Juan Martin del Potro furious after wasting chance to topple Rafael Nadal

US Open champion Rafael Nadal calls 2017 'one of the best of his career'

"I was not feeling bad the ball the first set, but I was wrong in the way that I was trying to play, no?"

Nadal dismantled the unseeded Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Nadal breezed through the third and fourth sets to put away Del Potro, the man who ousted Roger Federer in Wednesday's semi-final. "So I don't know what's gonna be my strategy for that match", said Del Potro, whose career has been hampered by injuries and surgeries. Nadal struck more winners than Del Potro in each of the last three sets, including by a whopping 13 to two margin in the second.

"He had the game today to win, to beat me, and to win the tournament", was the 28-year-old's prediction.

"Just the fight to be in the final, and have a chance to fight for another title here, is so important for me", Nadal said. So you appreciate it.

"It should hurt, and it does, rightfully so, but I think my perspective at this age and with the season I've had, (it) is easier to grasp faster, so I'll be fine quickly", Federer said. He made the exact same achievement with Masters tournament in Monte Carlo and with the ATP tournament in Barcelona. "Important victory against a great opponent", Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal takes on Juan Martin Del Potro once again in the 2017 semi-finals for the U.S. Open.

Del Potro, roared on by the Argentine fans who have given him loud support throughout this US Open, gathered himself to win a tight first set, before running out of steam. He went 6-0 in the second set, and only dropped a couple games in the third set.

"This feels like my home court". You were. It's not more frustrating. He's the number one of the world.

Federer congratulated his opponent for the victory. "He deserve to win, and I did all my best, all my effort to survive this match, but I couldn't do well".

When asked about missing out on a first-time encounter with Nadal in Flushing Meadows, the five-time US Open victor said he was focused more on understanding what went wrong in his match, before adding that "it's a pity but Juan Martin deserves it more". He has lost his four previous matches against Nadal.

"This means the world to me, I'm so happy to be here".

This is going to be his 23rd Grand Slam finals, and he is going to be after his 16th title.

This is the sixth occasion when they were a round away from playing in NY, but one or the other lost - including eight years ago, when del Potro beat Nadal in the semifinals, then Federer in the final to end the Swiss star's run of five consecutive titles at the tournament.

He is involved in a 34th major tournament in his career and has taken advantage of a main draw decimated by injuries to many headliners, including former champions Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka, to sneak.