Nadal reached the French Open final after Zverev was injured

Rafael Nadal was stuck in a tight, compelling and long French Open semifinal on Friday when his opponent, third seed Alexander Zverev, ran to his right chasing a shot and twisted his right ankle. Zverev fell to the ground, crying out in pain and clutching his lower leg.

His black robes, arms and legs caked with rust-colored clay, Zverev was helped by a trainer, then carried off the court in a wheelchair. Minutes later, Zverev returned to court Philippe Chatrier on crutches, took off his right shoe and accepted that he could not continue the match.

The sudden end to a 3-hour-old contest allowed Nadal, on his 36th birthday, to become the second-oldest male finalist in French Open history. Now he will attempt to become the oldest champion in a tournament he has already won a record 13 times.

“It's a dream to be in the final at Roland Garros, no doubt,” Nadal said during an on-court interview, after he saw Zverev crying in a small room at the stadium.

“Very difficult, no? And very sad for him, really, no?” Nadal told the full house of 15,000 spectators who tried to cheer him loudly throughout the match, “Ra-fa!” says Again and again.

With the rain pitter-patter against the retractable roof off Court Philippe Chatier, Nadal emerged to claim a hard-as-can-be, first set 7-6 (8) score that lasted 1 1/2 hours. The second set also went to a tiebreaker after another 1/2 hour when Zverev fell behind the baseline.

A trainer came out to join him and Nadal walked around the net to check on Zverev as well. After Zverev returned and announced his retirement from the match, he shook hands with the chair umpire and then hugged Nadal.

Nadal is dealing with chronic pain in his left leg and is coming off a pair of wins that lasted more than 4 hours each — Tuesday against defending champion Novak Djokovic — but has shown no signs of age, injury or fatigue against the 25-year-old. Year old Zverev.

As well as bidding for a 14th trophy since the French Open, Nadal can claim his 22nd Grand Slam title to add to the men's record after winning the Australian Open in January.

Djokovic and Roger Federer are tied at 20.

So does Nadal in Sunday's final against No. 8 Kasper Rudd of Norway or No. 20 Marin Cilic of Croatia: It will be the first time the Spaniard has won the first two legs of a calendar-year Grand Slam. .

Cilic won the 2014 US Open; Ruud has never been to a major final.

Zverev finished runner-up at the US Open two years ago and won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

“I know how much he is fighting to win a Grand Slam, but at the moment he is very unlucky,” Nadal said. “The only thing I'm sure of is that he's going to win not one – more than one. So I wish him the best and a speedy recovery.”

Reporting by the Associated Press.

Get more from ATP Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more

What do you think?

Written by ADMIN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

UFC 276: Volkanovski at the top of the hallway, Cerrone calls it quits

Kamaru Usman: "I left (Jorge) Masvidal something he will never forget" I'm Club Shay Shay