Rafael Nadal has said he would “prefer to lose the final on Sunday” in exchange for a new left foot after his 14th French Open Championship match on Friday.
Nadal reached the final after Alexander Zverev was forced to retire from the last four due to an ankle injury.
13-time champion Nadal will pursue a record-breaking 22nd Grand Slam title on Sunday but this Roland Garros insisted that a chronic left foot injury meant any match could be the end of his standout career.
Nadal, 38, said on Friday: “Doubtless I want to lose the final.
“My views do not change. A new leg will allow me to be happier in my daily life.
“Winning is beautiful and gives you an adrenaline rush, but it’s temporary and then you have to survive.”
“I have a life ahead of me and in the future I would love to play with my friends. My happiness goes beyond any title, ”he stressed.
Nadal will face Caspar Rudd on Sunday.
Nadal, meanwhile, said it was “human” for him to feel sympathy for Zverev after the injury, which forced him to retire from the semifinals.
Tearful German world number three Zaverev had to leave the court in a wheelchair after falling late in the second set which left him screaming in agony.
The two men gave a warm hug when he returned to Court Philippe Chatterjee on a crutch to acknowledge the match.
“If you’re human, you feel sorry for a colleague,” Nadal said.
After more than three hours of play during the terrible injury, Zverev was trailing 6-7 (10/7), 6-7.
“It simply came to our notice then. I hope he was not badly injured, I hope it did not break, “said Nadal. “I was with her when she was doing the ultrasound.”
The match was played under the roof of Court Philippe Chatterjee, where 15,000 spectators watched.
However, Nadal said the court’s condition was not bad.
“It was an accident, it was an unfortunate moment.”
Nadal welcomed Zaverev’s performance as Germany tried to become the first German after Michael Stitch in 1996.
“It was a very difficult match. He played amazing and I know how important it is for him to win a Grand Slam.
“The situation was not ideal for me. I had to do a lot to survive. The first set was a miracle but I was fighting.
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