, obviously".

Djokovic and del Potro exchanged a hug, as per usual in their tussles.


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