Facing Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev's heartbreak

Rafael Nadal qualified for the Roland-Garros men’s singles final in the saddest way possible. His opponent, the German Alexander Zverev, gave up on injury as both players disputed the first point of the tie in the second round. Rafael Nadal had won the first, already in the tie-break.

Moving from left to right at the far end of the court, Zverev wanted to slip on the clay to re-launch an attack from his opponent. His right ankle then suddenly stopped before abruptly giving way outward under the force of inertia and the weight of the body. He couldn’t hold back from falling and collapsed to the ground, screaming in pain and despair. Everyone understood then that the game would go no further than these 3:05, at 7-6 6-6 0-0.

Zverev applauded by the audience

Nadal’s embarrassment, which immediately came to the news without much knowledge of whether he should speak or be silent, was that of the entire audience and viewers. Such images hurt. They are quite rare in tennis, where handicapping injuries are still rare. Zverev left the court in a wheelchair, before returning a few minutes later, leaning on crutches to signal his abandonment to the referee and his opponent.

The German then received a standing ovation from the whole Central, whom he thanked in return by waving his crutches one by one. Strange but moving scene. There was no pity on the part of the public, only applause for the extraordinary match he was delivering – especially in the first round – and wishes for recovery because the tennis world is very eager to review a Zverev at that level. This injury, which may still keep him away from the courts for quite some time, occurs when Zverev was finally Zverev, that is, a player promised the highest hopes, including in the face of the masters of the game who are still Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

“It’s very hard, very sad for him. It was really hard to see him cry. He was playing an amazing tournament, Rafael Nadal explained in the post-match interview. I know how hard he fights to win a first Grand Slam, I’m sure he’ll make it. ” On the heels of his highly authoritative victory over young hopeful Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals, Alexander Zverev dominated Nadal for a long time on the court, leading the trade and scoring 25 winning shots.

22nd title in sight?

He admittedly missed the first inning at the tiebreak (10-8) after a four-set 6-2 run, but he himself had previously saved three set-ups before that decisive game. After a fierce 91-minute battle, the second inning looked like a decompression set, with both players losing their service games four times!

Also read: Marin Cilic is always good for service

On Sunday, Rafael Nadal will play his 30th Grand Slam final, the 14th at Roland Garros. He has won them all so far. His opponent will be the Norwegian Casper Ruud (number 8 seed) or the Croatian Marin Cilic (No. 20). In the event of a victory, Nadal would carry his record of Grand Slam victories to 22 titles, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic totaling 20 each. “It’s a dream to play a new final here,” said Rafael Nadal, with all the modesty that was appropriate in these very special circumstances.

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