Rafael Nadal was fought against Alexander Zverev for his fifteenth semi-final at the French Open, while the German was making his second consecutive semi-final at Roland Garros. It was a heavyweight match featuring two great tennis players battling it out at Phillipe-Chatrier. The match started with Zverev taking an early lead as he broke Rafa’s serve but then got broken back. Zverev saved a couple of set points to take the lead in the tie-break and it was Rafa’s turn to save four set points, which he successfully saved.
After a grueling first set of an hour and a half, Nadal won the set 7-6 (10-8) to take the lead in the match. The second set took more of a physical toll on the players as they pushed the second set into the tiebreak. Adding to the quality play by both players was a lot of damp and sluggish conditions as the stadium roof was closed. Before Zverev chased the ball for the last shot, he twisted his ankle and fell to the ground howling in pain. When Zverev twisted his ankle, there was a snapping sound and he let out a heartbreaking scream. It became very clear after Zverev is unable to continue the game.
Zverev left the stadium in a wheelchair but returned on crutches after minutes to announce his retirement. It was a great show of German sportsmanship and fighting spirit. Rafa was also deeply concerned for Zverev, helping the German pack his bags and hugging him and wishing him a speedy recovery. He also spoke about the incident at the press conference.
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Rafael Nadal expressed his condolences to Zverev in his post-match press conference.
In the press conference Nadal said:
“It’s not easy and nice to talk about after what happened. I hope it’s not too bad, quite normal when you sprain your ankle, nothing broken. He started the match amazing. It’s a dream to be in the Roland Garros final, but when you’re human you feel sorry for your teammates. I was with him and checked things. I’m not the one to say anything (to what we said). It’s up to him”
Nadal had already wished Zverev the best of luck in his recovery and he said that given Zverev’s caliber he will win many Grand Slams and it is very unfortunate that such an accident happened to him.
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https://firstsportz.com/tennis-news-not-easy-to-talk-about-what-happened-rafael-nadal-empathizes-with-alexander-zverev-on-his-agonizing-injury/ “It’s not easy to talk about what happened” Rafael Nadal sympathizes with Alexander Zverev about his excruciating injury » FirstSportz