World number two Alexander Zverev has withdrawn from the US Open as he recovers from ankle surgery.

The German went under the knife after tearing all three of the lateral ligaments in his right ankle during his French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal.

Zverev will not make his comeback at the final grand slam of the year in New York, as his withdrawal was announced on Monday.

The 25-year-old reached his only major final at Flushing Meadows two years ago, losing to Dominic Thiem.

Zverev stated after his operation that surgery was "the best choice" to ensure his ligaments heal properly and he could return to competition "as quickly as possible."

The US Open gets under way next Monday, with doubts remaining over whether Novak Djokovic will be able to play due to the 21-time grand slam champion opting against receiving a coronavirus vaccine.

Novak Djokovic has slipped to seventh in the ATP Tour rankings despite winning Wimbledon, where ranking points were stripped in this year's tournament.

Players from Russia and Belarus were banned from competing at the third major of the year due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The ATP and WTA retaliated by stripping ranking points from the event at the All England Club, where the likes of world number one Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev did not feature.

Moscow-born Elena Rybakina, who switched to represent Kazakhstan four years ago, lifted the women's title in the singles competition, while Djokovic triumphed for a fourth straight time in the men's event.

Yet, Djokovic has lost 2,000 rankings points – the standard total awarded to a grand slam singles champion – after winning in SW19 last year, with no such rewards available on this occasion.

That meant the Serbian has dropped from third place to seventh, his lowest position since August 2018 when he fell to 10th.

Djokovic moved within just one major title of Rafael Nadal's record of 22 grand slams, and the Spaniard has jumped up one spot to third.

Medvedev and Alexander Zverev are unmoved as the respective top two after losing just 180 rankings points in the latest edition. Both missed Wimbledon, with the Russian banned and the German still injured.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz make up the top six after climbing a place each, while Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jannik Sinner are the trio behind Djokovic.

Nick Kyrgios appeared in his maiden major final against Djokovic at Wimbledon as world number 40, the lowest-ranked grand slam male finalist since Marcos Baghdatis (54) at the Australian Open in 2006.

Just a day later Kyrgios has dropped five places to 45th in the rankings, losing 90 points from his third-round berth last year. If the ban was not imposed, the Australian would have broken into the top 20.

Cameron Norrie is another loser from the ranking points fallout. His run to the semi-finals at the London major would have seen him climb to eighth, but instead he has to settle for 11th.

Daniil Medvedev has replaced Novak Djokovic as world number one ahead of the start of Wimbledon, where the Russian is banned from featuring.

The ATP and WTA boards decided to remove ranking points from the third grand slam of the year, with Russian and Belarusian players not allowed to compete due to the invasion of Ukraine.

The 26-year-old Medvedev will miss out from the grass-court major, which starts on June 27, alongside Andrey Rublev, Aryna Sabalenka, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Victoria Azarenka.

But that could aid Medvedev's cause at the end of the tournament as Djokovic is the defending champion and therefore would have more ranking points to lose.

Djokovic has dropped to third in the world rankings, with the injured Alexander Zverev – who made the French Open semi-finals before retiring against Rafael Nadal – in second.

That means it is the first time since November 2003 that none of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Andy Murray have appeared in the top two rankings spots.

Medvedev, who lost in the final of the Rosmalen Grass Court Championship on Sunday, became the first player other than Djokovic, Nadal, Federer or Murray to top the men's rankings in 18 years when he replaced the Serb as number one in February.

Alexander Zverev is determined to "come back stronger than ever" after undergoing ankle surgery on Tuesday. 

Zverev tore all three lateral ligaments in his right ankle during the second set of his French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal last week. 

The German is set to miss Wimbledon after his hopes of winning a first grand slam at Roland Garros came to a painful end. 

Zverev is ready to knuckle down with his rehabilitation after going under the knife in his homeland. 

Along with a picture of himself in his hospital bed giving the thumbs up, he posted on Instagram: "We all have our own journey in life. This is part of mine. 

"Next week I'll reach a career-high ranking of number two in the world, but this morning I had to undergo surgery. After further examination in Germany, we received confirmation that all three of the lateral ligaments in my right ankle were torn. 

