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Rafael Nadal advanced to the French Open final for a 14th time on Friday after third seed Alexander Zverev was forced to retire hurt with an ankle injury while trailing the Spaniard 7-6(8), 6-6.

In an absorbing contest that lasted more than three hours before the abrupt ending, Zverev missed four set points during the first set tiebreak.

The German had been giving the 13-time Roland Garros champion a run for his money until he screamed out in agony after rolling his right ankle in the final point of the 12th game of the second set.

AS IT HAPPENED |
Nadal vs Zverev HIGHLIGHTS: Nadal reaches French Open final, Zverev retires hurt

Nadal, who turned 36 on Friday and is in pursuit of a men’s record-extending 22nd Grand Slam crown, will face either Croatia’s Marin Cilic or Norway’s Casper Ruud on Sunday.

“Tough now. Very sad, he was playing an unbelievable tournament, he’s a very good colleague on the tour,” Nadal said. “I know how much he’s fighting to win a Grand Slam.”

 

“It was a super tough match. Over three hours and we didn’t even finish the second set. Of course being in the final of Roland Garros is a dream without a doubt but at the same time that it finishes that way is tough. Seeing him cry like this is a tough moment.”

Zverev twisted his ankle as he tried to retrieve a shot and had to be taken off the Court Philippe-Chatrier in a wheelchair.

After several minutes off court, he returned to the arena on crutches to concede the match.

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