French Open: Nadal reach final, eyes fourteenth title
by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
World number 5 Rafael Nadal has reached the French Open final, edging German Alexander Zverev out in a walkover win after two sets. Nadal, who defeated top seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final to reignite a campaign for his fourteenth.
French Open title at Court Philippe Chatrier, recorded a 7-6 (10-8) 6-6 victory over the world number 3. Unfortunately, Zverev, featuring in a second semifinal at Roland Garros, sustained a leg injury in the second set after both players tied at 6-6.
The German, who hampered the prospect of tennis sensation and Madrid Open champion, Carlos Alcaraz, at Roland Garros in a four-set win, fell to an unfortuitous defeat to end his shot to secure his first Grand Slam diadem.
In a post-match interview, Nadal noted that it was a dream come true to reach the finals at Roland Garros once again. The 33-year-old, however, lamented over the incident that resulted in Zverev crashing out of the tournament.
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“We had a super tough match which lasted for over three hours and we even didn’t finish the second set now,” Nadal said after the match. “So it’s one of the biggest challenges on the tour today. When he’s playing you got to be on this super high level to play against him. “Yeah! Difficult to say a lot of things today in this situation.
I mean, of course, for me, as everybody knows being in the final of Roland Garros one more time it’s a dream without a doubt but at the same time that didn’t finish that way. “I have been in there in the small room with Sasha before we came back on court and see him crying there is a very dull moment,” Nadal said passionately.
Following the unceremonious development, a-15,000 crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier waited for the news which broke the moment injured Zverev returned on crutches to shake hands with umpire Renaud Lichtenstein. The entire stadium gave Zverev a standing ovation which the player responded by raising up his clutches in the air.