Alexander Zverev’s journey to Roland-Garros ends with a cry of pain and tears. The German tennis player was forced to forfeit this Friday in the semi-finals of the tournament. His opponent of the day, Rafael Nadal, won a ticket for the final, his 14th on Parisian clay. He will face Casper Ruud (8th) or Marin Cilic (23rd) on Sunday.

Alexander Zverev retired when trailing 7-6 (10/8), 6-6 after a standoff lasting more than three hours. He violently twisted his right ankle after his final strike and was evacuated in a wheelchair, before returning on crutches to formalize his abandonment.

The worst possible outcome �� Alexander Zverev, victim of a nasty ankle twist at the end of the second set, is forced to leave the court and does not seem able to resume the match against Rafael Nadal…

“It’s very hard, I’m very sad for him,” Nadal reacted. “He was playing an amazing tournament, I know how much he fights to win a grand slam. He was really unlucky, but I’m sure in the future he will win, and not one, but many more. »

“Of course, being in the Roland-Garros final once again is a dream, but at the same time, for it to end like this, to see him cry in the locker room, it’s a very difficult moment,” he said. -he adds. Qualified for the final on his 36th birthday, “Rafa” thus became the second oldest French Open finalist in history, after American Bill Tilden, 37 in 1930.

Before Zverev’s injury, the two players were playing a marathon match: after just over three hours of play, they had not yet completed the second set. Each of the two sets lasted the time of a football match. The Mallorcan left-hander pocketed the first in a very hard fight, after facing four set points in a row in the decisive game (from 6-2 to 6-6).

The 25-year-old German had the best start to the match by breaking from the start and leading 4-2. But Nadal picked up, then got three first set points at 5 games to 4. In vain. The Spaniard ended up concluding on his sixth opportunity in the tie-break. In the equally contested second set, almost every service game resulted in breaks, and Zverev failed to finish when he served 5 games to 3 to tie it at one set all.

“It was a super tough match, we had been playing for 3 hours and we hadn’t even finished the second set,” Nadal said. “It’s one of the biggest challenges on the tour today to face him when he’s playing at that level. »