Germany’s world no. 3 was in an epic battle with world no. 5 and 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafa Nadal when things went horribly wrong.
Late in the second set big German was running to his right when his foot got caught on the red clay and he badly twisted his ankle.
Immediately he was reaching for his ankle and screaming in pain. A wheelchair was brought out onto the court and Zverev was taken away for an assessment.
It looked highly unlikely that he would continue and so it was. Zverev appeared back on the court using crutches as he went to congratulate Nadal.
The German had started the match so well, breaking in the opening game. Unfortunately, his forehand went astray for a while and Nadal broke back and then won the opening set in a tie-breaker, coming from 2-6.
Nadal had barely hit a winner in the opening set but then found two superb down-the-line passing shots to help fight back.
That first set lasted 1 hour and 38 minutes.
In the second set both players struggled to hold serve despite Nadal moving to 40-15 in the first and third games.
Zverev was able to hold serve in the fifth game to move to a 3-2 lead, he then held for 4-2 only to have Nadal break again.
It was more common to see a break of serve than a hold of serve. The final three games were held and the players were to play a tie-breaker.
Instead Zverev was down on the clay clutching at his injured ankle and crying out in pain.
The had lasted 3 hours 13 minutes over just two sets.
After the match, Zverev posted an update on his Instagram story, saying the injury seems to be “very serious”.
“Very difficult moment for me today on the court,” he said. “Obviously, a fantastic match until what happened. Looks like I have a very serious injury, but the medical team— the doctors are still checking on it and will keep you updated. Will let you know as soon as we know more.”
Nadal is into his 14th French Open final, having won every time he has reached that stage.
“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.
“It’s not easy and beautiful to talk after what happened,” said Nadal, who was by Zverev’s behind the scenes as the German was getting scans done to invesitage the extent of his injury.
“Only thing that I can say is I hope he’s not too bad. Hopefully it’s just the normal thing when you turn your ankle, and hopefully nothing’s broken.”