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Nadal calls Zverev injury “an unlucky moment” as he advances to French Open final

Zverev turned his ankle deep behind the baseline trying to hit a big forehand, late in the second set of an enthralling semi-final at Roland-Garros

Nadal and Zverev Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev (Aurelien Morissard/Panoramic)

Rafael Nadal said the injury to Alexander Zverev deep into the second set of their semi-final at Roland-Garros on Friday was an “unlucky moment” and “an accident.”

Zverev, the No 3 seed, turned his right ankle on the last point of the 12th game of the second set, which took the pair into a second-set tiebreaker after Nadal won the first.

Asked if the injury was the result of a problem with the court, Nadal said it had just been horribly unfortunate.

“I don’t think that,” he said. “No, no, the problem on clay is always the same, no? When the wide thing from behind is on the floor, comes out, then is more slippery. But, I mean, I don’t think we have to create a history about that. The court is not in bad shape. It was unlucky moment. I don’t think is because of the court that he turns his ankle, no?

“It was an accident, and I don’t think the court was in bad conditions to say that is because of the court. It was very unlucky moment, and sometimes happens in every surface.”

Zverev left the court in a wheelchair after the incident and though he returned on crutches to embrace Nadal and shake the hand of the umpire, he was not ready to give a full press conference.

Nadal admitted he had been under intense pressure in the match, which was played in heavy conditions, with the roof closed.

“Only thing that I can say is I hope he’s not too bad,” he said, of Zverev. “Hopefully it’s just the normal thing when you turn your ankle, and hopefully nothing is broken. That’s what everybody hopes, and I was with Sascha, looks that they need to keep checking. It had been a very, very tough match. I think he started the match playing amazing. I know how much means to him, fight to win his first Grand Slam.”

Nadal will now bid for his 22nd slam title — 14th in Paris — when he faces Casper Ruud on Sunday.

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