Alexander Zverev leaves court in wheelchair as Rafael Nadal advances to 14th French Open final

Rafael Nadal secured his place in the Roland Garros final after opponent Alexander Zverev was forced to retire after twisting his ankle.

There were distressing scenes at the French Open as third seed Zverev fell and twisted his ankle towards the end of the second set. The German was left screaming in pain as Nadal rushed around the net to help. 

Zverev was helped to his feet, but had to be taken off court in a wheelchair in order to receive treatment.

After a brief period, the player re-emerged on crutches to inform the empire he could not continue. The capacity crowd on Philippe-Chatrier gave the 25-year-old a rapturous standing ovation as his latest bid to win a grand slam ended in devastating fashion.

"It's very tough, very sad for him," said Nadal. "He was playing an unbelievable tournament, and I know he was fighting to win a grand slam.

"I'm sure he will win more than one and I wish him all the best."

Up until the injury, the semi-final was quickly turning in a classic as the match headed for a second set tiebreak after three hours of elite-level tennis.

Nadal found himself trailing for the majority of the opening set as he tried to handle Zverev's thunderous 130mph serves by standing almost as far back as the line judges.

The Spaniard clawed his way back to force a tiebreak but all hopes appeared lost after going 6-2 down.

One man who didn't lose hope was Nadal as he produced arguably one of the most enthralling five minutes of tennis in recent memory to snatch a 10-8 tiebreak victory.

The first set took a gruelling 92 minutes and the second was heading in a similar direction as it kicked off with an early 44-shot rally.

Both men continued to exchange breaks with Nadal winning the 12th game to make it 6-6 and force another tiebreak. It was at that point when Zverev suffered his injury, causing the match to end prematurely.

While it may not have been in normal circumstances, Nadal did make it through to the final as he targets a 14th French Open crown and 22nd Grand Slam.

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