Nadal vs Zverev HIGHLIGHTS: Nadal reaches French Open final, Zverev retires hurt

Welcome to Sportstar's highlights of the 2022 French Open men's singles semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev.

Updated : Jun 03, 2022 22:29 IST , Paris

Rafael Nadal takes on Alexander Zverev in first men's singles semifinal of the 2022 French Open on the Philippe-Chatrier Court at Roland Garros in Paris on Friday.
Rafael Nadal takes on Alexander Zverev in first men's singles semifinal of the 2022 French Open on the Philippe-Chatrier Court at Roland Garros in Paris on Friday.

Rafael Nadal takes on Alexander Zverev in first men's singles semifinal of the 2022 French Open on the Philippe-Chatrier Court at Roland Garros in Paris on Friday.

Thanks for tuning into Sportstar 's live coverage of the 2022 French Open men's singles semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev. This was Nihit Sachdeva taking you through the action as it unfolded on the Philippe-Chatrier Court at Roland Garros in Paris.



It is official. Due to an unfortunate injury, Alexander Zverev has been forced to retire which means that Rafael Nadal goes through to his 14th French Open final where he will face either Croatia's Marin Cilic or Norwegian Casper Ruud.

10:00 PM: Nadal wishes Zverev a speedy recovery:


SECOND SET (* denotes server)

Zverev 6-6 Nadal* - Nadal serving to stay in the set. Zverev sends the forehand long at 15-all as the clock touches the three-hour mark. An unforced error from the German as he sends the backhand down the line wide to give Nadal to game point chances and send this set as well to a tiebreaker. Zverev with a great backhand keeps himself in the rally, Nadal falters on the volley and the German world number three win the point with a cross court forehand. Zverev sends the forehand long and falls down to the ground holding his right ankle and wincing in pain. He has been taken off the court in a wheelchair and it seems like this match might not continue which is a real shame considering the show these two players have put on. Zverev comes back on court on crutches and gives Nadal a hug before acknowledging the crowd and leaving the court.


Zverev* 6-5 Nadal - Zverev serves. He gifts the opening with a cross court backhand that goes long. Incredible defensive work by the 13-time champion who protects both corners before unleashing a cross court forehand winner out of Zverev's reach. Zverev raises his level and eliminates any scope of a winning shot in the next two rallies for Nadal - 30-all. Alexander Zverev with one of the most gutsy backhand down the line goes 40-30 up after being 0-30 down. The German closes the game with a brilliant serve down the T.


Zverev 5-5 Nadal* - Nadal to serve to stay in the set. Zverev keeps the aggressive play going and eventually forces a weak forehand return out of Nadal before hitting a forehand down the line winner. Double fault from the Spaniard and Zverev is 30-0 up. Nadal comes back to first make it 30-all and then shows his defensive skills with a lob forcing out an error on the overhead from Zverev. Crucial game point chance for Nadal and for the first time in this set, he holds. A ripper of a backhand down the line combined with a comfortable volley at the net.

Zverev* 5-4 Nadal - Zverev to serve for the set. Double fault from the German and he has been given a code violation for swearing following which he pleads "I did not say that word" repeatedly. Remember, he is on probation for a year by ATP for violently hitting the chair umpire’s stand repeatedly with his racket following a loss in doubles at the Mexico Open in Acapulco in February. Zverev shifts his focus back and wins the next two points before hitting another double fault. Zverev's backhand return goes long and it is a break point for Nadal.  Third double fault of the game from Zverev and Nadal, without even doing anything, breaks back.

Zverev 5-3 Nadal* - Nadal serves. Uncharacteristic errors from both players and it is 30-all. Nadal failed to hit the overhead well enough allowing Zverev to hit the lob and surprisingly, Nadal hit the volley way out of the court. Nadal's forehand goes into the net and Zverev breaks again.

Zverev* 4-3 Nadal - Zverev finds the first serve to win the opening point. The duo engages in a battle of lovely cross court slices and it is the Spaniard who emerges victorious -15-all. A reckless unforced error on the forehand from Zverev. Nadal outsmarts Zverev with a combination of drop shots and lobs forcing the German to hit the backhand into the net and gift a break point opportunity. Double fault from Zverev and Nadal breaks again. Back on serve, even though there has been only one hold of serve in this entire set.

