Juan Martin del Potro stated he was angry over his US Open semifinal loss to Rafael Nadal and admitted he never had control of the match. He praised his opponent Nadal for his improved backhand which helped him win the semi final 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 and tipped him to lift the title again.
Ahead of the semi final match of the US Open del Potro revealed that he was not in the good condition to take on the World No. 1 and his fears came true as he was defeated by Nadal 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.
Del Potro had become the first player to defeat both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the same major, in back-to-back matches no less, on his way to win the 2009 US Open, but a chronic wrist injury almost ended his career. Howver, he made an incredible comeback in 2016 to win the silver medal at the Olympics. But this time history failed to repeat itself and the 28-year-old also realized what he had missed.
"To be honest, I'm angry to lose a chance like this, but maybe tomorrow, after tomorrow, I will be calm and see how big the tournament was for me," said Del Potro after his semifinal loss as quoted by supersport.com.
"I think I never had control of the match. I was lucky to break his serve with the net point."
With top players like Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and Stan Wawrinka all pulling out of the tournament, Rafael Nadal knew that he would have a less challenging opponent in the final if he managed to reach the last round.
"When you don't have that confidence to play three, four hours with a good backhand against Rafa, is just a matter of time to get down your game,” the Argentine admitted.
"But also he improved very much his game after the second set, and his balls came too fast from both sides. He deserved to win, for sure."
Nadal will face South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the final game, who has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a grand slam prior to this, and he will become the first South African to win a major title since Johan Kriek in 1981, if he manages an upset.
"He had the game today to win, to beat me, and to win the tournament," the 28-year-old predicted.
"I think he's playing much better. He's improved his backhand and he serves
Ahead of the match, del Potro already admitted that he was tired and not 100% fit for his first Grand Slam semifinal appearance since 2013.
"I was exhausted after the Thiem match, the Roger match. I had flu during the week," he added.
"So I had many problems before this match, but I was very motivated to play the semifinal. I gave all my effort to survive this match, but I couldn't do well,” del Potro concluded.