Things are heating up between two tennis legends, John McEnroe and Rafael Nadal. During Roland-Garros, and while commenting on the matches, the American was annoyed to see the record holder for victories in the Paris tournament taking a long time between each point. The Spaniard is renowned for taking his time between each service and regularly flirts with the imposed limit of 25 seconds. And McEnroe was indignant that the Spaniard was not sanctioned more by the referees, wondering if he was not favored by them.
“He must be given a warning! Otherwise, this rule should not be counted. It becomes ridiculous! You can almost see him looking at the clock, but even when Nadal goes over the limit, he doesn’t say anything”he got carried away in the Roland-Garros final against Casper Ruud.
In a press conference during the US Open, Rafael Nadal was asked about it, a journalist wanting to know if these criticisms called into question the “legend” of the Spaniard. A reflection that did not taste the main interested party: “It must be a joke. I have already received a lot of warnings in my career”he explained, “But never for breaking my racquet, or getting carried away on the pitch. Good for going overtime, it’s true. I just have a problem with profuse sweating, especially in wet conditions… So, if you still have to run to the end of the court to get your towel, which can no longer be brought, you know you will be very close to 25 seconds.”
If he finds it difficult to respect the rule, Nadal nevertheless believes that it should not be removed: “That’s not at all what I’m asking… I absolutely must not be treated any differently from other players by the referees. But I also don’t understand why John (McEnroe, editor’s note) says this kind of thing to television. I’ll talk to him about it in private.”concluded Nadal to end the controversy.