"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. My rehab starts now and I'll do everything to come back stronger than ever! 

"I am continuing to receive so many messages and would like to thank everyone once again for supporting me during such a difficult time." 

Nadal went on to beat Casper Ruud in the final in Paris on Sunday to claim a record-extending 14th French Open title, taking his astonishing tally of grand slam triumphs to 22. 

Alexander Zverev is suspected to have suffered several torn ligaments during his French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal on Friday.

The world number three's hopes of winning a first grand slam title at Roland Garros this year were ended when he rolled his ankle late in the second set on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Zverev was taken off the court in a wheelchair after his tournament came to a painful end in Paris.

The German will surely miss Wimbledon as he awaits confirmation of the extent of the damage he sustained.

He posted on Instagram: "Hey guys! I am now on my way back home. Based on the first medical checks, it looks like I have torn several lateral ligaments in my right foot.

"I will be flying to Germany on Monday to make further examinations and to determine the best and quickest way for me to recover.

"I want to thank everyone all over the world for the kind messages that I have received since yesterday. Your support means a lot to me right now!

"I will try to keep you updated as much as possible on further developments. See you next time @rolandgarros."

Nadal will attempt to win a record-extending 14th French Open title when he faces Casper Ruud on Sunday.

Alexander Zverev is awaiting news on the true severity of his "very serious" ankle injury, with the world number three's Wimbledon participation in doubt.

The 25-year-old withdrew from Friday's French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal after rolling his ankle towards the end of the second set, which went to a tie-break.

Zverev, who lost a gruelling first set 7-6 (10-8), was helped from the clay in a wheelchair before returning on crutches to retire, ending his hopes of a second grand slam final.

And the German is now in a race against time to be ready for the next major of the year, with Wimbledon set to begin in a little over three weeks' time.

Providing an update on his injury on social media on Friday, Zverev said: "It was a very difficult moment for me today on the court.

"It was obviously a fantastic match until what happened, happened. It looks like I have a very serious injury. But the medical team and the doctors are still checking on it."

Zverev made an ideal start to his semi-final against Nadal by breaking his opponent's service in the first game, but the Spaniard hit back in the eighth game of the opening set.

Nadal eventually edged a competitive tie-break to conclude a 91-minute set, and both men continued to exchange blows in a just-as-tight second set that also went the distance.

However, Zverev's injury brought what was shaping up to be a classic semi-final to an early end, meaning a 14th Roland Garros final for Nadal on what was his 36th birthday.

Casper Ruud awaits Nadal in Sunday's final in Paris in what will be the first encounter between the pair after overcoming Marin Cilic 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2 in the other semi-final.

"I want to congratulate Rafa, obviously," Zverev added in his social media post. 

"It's an incredible achievement, a 14th final, and hopefully he can go all the way and make some more history."

Rafael Nadal says battling through the pain of his foot injury makes reaching his 14th French Open final even more enjoyable.

Nadal missed a part of the 2021 season with a foot problem that has hampered him throughout most of his career, but returned to win the Australian Open in January.

That made him a 21-time grand slam winner, a record in men's tennis, and he now aims for his 22nd major at Roland Garros – a venue where he is a 14-time champion.

Casper Ruud or Marin Cilic will be the Spaniard's opponent in Sunday's final in Paris, after Alexander Zverev retired almost two sets into a gruelling semi-final on Court Philippe-Chatrier against Nadal on Friday.

The 36-year-old, who celebrated his birthday with semi-final victory, was quick to express his well wishes for Zverev both on the court and later in a news conference, with the German suffering an ankle injury.

Nadal is the third player in the Open era to reach 30 or more grand slam finals, after Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (both 31), and he believes playing through the pain has been worth it.

"I explained everything going through my mind after Rome, and nothing changed," Nadal told reporters. "At the same time, I was not very positive after that about my foot, but I was positive that I will be able to play here.

"I played, I fought I did all the things possible to give myself at least a chance to be where I am and happy of course to be able to give myself another chance to play here in the final of Roland Garros.

