Alexander Zverev, 26, reveals he has been appreciating more just being able to play since sustaining a horrifying injury against Rafael Nadal during last year's French Open. In the 2022 French Open semifinal versus Nadal, Zverev tore several ligaments and broke down in tears before he exited the court in a wheelchair.
A few days later, Zverev underwent surgery to address his ligament injury. Zverev ended up missing the remainder of the 2022 season before returning to tennis at the start of the 2023 season. When the injury initially happened, Zverev feared his career may be over. “I think you really appreciate the sport of tennis.
You really appreciate the tough days, the fun days. You just appreciate being out there on the court, when it gets taken away from you. Most players realize that once they quit tennis because they don’t have this period, this injury.
I realized it earlier on, so I’m thankful for that, but I want to get back to where I was. I didn’t want the injury to happen, obviously, but it did make me grow, it did make me realize what tennis actually means.
If I’m back to the level, if I win Grand Slams and become world No 1, maybe I’ll look back and say ‘It was all worth it,'" Zverev said on the ATP Tennis Radio Podcast.
Zverev played great against Nadal before the injury
Although Zverev entered the 2022 French Open semifinal as the underdog, there wasn't really much separating the German and Nadal.
After nearly three hours of play, Nadal was 7-6 (6) 6-6 up on Zverev. The match was extremely tight, but after Zverev suffered a major injury in the 12th game of the second set, it ended in the most unfortunate way possible.
There are no guarantees that Zverev would have beaten Nadal had the match continued but the German was playing great and definitely looked like someone who had a shot at beating the Spaniard that day. A year and a half later, Zverev thinks that unfortunate situation helped him grow as a player and expressed his hope to become a Grand Slam champion in the near future.