Rafael Nadal hits back at John McEnroe after his most unfair accusation

Rafael Nadal hits back at John McEnroe after his most unfair accusation

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After his debut at the US Open, Rafael Nadal responds at a press conference to John McEnroewho assured a few months ago that the Spanish tennis player had favored the treatment by the referees.

Rafael Nadal on his US Open 2022 debut and former US tennis player John McEnroe. (Photo: Lev Radin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images/Rob Newell/CameraSport/Getty Images).

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During the last edition of Roland Garros, McEnroe goes after Nadal while working as a commentator for the Eurosport network during their quarter-final match, in which they beat Novak Djokovicby the time it takes to perform their services.

“Should be punished”he said, explaining that there’s no point in setting a service clock if it’s not taken care of. “If you’re going to use it, do it. Otherwise don’t bother. It’s like wanting to please everyone.”

It’s a joke! Look at the clock again…one. It beats time, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t they notice it 15 seconds after the second serve? At 10? At some point?” the former USA player commented at another point on the show. “Or don’t bother. It’s like you can take as long as you want on the second serve. How long is this game? 12 min? Heavens…”.

in this duel Nadal only received a warning from the chair umpire for running overtime for the service, although, according to McEnroe, he continued to act the same afterwards. “Ignore him,” he said.


Several months later, Nadal was asked about it after beat Australian Rinky Hijikata in the first round of the US Open, world number 198, in four sets by 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and 6-3. The question surprised him, although, showing his usual kindness, he had no trouble answering it.

The reporter remembered what McEnroe said about him and asked him if he thought he would get preferential treatment vis-à-vis the other players by the referees.

“I think it’s a joke, don’t you?” he said, unable to hide his smile. “I have received many warnings in my career. Never to break racquets. Never dirty the track. But yes for the clock. I have the problem that I sweat a lot and in wet conditions, like today, it’s even worse. Now the ball boys can’t give you the towel, so I have to go somewhere far to get it. It makes it go away for a long time and I don’t go there as often as necessary. I don’t get any special treatment from anyoneI follow the rules and if I exceed 25 seconds they give me a Attention”.

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The journalist insisted and, with a certain irony, asked if there should be a different rule for him because he sweats a lot. The head of the press room then intervened, but Nadal returned to answer without problem and, in addition, declared that he would speak with McEnroe about his criticism.

“I never said that,” replied the 22-time Grand Slam champion. Nadal added. “I don’t think I get any different treatment at all. I don’t understand why John can say that on TVbut I’ll have a talk with him later.”

Nadal and McEnroe met in an exhibition match before the US Open and have always had a good relationship.  (Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Nadal and McEnroe met in an exhibition match before the US Open and have always had a good relationship. (Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

McEnroe not only assured that Nadal received favorable treatment during this broadcast on Eurosport, but also that He also alluded to it during an interview with the American media ‘Insider’.

They asked him if he had any hobbies when he played and He ended up talking about Nadal and his famous routine before each serve, adjusting the pants and shoulders of his shirt, touching his nose and brushing his hair back as he repeatedly bounces the ball.

“I had no big superstitions,” replied the seven-time Grand Slam winner. “Sometimes I would step on the lines in odd matches and not step on them in even matches or change uniforms when I won with one. Just that kind of thing, but it wasn’t as much as Rafa”.

Then the American insinuated that with all these crazes, he is running overtime to serve with the approval of the chair umpires. “Rafa has his ritual of spending 30 seconds every time he plays a point,” he began by saying. “When you’re so good, you can do it”.

The American then said he was also allowed his bad manners on the pitch to be another legend. “That’s one of the things about being the best: you get away with it.. It shows with the things I’ve done on the track and with what he does. More elegantly, of course. He doesn’t start yelling at people or things like that,” he said.

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