"That means a lot to me. All the sacrifices and all the things that I need to go through to try to keep playing, really makes sense when you enjoy moments like I'm enjoying in this tournament.

"If you like what you are doing, you keep going. If you like to go and play golf, you keep going to play golf. If I like to play tennis and if I can and I can handle to keep playing, I keep playing because I like what I do.

"If I am healthy enough to play, I like the competition. I like to play in the best stadiums in the world and feel competitive at my age still.

"That makes me feel in some way proud and happy about all the work that we did."

Nadal led Zverev 7-6 (10-8) 6-6 before the world number three had to retire, though the encounter had lasted for over three hours by that point.

It was the third time in as many matches that Nadal has toiled on the clay in Paris, having overcome Djokovic in four sets after defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime in a five-set thriller.

Nevertheless, Nadal assures he is fit and fighting in preparation for the showpiece as he aims for a 14th French Open triumph.

"Physically I'm okay. Normally my problem is not the physical performance," he added. "Of course today the conditions have been very hot, super humid.

"I know from experience that when these conditions happen, I suffer a bit more physically. It happened to me in Australia against [Denis] Shapovalov.

"Today was different, not that crazy but I was suffering. There was a lot of up-and-downs during the match, but a good level of tennis with great points."

Rafael Nadal advanced to the French Open final after Alexander Zverev suffered a horror injury blow almost two sets into a gruelling semi-final on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Zverev was helped from the clay in a wheelchair before returning on crutches to retire, having gone over on his ankle as he was taken to a second-set tie-break after Nadal claimed the first set 7-6 (10-8).

Having been out on court for over three hours despite not finishing two sets in a demanding encounter, Nadal secured a clash with either Casper Ruud or Marin Cilic in Sunday's final as he bids for a record-extending 14th Roland Garros title.

Zverev made an ideal start when breaking Nadal's service in the first game of the match, but Spain's king of clay hit back in the eighth game of the opener, eventually winning a fiercely competitive tie-break to conclude a draining 91-minute set.

Nadal struggled to build on that success in a bizarre opening to the second set, which opened with four consecutive breaks as the Spaniard failed to win a single first-serve point until his third service game.

Having been broken again to go 4-2 down, Nadal made light of any suggestion he was feeling the effects of his four-set quarter-final win over Novak Djokovic, roaring back with another break as Zverev cut a frustrated figure, arguing with the umpire after being warned for shouting an obscenity.

Worse was to come for Zverev during the exact point at which Nadal forced another tie-break, with the third seed left crying out on the clay after appearing to roll his ankle while chasing the Spaniard's forehand.

Having been helped into a wheelchair to exit the court, a distraught Zverev returned on crutches to thank the umpire after a short interlude. That meant Nadal progressed to his 14th Roland Garros final on his 36th birthday, although not in the circumstances he might have imagined, and the 21-time grand slam winner cut a subdued figure as he wished his opponent a speedy recovery.

"It's very tough and very sad for him, he was playing an unbelievable tournament, he's a very good colleague on the tour," Nadal said of Zverev.

"I know how much he's fighting to win a grand slam, and for this moment he was very unlucky. The only thing I am sure of is that he's going to win not one but many more. So, I wish him all the best and a fast recovery.

"It was a super tough match, three hours and we didn't even finish the second set. It's one of the biggest challenges on the tour today to play against him when he's playing at such a high level.

"For me, everybody knows, to be in the final one more time, it's a dream."

Data Slam: 30-up for Nadal as the king of clay closes on another success

Nadal's victory, while arriving in less-than-ideal circumstances, made him just the third player in the Open Era to have reached 30 grand slam finals. Nadal has won each of his previous 13 Roland Garros finals, though he still trails both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer for overall major finals (both 31).

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Nadal 21/26
Zverev 40/47

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Nadal 3/1
Zverev 5/8

BREAK POINTS WON

Nadal 5/11
Zverev 5/8

Rafael Nadal has declared he does not want this to be his final French Open.

The announcement from Nadal seems to put to bed the theory that he could announce an immediate retirement if he wins the title for a 14th time at Roland Garros on Sunday.

