Rafael Nadal and an injured Alexander Zverev

Rafael Nadal was ‘dominated’ by Alexander Zverev at Roland Garros, says analyst

Former German Fed Cup captain Barbara Rittner says Alexander Zverev was ‘the dominant player’ against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros before he got injured.

Zverev and Nadal were battling it out for more than three hours on Court Philippe-Chatrier in the semi-finals.

Nadal win the first set and the second set was just about to go to a tiebreaker when Zverev rolled his ankle badly, severing three ligaments.

The match was over in that instant, but Rittner believes Zverev would have beaten Nadal had the match continued.

“I had the feeling that if Sascha had won that second set, he would have beaten Rafael Nadal in four sets,” Rittner told Eurosport in Germany.

“He was just incredibly physically and mentally stable, and he determined certain rallies again and again. He was the dominant player.

“In this situation he was closer to winning a Grand Slam than ever before, because you saw how clear it was in the final.”

While Rittner believes Zverev could have been celebrating a maiden major right now, the reality is that he is facing months on the sidelines.

He will be a career-high world number two next week, which would have likely earned him the top seed at Wimbledon.

Zverev has already undergone surgery and may be out for the rest of the season, although he still has an outside chance of making it to the US Open should things go smoothly.

“To return to competition as quickly as possible, to ensure all the ligaments heal properly, and to reclaim full stability in my ankle, surgery was the best choice,” Zverev said following the operation.

“My rehab starts now and I’ll do everything to come back stronger than ever!”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.