Rafa Nadal in shock press-conference moment after Zverev injury

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·Sports Editor
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Rafa Nadal, pictured here being asked a bizarre question in the wake of Alexander Zverev's injury.
Rafa Nadal was asked a bizarre question in the wake of Alexander Zverev's injury. Image: Getty/Roland Garros

In the wake of Alexander Zverev's devastating injury at the French Open, Rafa Nadal was quizzed about his own health concerns and was asked a truly bizarre question.

Zverev was forced to retire during his semi-final clash with Nadal on Friday after twisting his ankle horribly in the second set.

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The German star was taken from the court in a wheelchair before coming back out on crutches to inform Nadal and the umpire that he wouldn't be able to continue.

Nadal, who is no stranger to injury and has been dealing with a chronic foot problem for years, showed his absolute class as he consoled a devastated Zverev and even helped his opponent pack his bag.

But things took a bizarre turn in Nadal's post-match press conference when quizzed about Zverev's injury and the lengths he might go to in order to fix his own foot issue.

The 21-time grand slam champion looked a little taken aback when a journalist asked Nadal if he would rather a win in Sunday's final against Casper Ruud or a new, healthy foot.

The Spaniard had the surprising response that he would trade a 14th Roland Garros title to get a new foot.

"I would prefer to lose Sunday's final and get a new foot," Nadal said.

"I would be happy with my life with a new foot. [To] win is beautiful, but life is much more important than any title, especially after the career that I've had."

Rafa Nadal, pictured here as Alexander Zverev leaves the court in a wheelchair.
Rafa Nadal looks on as Alexander Zverev leaves the court in a wheelchair. (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking about Zverev's injury, the Spanish champion said: "It's very tough, very sad for him.

"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.

“Only thing that I can say is I hope he’s not too bad.

"Hopefully it’s just the normal thing when you turn your ankle, and hopefully nothing (is broken). That’s what everybody hopes.

“Even if for me it’s a dream to be in the final of Roland Garros, of course that way is not the way that we want it to be.

"If you are human, you should feel very sorry for a colleague.”

Alexander Zverev thinks injury is 'very serious'

Meanwhile, Zverev says the injury he suffered against Nadal is "very serious", putting his participation at Wimbledon later this month in major doubt.

In a video message on Twitter, the 25-year-old said: "A very difficult moment for me today on the court.

"Obviously a fantastic match until what happened, happened.

"It looks like I have a very serious injury. But the medical team and the doctors are still checking on it."

The score was 7-6 (10-8) 6-6 in Nadal's favour when disaster struck for Zverev and he was unable to continue.

It means Nadal advanced to a 14th final at Roland Garros and will meet Casper Ruud for the chance to win a men's record-extending 22nd major.

Alexander Zverev, pictured here after injuring his ankle against Rafa Nadal at the French Open.
Alexander Zverev was forced to retire hurt against Rafa Nadal at the French Open. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

"I want to congratulate Rafa, obviously," added Zverev.

"It's an incredible achievement, a 14th final, and hopefully he can go all the way and make some more history."

A maiden grand slam title at Roland Garros would have seen Zverev rise to the top of the men's world rankings on Monday following the conclusion of the clay-court major.

He was also looking to become the second German man to reach the Roland Garros final in the Open Era after 1996 runner-up Michael Stich.

Nadal was the last man to retire in a grand slam semi-final or final when he pulled out from his last-four match at the US Open in 2018 while trailing Juan Martin del Potro by two sets.

with AAP

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