Zverev 4-2 Nadal* - Two backhand winners help Nadal go 30-0 up on his first serve. Two game points for the Spaniard as he serves deep to Zverev's forehand and finishes with a drop shot. First game point vanishes as Nadal hits his second backhand into the net error. Excellent return from Zverev on Nadal's wide serve with the world number five failing to send the volley over the net. An imperious down the line backhand winner for Zverev earns him a crucial break point opportunity. Brutal serve down the T and an even more powerful cross court forehand winner from Nadal - deuce again. Zverev gets another chance to break Nadal's serve with a combo of backhand and forehand down the line. A precise forehand down the line and Zverev breaks Nadal for the third game in a row to find himself leading 4-2 in the second set.

Zverev* 3-2 Nadal - Zverev start off his service game with an accurate serve down the T.  Unforced error on the backhand from Nadal and a 30-0 cushion for the German. Nadal reduces the gap as Zverev tries to answer the cross court forehand with a backhand down the line only to see it go wide. Nadal wrong foots Zverev in the next rally and the world number three's weak backhand fails to find the court. Break point for Nadal as Zverev sends the forehand long. Peach of a backhand cross court winner from Zverev to lmake it 40-all. Strong first serve from Zverev forces a heavy and long return out of Nadal. However, the third seed fails to convert the game point as his cross court forehand hits the net and goes off the court. Nadal's fails to disguise the drop shot and Zverev rushes in to hit a forehand down the line pass. Second game point goes abegging as Zverev commit another unforced error on the backhand. Third game point chance earned with a fierce ace and this time, the German converts to hold. First service hold of the second set comes in the fifth game.

Zverev 2-2 Nadal* - Nadal goes 15-0 up on his serve as Zverev lets the Spaniard's forehand down the line go only to see it finding the baseline. The next one does go along and this time, easy judgement for the German. A couple of lovely forehands from Nadal but forced to swtich to the backhand and he misses the line. Two break points for Zverev as Nadal goes for the inside out forehand and sends it long. Another long forehand down the line from the Spaniard and it is another break of serve in this second set.

Zverev* 1-2 Nadal - Relentless Nadal continues to attack Zverev's second serve and goes up 30-0 in no time.  A big forehand winner from Zverev that lands right on the line to make it 30-all. Zverev tries to mix it up with the angles and slices but does one too many as the final slice goes wide. Break point for Nadal. Body serve from Zverev, a wobbly return from Nadal that just lands near the net but Zverev takes care of it with a cross court forehand. One break point goes, another arrives for Nadal as Zverev hits a terribly vollley after an excellent serve down the T. Nadal breaks again after an absolutely epic 44-shot rally. Zverev had the opportunity to win the point but he sent his cross court backhand just wide. 


Zverev 1-1 Nadal* - Nadal serves. The forehand still costing Zverev as he goes 0-30 down. A textbook cross court slice from Nadal to earn two game points at 40-15. Backhand down the line from the Spaniard just misses the line. A rather big error on the forehand down the line from Nadal and all of a sudden, it is deuce. Zverev has a break point after Nadal's forehand hits the net cord and goes wide. Zverev breaks back immediately as he finds Nadal in an uncertain position and ultimately breaks his defence.

Zverev* 0-1 Nadal - Zverev serves first up in the second set. Nadal carries the momentum from the first and wins the first point with a cross court drop shot. A couple of errors from Zverev and Nadal has three break point opportunities at 40-0. An unforced error on the forehand from the German and Nadal breaks.

