He plays his fourteenth Roland Garros final, but Rafael Nadal is not up for many celebrations. Because he passes after the injury of Alexander Zverev, who fell in combat with a sprained right ankle when the match went to the tie break of the second set. “It is not easy or pretty to see what has happened. I can only say that I hope it’s not that bad, I hope it’s just a normal sprain, not a break. It has been a very, very tough game. We are colleagues, we have trained together for a long time. But of course, for me it’s a dream to be in the final but it’s not the best way. If you are human you can only feel bad about how it happened, ”said the Spanish tennis player.

[ Nadal’s bitter pass to the Roland Garros final due to Zverev’s injury


Until the fall of his rival he had suffered a lot, because the German hit and hit, and because the conditions were too difficult for his game: «The conditions are the slowest in which I have ever played. Very wet. The ball was very big and it is very difficult to create effects. They have not been ideal for me today. That’s why I couldn’t create the danger I needed. And he has played very well. The first set was a miracle. He was looking for solutions, struggling. When Zverev plays well it is very difficult to beat him on any surface, but in these conditions it was even more difficult to put him back on the court. He felt that my ball did not create enough impact. My ball did not bounce. And it was clear, as always: «It has been many moments of surviving».

He explained that there had been no physical problem, that everything was due to the conditions of the track, indoors, rain, very high humidity, but the German demanded a lot from him. «I have not had any physical downturn in the second set. I have started fantastic just like with Novak. Today the problem was the humidity. I couldn’t make it 2-0, which allows us to manage the game a little more. At 1-0 and 40-15 it escaped me: a down the line forehand that was well thrown, but has gone and broken me. From then on it has been hard. There has been a criminal point, which has given me 2-1 although it has been for me, it has taken a few games from me, I have been physically touched.

Time, being 36 years old, fatigue, takes everything into account: «I accept my limitations. I try my best. I have not trained as much as I would like in these three months. And I’ve tried to stay in the game. I was in a better position at the end of the set, I was able to catch my breath a little, the energy that had been gone for a while. He also assumes these difficult conditions and even takes the positive part of him: «I have played a semifinal here against Federer with a hurricane of wind. The 2014 final against Djokovic was also very wet, but with sunshine and the ball was very alive. Today it was all cloudy, with rain, slower. It is what it is and it is one of the beautiful things of our sport. You play for two weeks and there are rainy days, cold days, hot days, situations that make the game and the way of playing change completely. The key is to try to adapt and get the most out of it.”

And so, his fourteenth Roland Garros final. Although bitter about Zverev’s injury, he well knows what it’s like to be in that situation. In fact, on his birthday, the desire was clear: between a new foot and winning his fourteenth Roland Garros on Sunday: «I prefer to lose the final for a new foot. A new foot allows me to be happier on a daily basis. no longer win. That’s nice and fills you with momentary adrenaline, but life goes on and it’s much more important than any title. After a race like the one I’ve had, I’ve done my best to have options. I have a life, and I would love to be able to play amateur sports and today it is a bit of an unknown. My happiness goes ahead of any title. Not having the pain that I have on a daily basis changes your life.”