Entertainment Sports Rafael Nadal Advances to 2022 French Open Final After Opponent's Leg Injury: 'Very Sad for Him' "He was playing unbelievable tournament," Rafael Nadal said after his French Open semi-final opponent, Alexander Zverev, dropped out due to an injury By Glenn Garner Glenn Garner Instagram Twitter Glenn Garner is a Writer/Reporter who works heavily with PEOPLE's Movies and TV verticals. Since graduating from Northern Arizona University with a dual major in journalism and photography, he got his professional start at OUT Magazine, The Advocate and Teen Vogue, and he's since consistently kept his finger on the pulse of the LGBTQ community. His first book The Guncle Guide was released in 2020 and was featured on Katie Couric's list of 100 recommended books of the year. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 3, 2022 05:43 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Rafael Nadal. Photo: Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Tennis legend Rafael Nadal has a chance to become the oldest person to win the French Open. According to the Associated Press, the Spanish tennis pro advanced to the French Open final on Friday after his opponent, Alexander Zverev, dropped out of the semi-final due to an injured right leg. The match took place on Nadal's 36th birthday. Nadal prevailed in the first set with a 7-6 (8) score and neared a tiebreaker in the second set before 25-year-old Zverev grabbed his ankle and screamed in pain while chasing the ball. The 21-time Grand Slam winner checked on his opponent before Zverev left the court in a wheelchair. Several moments later, Zverev returned on crutches and announced he was dropping out of the match. He congratulated Nadal with a hug. "Very tough and very sad for him," Nadal said, Reuters reported. "Honestly, he was playing an unbelievable tournament. He's a very good colleague on the Tour." Rafael Nadal Will Play in Madrid Open After Recovering from Rib Injury Clive Brunskill/Getty Images "I know how much he's fighting to win a Grand Slam, but for the moment he was very unlucky," Nadal continued. "The only thing I'm sure is that he is going to win not one — more than one." Rafael Nadal Calls for Harsher Punishments for Players Who Attack Tennis Officials After Zverev Incident The oldest person to have won a French Open is currently the late Spanish tennis player Andrés Gimeno, who was 34 when he took the title in 1972. Nadal, ranked No. 5 in singles, has won the French Open a record 13 times. He's also defending his Grand Slam record and is vying for a 22nd title. RELATED VIDEO: Roger Federer wins record eighth Wimbledon title, 19th major Nadal was recently sidelined for six weeks due to a rib fracture and has dealt with an ongoing foot injury since competing in the 2005 Madrid Open final, which forced him to end his 2021 season early. "All the sacrifices, and all the things that I need to go through to try to keep playing really make sense when you enjoy moments like I'm enjoying in this tournament," Nadal said Friday, according to ESPN. On Sunday, Nadal will face Norwegian tennis player Casper Ruud in the French Open final.