Eurosport expert Mats Wilander has said Alexander Zverev’s injury was one of the worst things he had seen on a tennis court.
Zverev was locked in battle with Rafael Nadal in their French Open semi-final when the German collapsed while tracking down a forehand.
His ankle gave way as he slid for the ball, and he appeared in serious pain before being helped into a wheelchair and off the court.
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Zverev returned to the court a few minutes later on crutches before shaking hands with Nadal.
It was an emotional moment, and not the way Nadal would have wanted to progress to the final; Wilander was in shock after the match.
“I feel horrible,” Wilander said in the Eurosport studio. “It is one of the worst things I have seen.
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“Straight away the reaction from Sascha, laying on the court was just gut-wrenching.
“They were saying before I went on to talk to Rafa that the ankle was already starting to swell up. No chance to save it and tape it.”
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Zverev was matching Nadal shot-for-shot, with the Spaniard a set up and the match poised for a tie-break in the second set.
The form Zverev demonstrated on Court Philippe-Chatrier convinced Wilander than the German could have toppled the 21-time major winner.
“I am going to go out on a limb and say if Rafael Nadal had not won the French Open 13 times, and it wasn’t the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, it is a five-set match, Zverev wins that match,” Wilander said. “I really feel that.
“If he could keep Rafa out there, Rafa would get tired at some point.
“Sascha today to me he gets a diploma in tactical skills.
"He is going to be a great player and a champion for sure.”
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