Alexander Zverev’s painful screams filled the circle in Center Court in Paris on Friday evening. The German tennis star twisted his ankle at the French Open and had to give up against Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. Zverev fears a serious injury, nobody wants to think about participating in Wimbledon at the end of June.
After the semi-final drama at the French Open against Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev began anxiously waiting for the diagnosis. But the 25-year-old doesn’t have high hopes that he might get away with it again. Rather, he is apparently assuming a longer break. “It looks like I have a very serious injury,” said Zverev in a video message distributed by the organizers on Saturday night. “But the medical team and the doctors are still checking it out. We’ll let you know when we know more,” said the Olympic champion, visibly upset.
The scenes on the Philippe Chatrier court had already suggested something bad. With a pained face, Zverev lay on the ground, with tears in his eyes, he was wheeled off the pitch. The dream of the second Grand Slam final of his career and the chance to win the first title in one of the four most important tournaments had burst in the most brutal way.
After the first aid in the catacombs of the center court, Zverev left the facility in the Bois de Boulogne with his team around father Alexander Senior and trainer Sergi Bruguera. “It was a very difficult moment for me on the pitch,” Zverev said later in the video. “It was a fantastic match until what happened happened.”
Zverev should now fly home this Saturday. “After that you have to see what the final diagnosis looks like, how bad it is and how Sascha (his nickname) can best recover,” said his brother Mischa as a TV expert at Eurosport.
Alexander Zverev: Nadal is not happy about reaching the final
“I hope he’s not injured that badly and that nothing is broken,” said Nadal, who had imagined his return to the Roland Garros final quite differently. Although the Spaniard was celebrated by the spectators on his 36th birthday, he was not really happy after Zverev was 6: 7 (8:10), 6: 6 from the German’s point of view after a little more than three hours Spielzeit had had to give up.
“I know how hard he’s fighting to win a Grand Slam tournament. I’m sure he’ll win not just one, but several,” said the Spaniard about Zverev. Nadal meets Norway’s Casper Ruud in Sunday’s final, who won against Croatia’s Marin Cilic in four sets.
It is completely uncertain when Zverev will be back on the tennis court. Next up for the 25-year-old would be the lawn tournament in Halle/Westphalia in about a week. But a start in East Westphalia seems impossible. On Friday evening, no one wanted to think about participating in the next Grand Slam tournament in Wimbledon from June 27th.
It all depends on how serious the damage is to the ligaments and bones in the ankle. So far, Zverev has been largely spared from serious injuries in his career. Born in Hamburg, he is considered a very well trained and fit player. The ankle twist on Friday was just bad luck, said Nadal.
The Mallorcan is familiar with injuries and has been struggling with a chronic foot injury for a long time. The problems affect him so much that he would even trade another French Open title for an end to the pain. “I would prefer to lose the final on Sunday and get a new foot for it,” said Nadal. “I would be happy to live with a new foot. Winning is wonderful, but life is much more important than any title.”