Alexander Zverev backed Rafael Nadal to win his 14th French Open title after expressing concern that an ankle injury had forced him to withdraw from Friday’s semi-final against the Spaniard “extremely dangerous”. Zverev feared a “very serious” injury after France’s exit from the French Open.
Zaverev had to be pushed from Court Philippe Chatterjee in a wheelchair due to a late ankle sprain in the second set, trailing 7-6 (8) 6-6 in a meeting with the 21-time Grand Slam champion.
In a video posted on the French Open‘s Twitter account, Zaverev said: “Today was a very difficult moment for me on the court, and it must have been a great match with what happened.” Zverev feared a “very serious” injury after France’s exit from the French Open.
“It looks like I have a very serious injury, but the medical team and doctors are still following up and we will bring you the information. We will let you know as soon as we know more.”
Zverev and Nadal were on the court for three hours and 13 minutes as the Spaniard won the first set in a tiebreak, when the 25-year-old suffered his injury.
After court treatment, Zaverev was locked in a locker room before returning to the crাche to secure his retirement and receive a hug from his opponent.
Nadal, who celebrated his 36th birthday on Friday, now faces Norway’s Caspar Rudd in Sunday’s final as he looks to win his 14th Roland Garros title and increase his Grand Slam title record.
“I want to congratulate Rafa,” Zaverev said. “It’s mind boggling to see him in the fourteenth last and I want to believe that he can go as far as possible and make more history.
“But, today is not an easy moment for me and I will update everyone.”