‘A piece of your life is taken away’ – Brother Mischa on Alexander Zverev’s heartbreaking injury at French Open

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Eurosport expert Mischa Zverev has given his immediate reaction to the heartbreaking scenes as his brother, Alexander Zverev, was forced to retire injured.

Rafael Nadal progressed through to the final at Roland-Garros, but with the match having been in the balance against Zverev at 7-6(2) 6-6 when the German had to retire hurt following a nasty ankle injury.

Zverev cried out in agony after going over on his right ankle, and the severity of the injury was immediately clear. The third seed had to leave the court in a wheelchair after being consoled by Nadal.

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After a short period, Zverev returned to the court on crutches to confirm his retirement – with Nadal progressing to the final.

For Mischa, it was incredibly hard to watch his brother in so much pain and with the heartbreaking nature of his retirement from the match with his dreams of a maiden Grand Slam title on the line.

“Sascha never cries! Something bad must have happened! That’s impossible!” he said on Eurosport Germany as he was reacting to the injury.

“The ankle was gone. That was an angle, in that position nothing can stick. He couldn’t get up. He was really screaming.”

‘Everyone is upset, sad, distraught’ – Mischa on brother Alexander Zverev’s injury

Later speaking on Eurosport Germany’s Matchball show, he added: “You can’t compare that with anything.

“When you are injured like Sascha is now, a piece of your life is taken away from you for a certain time because you can’t walk, you can’t be on the tennis court.

“But there are much worse situations, much more serious problems in the world today. Losing in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament is the smallest problem. It’s not even a luxury problem, it’s pure luxury.”

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Fellow Eurosport expert Chris Evert also was struck by how awful the moment was, and she was in no doubt about how serious the injury was after hearing Zverev’s cries.

“When you heard those cries you knew it was serious,” Evert said. “My mind wandered to that big summer of Wimbledon and the US Open and whether he is going to be able to play or will he miss those.

“The thing with Zverev is that he was really coming into his own, he was playing so well this whole tournament, the wins he had. What about Alcaraz? What a big win for him. He had chances in the first set against Rafa, and Rafa looked a little bit tired, which is understandable.

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“It could have been a clump of clay, who knows? Towards the corners where they don’t move as much sometimes, you can get clumps of clay just like on grass where it is more slick in the corners.

“You could tell right away that this man was not going to finish the match. He was really in it, he was playing well.

“Even in his own mind, he was saying in the press that he is not 21 anymore, ‘I am ready to win a Grand Slam’. You thought that this could be his chance.”

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