[Breaking] French Open: Injury cuts short Zverev as Nadal storms final

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Rafael Nadal made the French Open final in sad and dramatic fashion when his opponent Alex Zverev was taken from the court in a wheelchair after suffering a severe ankle injury.

The two of them were about to go into a second set tiebreak when, in the twelfth game, the German world number three went over while attempting a forehand from the corner of Court Philippe Chatrier.

He immediately screamed out in agony as his foot went over at a horrible angle, and officials rushed to his assistance, as did Nadal from the other side of the net.

Zverev was immediately taken off in a wheelchair and the match pfficially abandoned.

Nadal is now through to yet another Roalnd Garros final – a stage of the tournament at which he has never lost. He will be clear favourite to beat the winner of the second semi-final between Norway’s Casper Ruud and world number 23 Marin Cilic, going for his fourteenth title.

Zverev returned to the court on crutches to an ovation and shook the umpire’s hand, embracing Nadal afterwards. He then waved at the crowd with his crutches, leaving with the stadium on its feet.

While it is no longer relevant Zverev will be wondering how he did not the win the 91-minute first set under a roof closed due to rain the French capital. He started superbly by breaking in the first game and his 1-2 combination of serve and groundstroke had him in command at 4-3.

The crowd were raucously in favour of Nadal, and that seemed to tell when a few wild errors crept into the German’s game and he got broken back. Both players had chances before the tiebreak, in which Zverev initially profited from his opponent’s mistakes, moving to 6-2.

Four set points were surely enough, but from 6-4 the Spaniard – who had been treated extremely leniently by umpire Renaud Lichtenstein in the time taken between points – reeled off a series of spectacular winners.

None of them were more dramatic than the one at 6-4 when Zverev drove into the open court. Somehow the Spaniard scampered across and hit and astonishing angled forehand to leave his opponent flailing.

That changed the momentum completely, and at 9-8 he closed off the set with a down the line drive that would have made anyone despair.

Zverev could have gone away when he was broken at the start of the second but, amid the humidity, twice broke back. There were breaks going back and forth as the quality of the match dropped dramatically. By the time of the abrupt ending there were three hours and two minutes on the clock, with conditions having becoming super slow in the humidity.

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