French Open: Rafael Nadal Into 14th Roland Garros Final After Alexander Zverev Quits With Horror Injury

    Rafael Nadal advances to his 14th French Open final with a walkover after Alexander Zverev suffered a severe ankle injury on the brink of a second-set tie-break in the middle of their epic battle

    Alexander Zverev (GER) takes a fall and leaves the court on crutches during the match against Rafael Nadal (ESP) Alexander Zverev (GER) takes a fall and leaves the court on crutches during the match against Rafael Nadal (ESP)

    The semifinal match had to be halted at 7-6(8), 6-6, when the World No. 3 Alexander Zverev had to leave the court in a wheelchair. He moved to the right when tracking a forehand shot by his Spanish opponent and badly rolled his right ankle.

    Alexander Zverev immediately fell on Court Philippe Chatrier and screamed out in pain. The German was then assisted into a wheelchair by Rafael Nadal and the physio. The 25-year-old returned to court in crutches after a few minutes to shake the hand of the umpire. He later received a standing ovation from the spectators and a hug from the Spaniard.

    Alexander Zverev was giving a very tough fight to his Spanish opponent. In the first set, tie-break. He held off four set points during the first set tie-break before Nadal eventually broke the deadlock with a remarkable combination of defence and offence. 

    The second set was as intense as the first one and reached a crucial tie-break before Zverev's injury stopped the match after three hours and thirteen minutes of play.

    In an on-court interview, Rafael Nadal said, "Very tough and very sad for him. Honestly, he was playing an unbelievable tournament. He is a very good colleague on the Tour. I know how much he's fighting to win a Grand Slam, but he was very unlucky for the moment. The only thing I'm sure of is that he will win not one - more than one. I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery.

    Due to the injury, Alexander Zverev lost the opportunity to clinch the World No. 1 spot on the ATP Pepperstone rankings. Rafael Nadal showed his ability to pull a reversal in the second set after coming back from 3-5 to force a tie-break. The match was on track to be the best of the season but was cut short due to the Horrow injury.

    Rafael Nadal added, "It has been a super tough match, over three hours, and we didn't even finish the second set. It's one of the biggest challenges on the Tour today when he's playing at this super-high level to play against him. But at the same time, to finish that way... I have been there in the small room with Sascha before we came back on the court, and to see him crying there is a very tough moment, so all the best to him."

    Rafael Nadal wants to win his 14th French Open crown and expand his record of the highest number of Grand Slam titles to 22. The fifth seed will face Casper Rudd in the championship match of the Rolland Garros on June 5.