Nadal, who takes on Alexander Zverev in Friday's semi-finals, is battling a long-troubling foot problem in Paris and remarkably saw off Novak Djokovic in an electrifying showdown on Tuesday night.

His pain threshold appears to be far beyond that of the average human, and Nadal has brought a doctor with him to France to further improve his prospects of lasting the distance.

Friday also marks Nadal's 36th birthday, and he has dropped heavy hints that this might be his final fling.

However, if that proves to be the case, it will be with heavy reluctance on Nadal's part, as he made clear on Thursday.

Speaking to Spanish broadcaster TVE, Nadal said: "I have always had things clear. I accept things as they come. At no time do I intend for it to seem like a farewell.

"What happens is that there is a reality that today is what it is. We will continue working to find solutions to what is happening down here.

"I trust and hope to be able to return. What happens is that there is a year to go, and it is evident that these last months, not these last three, I would say that since last year they are being difficult.

"The day-to-day with everything that entails is being difficult, not because of the effort that it entails for me, but also to maintain competitiveness. I play to be competitive, which is what really makes me happy.

"We are going to enjoy the moment and after this we will continue thinking about the things that need to be improved, and the hope is to continue."

There would seem a strong chance that Nadal elects to miss the grass-court season in order to rest up, but he continues to defy expectations, so nothing can be ruled out. 

Should he triumph in a grand slam for a 22nd time on Sunday, it would take him two clear of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on the all-time list.

Nadal's record at this tournament is quite extraordinary, surpassing the achievement of any other player in tennis history at a single grand slam.

Alongside his 13 French Open titles, he has won 330 of the 364 sets he has contested at the event and owns a 110-3 win-loss match record.

Some 88 of those wins at the French Open have come in straight sets, and from 2010 to 2015 he reeled off 39 victories in succession, until Djokovic beat him in the quarter-finals.

Nadal has won 23 6-0 sets at his favourite major, including subjecting Federer and Djokovic to such torture in the 2008 and 2020 finals respectively.

Zverev has only been to one grand slam final, losing at the US Open to Dominic Thiem in 2020, but may think his time is coming after an impressive quarter-final win over Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old widely acclaimed as the next clay-court king.

It might help the German that the spotlight will be fixed on Nadal, too, as it invariably is on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

There has been no collective chasing away of Nadal amid the talk that his career could be on the rocks, and no media agenda involved. This is a thrilling late-career resurgence from the Spaniard that many, albeit perhaps not Djokovic supporters, would like to see continue.

This time he has laid his injury situation quite bare, and magical nights such as the four-set epic against Djokovic this week are becoming increasingly loaded with poignancy.

As Nadal said in a news conference after that match, regardless of his intentions, this could well be his French Open farewell.

"Yes, I can't say another thing, no?" Nadal said. "I am very clear about that, no?

"I am old enough to not hide things or come here and say a thing that I don't believe. I don't know what can happen. I think, as I said before, I'm gonna be playing this tournament because we are doing the things to be ready to play this tournament, but I don't know what's gonna happen after here.

"I mean, I have what I have there in the foot, so if we are not able to find an improvement or a small solution on that, then it's becoming super difficult for me.

"I am just enjoying every day that I have the chance to be here, and without thinking much about what can happen in the future.

"Of course I'm gonna keep fighting to find a solution for that, but for the moment, we haven't. So to just give myself a chance to play another semi-final here in Roland Garros is a lot of energy for me."

Carlos Alcaraz was philosophical after his French Open elimination at the hands of Alexander Zverev, adamant he has no need to blow it out of proportion.

Despite being seeded three places below Zverev, the 19-year-old Spaniard went into their quarter-final as many people's favourite.

But after a slow start that Zverev punished, Alcaraz's second grand slam quarter-final proved a learning curve.

Zverev ultimately won 6-4 6-4 4-6 7-6 (9-7) to clinch his maiden top-10 scalp at a grand slam, though the German acknowledged he managed to end the contest just as Alcaraz was starting to take charge.

As such, the sixth seed felt there were plenty of reasons to feel positive about his tournament.

