French Open: Rafael Nadal through to final after Alexander Zverev . falls

Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev bid to win his first Grand Slam title and reach his second grand final
dates: May 22-5 June Location: Roland Garros, Paris
Coverage: Live text and radio commentary from selected matches on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website and app

Rafael Nadal reached the final of the French Open after his opponent Alexander Zverev had to be taken off the field in a wheelchair after a nasty fall.

Third seed Zverev screamed in pain as he went down on the baseline and stretched for a ball on the last point of the 12th game of the second set.

A concerned Nadal went around checking his opponent as a medic ran to the field to help the German.

Fifth seed Nadal led 7-6 (10-8) 6-6 when Zverev left the field.

After a short break, Zverev returned on crutches and received a warm hug from Nadal before the crowd rose to a standing ovation.

“It’s very tough and I feel bad for him,” said 13-time champion Nadal.

“He played an incredible tournament. I know how much he fights for a Grand Slam – he will win more than one. I wish him all the best.

“It’s hard to say a lot of things in this situation. For me it’s a dream to be in the Roland Garros final, but at the same time it’s not nice to end up like that.

“I was in a small room with Sascha [in the treatment room off court] And to see him cry was a difficult moment.”

Zverev’s retirement brought Nadal into Sunday’s final, where he will face Norwegian eighth seed Casper Ruud or Croatian twentieth seed Marin Cilic.

On his 36th birthday, Nadal is the second oldest men’s singles finalist in French Open history, behind American Bill Tilden, who was 37 when he finished second in 1930.

Heartbreaking end to compelling match

Zverev’s fall was a dramatic and heartbreaking end to a semi-final that would have been a compelling, if not a classic.

The 25-year-old German had lost the first set after he couldn’t take any of the four set points in the tiebreak for a 6-2 lead.

After missing the chance to serve out the second set, with three double errors at 5-3, Zverev showed resilience to regroup.

In a set full of suspense, if not quality, he was about to get the chance to score another tie-break.

Instead, his ambitions to become a Grand Slam champion – at least for now – were ended in the cruellest way.

The seriousness of the situation was immediately apparent. After twisting his right ankle, Zverev screamed and gestured for help.

Doctors quickly arrived and, if it wasn’t already clear, it was clear that he would not be able to continue once the wheelchair had been summoned.

A gloomy mood hung in the air as the 15,000 crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier waited for news and it came as Zverev returned on crutches to shake hands with referee Renaud Lichtenstein.

Almost the entire stadium rose to give Zverev a thunderous round of applause, to which the player responded by raising one of his crutches.

More to follow.

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