FIRST SET (* denotes server)

Tiebreaker (Nadal 10-8 Zverev): Nadal serves first, Zverev keeps himself in the point before sending the return just beyond the baseline. Strong first serve from Zverev to make it 1-all. Mini-break for Nadal after he sends the return on Zverev's serve down the T and German overhits the forehand down the line. The mini-break disappears as Nadal's hits the forehand into the net. That mini-break now is with Zverev - he anticipates Nadal's drop shot and sends the return cross court before Nadal sends the volley long. Zverev consolidates the mini-break to go 4-2 up at the change of ends. Zverev's first serve is back at the right time - a cross court backhand follows it up and Nadal's return stays on his own side of the court. The German is two points away from clinching this massive first set. Four set points for Zverev courtesy of a flurry of strong forehands that ultimately prove too much for Nadal's defence. Nadal saves one with an ace. Zverev goes for the serve and volley but overcooks the second bit to waste his second set point. Unbelievable defense before unleashing possibly the shot of the tournament from Nadal to serve a third set point - a wicked running cross court forehand pass after excellent anticipation on Zverev's cross court volley. Zverev saved three set points? Nadal does one better and saves four! Gutsy fightback from the 13-time champion who forces Zverev to hit one more shot and the German sends the cross court backhand volley wide - 6-all. Nadal hits one of the most important forehand down the line winners of this first set to earn a fourth set point opportunity. However, it will be Zverev's serve. Zverev equals Nadal and saves fourth set point after rushing in on Nadal's drop shot and sending the forehand down the line. Nadal's backhand goes wide. Fifth set point for Nadal at 8-7 after Zverev messes up the backhand down the line and this time, it is on Nadal's serve. The tiebreaker goes on as Nadal sends the cross court backhand long - 8-8. Zverev anticipates the Nadal drop shot, rushes in and decides to go for the forehand down the line pass but Nadal, positioned in the centre, sends the return cross court. Zverev's return does not make it past the net. A glorious forehand down the line winner helps Nadal clinch the tiebreaker 10-8 and the marathon first set in 92 minutes!


Zverev* 6-6 Nadal - Zverev, once again, serving to stay in the set and starts off perfectly. Good first serve, and follows it up with a backhand down the line and ends it with an easy overhead. After quite some time, an ace from Zverev as he goes 40-0 up. Loopy forehand return from Nadal on Zverev's second serve who ends up sending the cross court backhand into the net. A double fault from Zverev and just like that, two game points gone. Zverev survives after his forehand down the line deflects off the net chord but the ball bounces on the Nadal 's side who rushes in to get it. The return goes wide. Tiebreaker to decide the opening set.

Zverev 5-6 Nadal* - Zverev 30-0 up on Nadal's serve with two scorching winners - first, a backhand, after a mistime drop shot from Nadal and the second one, a forehand down the line, constructed from his own hard work. Nadal persists with the drop shots and reaps rewards as the German fails to reach to the ball on the first occasion and sends the second one wide across the net - 30-all. Zverev earns a break point with a scintillating cross court backhand that paints the line.  Wide serve from Nadal to Zverev's left whose backhand chip goes long. Deuce. A battle between Nadal's cross court backhand and Zverev's forehand and in the end, it is the world number three Zverev who wins it with a cross court inside out forehand winner to get another chance to break Rafa's serve. Nadal closes that window of opportunity with a perfect cross court drop. Slow second serve from Nadal but Zverev has hit the backhand into the net - costly miss? Another unforced error out of nowhere from Zverev who hits the forehand bang into the net. Nadal holds.

Zverev* 5-5 Nadal - Zverev serves to stay in the set and wins the point as Nadal sends the cross court backhand wide. The German is clearly nervous as he commits an unforced error on the forehand.  Smart play from Nadal as he keeps Zverev guessing while going for the forehand down the line again and again and eventually, Zverev's cross court backhand goes wide - 30-all. Good first serve and a backhand cross court winner - Zverev has a game point. But he fails to take it and instead, hits a double fault. Deuce. Zverev improvises - big first serve followed by a low volley and finishes it with an easy overhead to earn another game point. And it vanishes quicker than the first one courtesy of an unforced error on the forehand. Zverev hits the forehand down the liine into the net and it is first set point for Nadal. Wide serve from Zverev's to Nadal's left and the return is too weak to even make it to the net. Third game point for Zverev as Rafa's cross court backhand finds only the net. Just like the first one, he fails to convert the third after a double fault. Second set point for Nadal who gets himself into the rally and Zverev somehow overpowers the volley sending it long. Gun first serve down the T from the German and a quick cross court put away at the net to save a second set point. One set point saved but another gifted straight away - Zverev's miscues the cross court forehand. If Zverev can save two set points, why not the third? Brutal cross court forehand winner and it is deuce again. Powerful first serve earns Zverev ANOTHER game point. Zverev makes a mess of the volley at the net yet again. How long has this game been! Nadal has the chance to get another set point opportunity but his backhand pass goes just long. Zverev holds after a lethal first serve and a delicate volley at the net.