"I would say I finished the match playing better," he said. "I leave the court, leave the tournament with the head very high. I fight until the last ball. I fought until the last second of the match, and I'm proud of it.

"I have to take the lesson today. It was a tough match and close match I think. I could say I didn't start well, and in this level, quarter-final of a grand slam, you are playing against the best players in the world, so you have to start the match better than I did today.

"I have to improve to the next grand slam or next matches. But I would say I'm not far away to reach a semi-final or be able to win a grand slam.

"I would say I have the level, I have the confidence to win a grand slam or pass through to the semi-final next time.

"I mean, this match is not going to be tough for me or I'm going to say I'm disappointed for this match. I'm just going to try to take the positive things of the match, and of course the bad things that I did, to improve to the next matches or next tournaments or next grand slams.

"I could say I was close to a good match, close to a fifth set, and in the fifth set everything could happen.

"This was my second quarter-final in a grand slam, and I think I fight until the last ball and hope to the next grand slam, next quarter-final that I play in a grand slam, [hope to] do it better and to my chances to pass to the semi-finals."

Alexander Zverev said he was "s******* my pants" as he attempted to stave off a fightback from Carlos Alcaraz in his French Open quarter-final win on Tuesday.

Zverev claimed an impressive 6-4 6-4 4-6 7-6 (9-7) win over the 19-year-old Spaniard to set up a semi-final with either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal.

The German initially appeared dominant as his controlled and composed display saw him take a two-set lead, and although Alcaraz did improve in the third, Zverev even had the opportunity to serve out the match for a straight-sets win.

He failed to grasp that chance and Alcaraz looked likely to level the match as he began to exert greater control in rallies – his dropshots proving especially threatening.

But Zverev clung on even as the crowd vociferously backed his opponent in the fourth-set tie-break, eventually seizing his opportunity when he felt Alcaraz was potentially taking charge of the match.

Asked about his emotions in a fourth set that was something of a rollercoaster, he said: "[I was] s******* my pants as well."

The rather crude joke received a flat response from a Court Philippe-Chatrier crowd that never particularly got behind Zverev.

However, he soon waxed lyrical about his popular opponent, who was the first top-10 scalp of Zverev's career at a grand slam.

"At the end of the day, I knew I had to play my absolute best tennis from the start, and I'm happy I did that," Zverev continued.

"He kept on coming back, he's an incredible player. I told him at the net that he's going to win this tournament a lot of times, not only once.

"So I hope I can win it before he starts beating us all and we'll have no chance at all."

Zverev suggested his dip after the second set was contributed to by the changing conditions, having thrived in the sun and then seen his level drop when in the shade.

But he could not hide his joy at avoiding a fifth set.

"For me, when it's shady and slower it's not perfect for me," he said. "I didn't get broken once when it was sunny, the ball was a lot faster, I had to adjust my strings as well.

"The match was turning his way, so at the end of the day I'm extremely happy I won the tie-break and I didn't have to play a five-set match, didn't have to be disappointed after the five-set match again like I was last year.

"I'm still in the tournament – usually I'm a very good talker, but right now I can't talk. I'm speechless."

Alexander Zverev beat a top-10 player at a grand slam for the first time in his career as he defeated one of the pre-French Open favourites Carlos Alcaraz to reach the semi-finals.

Despite being seeded higher, Zverev seemingly came into the match as the underdog but ultimately produced a cool performance to win 6-4 6-4 4-6 7-6 (9-7) and awaits either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal.

Alcaraz's sloppiness helped contribute to a fairly dominant first couple of sets for Zverev, but the gifted Spaniard fought back impressively to take the third and the tide appeared to be turning in the teenager's favour.

Zverev was no longer controlling rallies and increasingly found Alcaraz's blend of power and finesse tricky to cope with, but showed admirable grit to cling on and silence his opponent's vocal support.

The 25-year-old improved after a nervy start, capitalising on poor serving to claim the first break, with the near-flawless Zverev dropping just two more points on serve as he closed the first set in composed fashion.

