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4 past men's finalists try to get back to another at US Open

September 7, 2018
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Two wins from being the first men's repeat champion at the U.S. Open in a decade, Rafael Nadal meets Juan Martin del Potro in one semifinal. Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori play in the other matchup Friday.

All four players are past finalists at Flushing Meadows, the first time that's happened at the U.S. Open since 2011.

Nadal beat del Potro in last year's semifinals and then routed Kevin Anderson in the final for his third U.S. Open title. 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.

Federer's run was ended the next year by del Potro for the Argentine's only major title. The No. 3 seed has lost to Nadal in the semifinals in three of the last four Grand Slam tournaments.

Djokovic leads the series against Nishikori 14-2, though the Japanese did win their 2014 U.S. Open semifinal before the reigning Wimbledon champion began his run of 13 straight head-to-head victories.

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