Zverev 4-5 Nadal* - Nadal 30-15 up on his serve in this crucial ninth game. The Spaniard faltered on the first point sending his forehand long but then, it was Zverev's turn to commit two careless errors. Huge serve down the T from Nadal to earn a game point. Another serve down the T and Zverev sends the forehand way past the baseline. Nadal holds.

Zverev* 4-4 Nadal - Zverev to serve with new balls. Fails to land the first serve in (a rare miss in this match) but comes up with a measured backhand down the line winner post the second. Zverev hits a poor drop shot allowing Nadal to rush in and send a forehand down the line winner. Unforced error from the German as he sends a wayward cross court forehand. Better this time as he does the serve and volley to make it 30-all. Finally, that first serve is back to rescue him and give him a game point but looks like he didn't appreciate it as he again goes for a wild forehand down the line winner - deuce, first of the match. Double fault from Zverev and a break point for the Spaniard. Longest rally (19 shots) of the match so far and it ends with Nadal hitting a cross court forehand into the net - deuce again. I don't believe what i have just seen. Zverev hits a perfect first serve and had received the perfect return to finish it with a cross court forehand but not only does he send it wide, his racquet goes flying out of his hand. Another error on the cross court backhand from Zverev and Nadal breaks back.


Zverev 4-3 Nadal* - Nadal struggling a bit with his first serve but making up for it somehow - a vicious forehand down the line and Zverev's return goes only as far as the net. Perfect point construction from Nadal - forces Zverev to go wide with a couple of cross court backhands, follows it up with a cross court slice to bring him in and then hits a backhand down the line passing winner.  Nadal goes for the wide serve and forehand down the line combo but Zverev comes up with a running forehand down the line pass of his own. Unfortunately, it lands just wide and Nadal holds.

Zverev* 4-2 Nadal - Ace down the T from Zverev to begin another service game. Follows it up with a backhand down the line winner. Make that two backhand down the line winners. Great first serve to set up the point and clinch it with an easy cross court forehand. Zverev holds.

Zverev 3-2 Nadal* - A drop shot winner and an ace - Nadal 30-0 up in no time on his serve. Zverev does well to return Nadal's serve down the T and then makes the Spaniard go from one end to the other with cross court shots. Nadal eventually hits the forehand into the net. Serve wide to Zverev's forehand and he send the return long. Nadal holds.

Zverev* 3-1 Nadal - Zverev serves and wins the first point with a couple of delightful volleys at the net. Another clean game so far from Zverev as he goes 40-0 up.  However, just like the previous games, a couple of errors and suddenly at 30-40, Nadal is interested. Zverev closes it out with a wide serve to go 3-1 up.

Zverev 2-1 Nadal* - Forehand down the line winner from Zverev and his brilliant start to the match continues. Nadal puts in a better first serve up the T and Zverev fails to send the return. Zverev continues to impress early on as he gets into the rally on Nadal's second serve and finishes it with a cross court backhand finding the line to go 30-15 up. Nadal serves out wide and the German's forehand goes into the net. Similar serve, this time to Zverev's left and Nadal holds. Zverev up by a break.

Zverev* 2-0 Nadal - Excellent first serve from the German gives Nadal barely a chance to get his racquet on it. Zverev fails to get the first serve in but wins the point on the second with a sensational forehand down the line. Backs it up with an ace to go 40-0 up. First game point wasted as he hits the forehand down the line long. Another goes into the bin courtesy of error on the cross court backhand. Zverev manages to hold with a cross court backhand winner.