The erratic Alcaraz was showing only flashes of his ability, while Zverev appeared unflappable as he saved a break point at 2-1 down in the second set before snatching a break of his own – the Spaniard regretting an attempt to serve and volley as he quickly found himself two sets down.

Going on the offensive was a necessity for Alcaraz in the third set and his spirit kept him alive when saving another break point with an immaculate drop shot – one of many – and an ace at 4-4.

He then finally broke Zverev for the first time, another brilliant drop shot doing the business, and he soon had the set.

By this point, Alcaraz appeared to be exerting greater control in the rallies playing up to the crowd more, but Zverev ended their fourth-set deadlock with a break that allowed him to serve for the match – not that he could capitalise.

Alcaraz hit back instantly and emphatically with a tie-break beckoning. His energy seemed to suggest the match was heading only one way, but Zverev held off a set point and finally put the match to bed with a reflex shot at the net.  

Alexander Zverev says he was planning a holiday when he found himself two sets down to Sebastian Baez in the French Open on Wednesday.

Baez was on the verge of a huge win on Court Philippe-Chatrier, but Zverev roared back to win 2-6 4-6 6-1 6-2 7-5 and move into the third round.

It was the third time the German had come from two sets down to secure a victory, having done so at the 2019 US Open semi-finals and at the 2021 French Open.

Zverev, who saved match point, claims he was thinking about being on the beach when he was on the ropes at Roland Garros.

"I couldn't have played any worse [at the start], I just tried to find a rhythm and did that. I'm happy still being in the tournament right now," he said.

"I was planning my holiday in Monaco, where I was going to go and who I was going to with and that relaxed me, thinking about the beach.

"You just have to find a way. You talk about mental strength and the greats, like Rafa [Nadal], Roger [Federer] and Novak [Djokovic], they always find a way.

"I will never be at their level, but I'm trying to get closer to them."

Zverev spoke to Baez at the net following his victory, and asked what he said to the 21-year-old Argentine, he replied: "I told Sebastian this is the worst you will ever feel on a tennis court, right now at this moment.

"I know how he feels as I lost the US Open final from being two sets up and was two points away.

"Then the next season I won an Olympic Games gold medal, so you always get better. He is an unbelievably great kid and he will do a lot of unbelievable things in this sport."

Zverev will next face Brandon Nakashima, who has reached the third round in a grand slam for the first time on his debut in Paris.

The German will hope to sure up his game for that match, given he made 46 unforced errors against Baez - just one fewer than his opponent.

Carlos Alcaraz relished making his debut on Court Philippe Chatrier as the rising star made an impressive start to his French Open campaign.

Madrid Open champion Alcaraz won his first-round clash against Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4 6-2 6-0 as the tournament in Paris got under way on Sunday.

The 19-year-old – who has been tipped as one of the favourites to win the second major of the year – dispatched Londero in under two hours and enjoyed his time in the spotlight.

Asked about his first experience on Philippe Chatrier, Alcaraz said: "It was difficult at the beginning, but it's always special to play in such a great stadium, a great court. 

"I'm really happy with the performance in my first match in Philippe Chatrier, and hope to play more matches in this court.

"I am trying to be focused just on the tournaments, on the matches, and trying [not] to be a part of the social media and everyone talking about you.

"Just focus on what I have to improve, what I have to do on the matches, what I have to do every day to be ready in the tournament."

Elsewhere, third seed Alexander Zverev opened his campaign with a comprehensive 6-2 6-4 6-4 win over Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner.

A semi-finalist at Roland-Garros last year, Zverev – who did not even allow Ofner a single break-point opportunity – was asked what he had learned about himself in the 12 months since.

"Well, you grow, you grow up in a way," said the German. 

"Each year you understand more and more what it takes to be pro tennis players, that there are difficulties on the court, that there are difficulties in any job that you do. 

"Generally speaking, I get older, I'm 25 years old now. I'm not the young guy that Alcaraz is or some of the other guys are any more. 

"I think as any other person as well, just taking tennis away, you just get more life experience."

Zverev is yet to learn his second-round opponent, but Alcaraz will face fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas next.

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