Nadal reaches 14th French Open final after Zverev retires with injury
PARIS (AFP) - Rafael Nadal reached his 14th French Open final after his semi-final opponent Alexander Zverev retired with a horrific right ankle injury while trailing 7-6 (10/8), 6-6 on Friday (June 3).
The German third seed had turned his ankle on the Paris clay after more than three hours of play. After screaming in anguish, a tearful Zverev was helped from the court by medics and had to leave the court in a wheelchair.
The 25-year-old later returned on crutches to acknowledge the Roland Garros crowd.
Nadal, who turned 36 on Friday, will be aiming to extend his Grand Slam record to 22 when he meets Casper Ruud or Marin Cilic in the final on Sunday.
Speaking on court, the Spaniard said: "Very tough and very sad for him . He was playing an unbelievable tournament. He's a very good colleague on the tour, I know how much he is fighting to win a Grand Slam.
"For the moment, he was very unlucky. The only thing I am sure is that he is not going to win just one but more than one. I wish him all the best and a very fast recovery.
"It had been a super tough match, over three hours, and we didn't finish the second set. It's one of the biggest challenges on the tour today when he's playing at this super high level. It is difficult to say a lot of things in this situation.
"Being in the final of Roland Garros one more time is a dream, no doubt, but at the same time, to finish that way... I have been there in the small room with Sascha before we came back out. To see him crying, it is a very tough moment. all the best to him and all the team."