Saturday, June 15, 2024

John McEnroe lets rip at ‘crazy’ French Open officials for Rafael Nadal decision at Roland Garros

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John McEnroe feels it is ‘crazy’ that the French Open didn’t give a special exemption to Rafael Nadal in order to be one of the seeds for the tournament.

Nadal has slipped down the rankings to 276th in the world due to fitness issues preventing him from playing in many tournaments.


His planned comeback earlier this year was halted by another setback as he missed out on the Australian Open.

The 14-time Roland Garros winner was able to make the main draw for the French Open due to his protected ranking.

Rafael Nadal faces Alexander Zverev in the first round

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However, that still left him outside of the top 32, meaning he entered the tournament unseeded for the first time in his career.

That left Nadal exposed to some of the best players in the very first round and he was dealt a difficult draw against world No 3 Alexander Zverev.

Nadal has already hinted that this could be his last French Open before retirement and he faces a tall order to get past the in-form Zverev.

McEnroe is still hoping for one last hurrah from Nadal at Roland Garros, but he feels the Spaniard should have been given a seed for the tournament.

“It makes no sense that someone who has won 14 times is not seeded,” McEnroe said.

“It is the way the tournament has always acted. For me it is crazy.

“It is the most interesting first round of a major that I remember and the most tough [in 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 does not mean that all his records at Roland Garros will be lost.

John McEnroe wanted Rafael Nadal to be seeded

John McEnroe wanted Rafael Nadal to be seeded

REUTERS

“Maybe his time has come to be a father and everyone’s time has come.

“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.

“On the one hand it will be a surprise, and on the other it won’t. People like him, Novak [Djokovic] or Roger [Federer] are Superman.”

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Rafael Nadal could be playing his last French Open

Rafael Nadal could be playing his last French Open

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Nadal was set to be honoured with a tribute at the French Open, but tournament director Amelie Mauresmo announced the ceremony had been cancelled after the 37-year-old indicated he may return in the future.

“As you can imagine, we had something planned for him. But because he doesn’t know if it’s going to be his last Roland Garros or not, he wants to leave the door open maybe to come back next year as a player. So we are not going to push him, obviously, to do anything,” Mauresmo said.

“It’s his decision when he wants to have a proper ceremony, a proper goodbye, a proper farewell. So we’re not going to do it this year. That’s his wish,” she continued. “And even though we were ready to push the button if something happens, we obviously are going to respect what he wants and make sure we are ready whenever he feels he wants to do it. Later this year; next year; anytime he wants.”

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