Thursday, June 13, 2024

John McEnroe blasts French Open’s Rafael Nadal decision – ‘Doesn’t make sense’

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John McEnroe believes that there is no way Rafael Nadal should be starting what is potentially his last French Open against world No. 4 Alexander Zverev today (Monday). The 14-time champion has hinted that he will retire this year, but has been handed a tough test to begin his 2024 Roland Garros campaign.

Nadal, in his first Grand Slam of the year after injury forced him out of the Australian Open, is in action against a Zverev fully in form thanks to his recent Italian Open victory. The German is one of the most difficult opponents that Nadal could have faced, forcing the realistic prospect of a brief final occasion on the Parisian clay.

The French Open has become synonymous with Nadal and even though he hinted at the possibility of returning next year, causing the tournament’s organisers to cancel their farewell ceremony, a short stay at the Major would be a big disappointment for the fans in attendance.

And McEnroe believes that measures should have been taken to prevent Nadal from facing a seeded player. The 1984 finalist lambasted the “crazy” decision not to make Nadal a seed, ensuring that he would face a tougher path to the final on paper.

“It doesn’t make sense for someone who has won 14 times not to be seeded,” McEnroe told Marca. “It’s the way the tournament has always acted. It’s crazy to me. It’s the most interesting first round of a major that I can remember and the toughest of the Open Era for someone like Nadal.

“He has to do whatever he wants. He loves to compete and if he loses to Zverev it doesn’t mean that all his records at Roland Garros will be lost. Maybe it’s time for him to be a father and it’s time for everyone.

“Maybe I’m wrong and he’ll be able to do something special here. It’s a question mark as to how his body will recover as the rounds go by. If he wins on the one hand it will be a surprise and on the other not.

“If you asked me ten years ago how many times he was going to take the trophy I would have said four or five. People like him, Novak (Djokovic) or Roger (Federer) are Superman.”

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