Watch: Rafael Nadal's Stunning Forehand Winner In French Open Semis vs Alexander Zverev
Rafael Nadal, chasing a record-extending 22nd Grand Slam title, will play Casper Ruud in Sunday's French Open final.
Rafael Nadal advanced to his 14th French Open final on Friday after third seed Alexander Zverev was forced to retire due to an ankle injury he suffered during the match. After screaming in anguish, a tearful Zverev was helped from the court by medics. He later returned to the court on crutches and conceded the match with Nadal leading 7-6 (10/8), 6-6. However, while the match was on, both players produced some enthralling tennis to wow the Philippe-Chatrier crowd and all those watching on television. In the first set, Nadal had his back to the wall with Zverev on the ascendancy.
Nadal, however, saved four set points in a knife-edge tiebreak. And one of them was a spectacular running crosscourt forehand winner that went viral on social media.
Watch Rafael Nadal's mindboggling forehand winner against Alexander Zverev
The second set too was a hotly-contested affair, with both players trading service breaks. But the battle between the two stars came to a grinding halt as Zverev suffered a horror ankle injury that brought an end to his gallant run in French Open 2022.
"It's very tough and very sad for him. He was playing an unbelievable tournament and he's a very good colleague on the tour," said Nadal.
"I know how much he's fighting to win a Grand Slam. For the moment, he was very unlucky. I'm sure he'll win not one, but much more than one. I wish him all the best.
"It had been a super tough match. Over three hours and we didn't even finish the second set. It's one of the biggest challenges on the tour when he's playing like he did today."
(With AFP inputs)