June 4, 2022
Rafael Nadal will play his 14th French Open final after an incredible first set against Alexander Zverev.
The German was 6-2 ahead in the tie-break but Nadal simply wouldn’t be beaten.
The Spaniard produced some superhuman retrievals and breath-taking winners when it really mattered.
Against all odds he edged the opener 10-8 in that extraordinary comeback.
The first set alone had taken more than an hour-and-a-half and it pretty much became the decider.
Just when we were braced for similar drama at the end of the second set, Zverev fell injured and forced to retire.
Rafael Nadal sportingly went to see Sascha straight away in sympathy. But in the end the younger man needed a wheelchair and then crutches to leave court.
An ankle injury had put paid to Zverev’s hopes and Rafa gave him a big hug in consolation.
The Roland Garros crowd applauded the sportsmanship.
It’s hard not to feel sorry for Zverev, who has shown improved poise and power on court of late.
And yet you sensed he wouldn’t have find a way past the veteran King of Clay anyway.
Rafael Nadal’s will to win is simply phenomenal and he is one step away from Grand Slam number 22.
He plays Casper Ruud in the final after the Norwegian defeated Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
There was more unforeseen drama in that clash as a climate protester chained herself to the net with Ruud 4-1 up in the third.
The Court Philippe-Chatrier crowd were annoyed at the delay but it didn’t influence the final outcome.
So now we await Rafael Nadal’s attempt to land his 22nd Grand Slam title.
That would put huge pressure on Novak Djokovic to stay in touch by winning Wimbledon 2022.
History beckons this summer at the home of tennis in Wimbledon’s Centre Court Centenary Year.
There will be some memorable celebrations of the past and the future at this very special Wimbledon.
Will you be there to witness the big moments at Wimbledon 2022?