Alexander Zverev’s French Open run has been halted after the German tennis player suffered an ankle injury which forced him to withdraw from his semi-final match against Rafael Nadal on Friday.
The injury, which occurred in the second set when the score was 7-6 (8) 6-6 in favor of Nadal. As the German stretched to reach Nadal’s forehand, Zverev appeared to plant his ankle awkwardly on the clay court. He collapsed to the ground, screaming in pain, and lay there for some time with Nadal by his side before being helped and escorted off the pitch in a wheelchair.
— Unholy Stables (@UnholyStable) June 3, 2022
His exact injury status and severity remained unclear late into Friday night (early in Paris), but Zverev took to social media to shed some light on the injury.
“Very difficult moment for me today on the pitch,” Zverev said. “Obviously a fantastic game until it happens. It looks like I have a very serious injury, but the medical team… the doctors are still checking and will let you know. I I’ll let you know as soon as we know more.”
It’s not an easy time for me today.
It was a heartbreaking end for Zverev, the world No. 3 player. Zverev has won six titles in 2021, including a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. However, he is still looking for his first major victory. According to the NBC broadcast, Zverev’s Friday exit marked the first time the 25-year-old has retired from a main draw match at Tour level.
The tennis community gave Zverev their full support after the injury, including Nadal, who shared his concern for his opponent.
— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) June 3, 2022
Heartbreaking scene in Paris.
— US Tennis Open (@usopen) June 3, 2022
— Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar (@rnadalacademy) June 3, 2022
Sport can be so cruel 💔
– Tennis TV (@TennisTV) June 3, 2022
Following Zverev’s injury, Nadal qualified for his 14th Roland-Garros final, with Casper Ruud in front of him. Nadal will have a chance to win his 14th French Open title, which would be his 22nd major overall. And he will have Zverev for him.
“I hope he can go all the way,” Zverev said.