French Open 2022: Rafael Nadal enters 14th final at Roland Garros as Zverev retires hurt in semifinal
The German was trailing Nadal 7-6(8), 6-6. As he was leaving the arena, he received a huge standing ovation from the crowd.
Spain's Rafael Nadal entered the final of the French Open 2022 as Alexander Zverev twisted his angle during the semifinal which forced him to forfeit the semifinal on Friday. In the 12th game of the second set, Zverev tried to retrieve a shot and tumbled. He was screaming in pain before he was taken off the court in a wheelchair. The 25-year-old returned to the arena but on the crutches to concede the match. The German was trailing Nadal 7-6(8), 6-6. As he was leaving the arena, he received a huge standing ovation from the crowd.
"Very sad. He has had an unbelievable tournament and I know how much he has been fighting to win a Grand Slam. I know he is going to win not one but more than one. I wish him all the very best," said Nadal after the match.
"He is one of the biggest challenges in the tournament. It is difficult to say a lot of things today. It is a great feeling to be in the final without a doubt but at the same time, it is a tough moment. All the very best to him [Zverev]"
Rafael Nadal has become the second-oldest men's finalist in French Open history after his semifinal opponent, Alexander Zverev, stopped playing Friday because of an injured right leg. Now Nadal will try to become the oldest champion at a tournament he's already won a record 13 times.
Zverev's black outfit was covered in rust-colored clay, as were his legs and arms, and he immediately grabbed his right ankle, screaming in pain.
A trainer came out to attend to him, and Nadal walked around the net to check on Zverev, too.
Nadal has been dealing with chronic pain in his left foot and was coming off a pair of victories that each lasted more than 4 hours ? including against defending champion Novak Djokovic on Tuesday ? but showed no signs of age, injury or fatigue against the 25-year-old Zverev.
The match was played indoors at Court Philippe Chatrier, with the retractable roof installed in 2020 shut because of afternoon showers.
In addition to bidding for a 14th trophy from the French Open, Nadal can claim his 22nd Grand Slam title to add to the men's record he already holds after his triumph at the Australian Open in January.
Djokovic and Roger Federer are tied at 20. There's also this on the line for Nadal in Sunday's final against No. 8 Casper Ruud of Norway or No. 20 Marin Cilic of Croatia: It would be the first time the Spaniard ever has won the first two legs of the calendar-year Grand Slam. Cilic won the 2014 U.S. Open; Ruud has never been to a major final.