Zverev 1-0 Nadal* - Nadal to serve first. A six-shot rally to start things off and it is the 13-time champion who wins the first point after Zverev's forehand down the line takes a deflection off the net and goes long. Nadal 30-0 up after Zverev's cross court forehand return hits the net. Zverev gets the return in, unleashes some fierce forehand shots and wins his first point with an inside-out cross court forehand winner. Nadal's backhand down the line goes into the net at 30-all and it is break point opportunity for the world number three. Nadal's cross court backhand goes long and believe it or not, Zverev breaks.


6:35 PM: Warm up is done. Game time!!!


6:20 PM: The two players are on their way to the Philippe-Chatrier court and since it is raining in the French capital, the roof has been closed. It will be interesting to see how that changes the situation.


6:10 PM: For Zverev, first serve (56 aces) will be crucial since his second serve (27 double faults) has been a fairly easy target for his opponents this French Open. For Nadal, it will all be about keeping points short to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the left foot.

6:00 PM: Just 15 minutes to go for this blockbuster clash between two Olympic champions


5:50 PM: Time spent on court across five rounds

Zverev: 14 hours 16 minutes

Nadal: 14 hours 55 minutes

5:40 PM: Records on offer (courtesy ATP)

5:30 PM: Head-to-head

Nadal vs Zverev Head-to-Head Record by Sportstar Online

5:20 PM: How Nadal and Zverev have reached the final four stage:

5:10 PM: Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev both bowed out of the French Open at the semifinal stage last year. However, this time, one of them is set to be a finalist. Will it be a record-extending 14th final for Nadal or will Zverev reach the summit clash at the clay Major for the first time? Live action begins at 6:15 pm IST. Till then, I'll take you through Nadal-Zverev head-to-head, their run to the semifinals and more. Stay tuned.


Rafael Nadal, chasing a record-extending 14th French Open title, takes on a charged up Alexander Zverev in the first semifinal on the Philippe-Chatrier Court at Roland Garros on Friday.

Fifth-seeded Spaniard Nadal, who turns 36 on Friday, comes into the final four clash after a gruelling four-set win over world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinal in what was the duo's 59th career meeting. On the other hand, Zverev is high on confidence after knocking out Nadal's compatriot and teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz in four sets in his last eight match.

For the Spaniard, who is a 21-time Major winner, the latest of which came at this year's Australian Open, this could be the final appearance at a Grand Slam which has earned him the sobriquet 'King of Clay'. Nadal continues to suffer from a chronic left foot injury that has bothered him for years. The pain reappeared during last year's semifinal loss to Djokovic, only his third ever defeat at Roland Garros, and ultimately forced him to sit out the second half of the season.

He also had a rib injury during his semifinal against Alcaraz at this year's Indian Wells Masters. Nadal lost to local favourite Taylor Fritz in the final, ending his 20-match unbeaten start to the season, and didn't play another professional tennis match for six weeks.

Nadal, who has his personal doctor with him at the French Open this time for the foot issue, said: “I am putting everything that I have to try to play this tournament with the best conditions possible, no? I don’t know what can happen after, honestly."

When a reporter wanted to know how thoughts about his future affect him, Nadal replied: “I don’t know what’s going to happen after here. I mean, I have what I have there in the foot, so if we are not able to find an improvement or a small solution on that, then it’s becoming super difficult for me.”

As far as Zverev is concerned, the third-seeded German is still looking for his maiden Grand Slam title after a heartbreaking loss in five sets to Austrian Dominic Thiem in the 2020 US Open final. Zverev has since won an Olympic gold and continues to stay in the top 10 but his record at Grand Slams has not justified his talent. He was subjected to a demoralising straight sets defeat by Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the fourth round of the 2022 Australian Open. He finally got his first win against a top 10 player at a Major by beating Alcaraz on Tuesday.

Zverev has not won a single title this year. He was thrown out of the Mexico Open for violently hitting the chair umpire’s stand repeatedly with his racket following a loss in doubles and is on a one-year probation for the same. The 25-year-old is also under investigation by the ATP after being accused of abuse by his former girlfriend.

(With inputs from AP)

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