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Rafael Nadal slams John McEnroe’s ‘joke’ claim: I’m going to have a chat with him

McEnroe suggested that Nadal is getting preferential treatment from umpires.

Rafael Nadal burst into a good laugh after being asked whether he feels there are different rules for him compared to the rest of the competition. During Nadal’s US Open first round victory over Rinky Hijikata, John McEnroe was pointing out during his commentary that Nadal wasn’t following the 25-seconds between points rule.

One journalist wanted to know how Nadal felt about McEnroe’s comments and the Spaniard jokingly said he would discuss it later with the American tennis legend. Nadal maybe burst into a good laugh after asked about McEnroe comments, but he certainly wasn’t joking when he stated that he is no different compared to other players.

Nadal on McEnroe’s comments: It’s a joke

“Yeah, I think it’s a joke,” Nadal said. “I went through a lot of warnings under my tennis career. Never for breaking a racquet, never for doing a mess on court.

But, yes, for the time clock. I have a problem that I am sweating a lot. We are playing during these very humid conditions, and we have a biggest problem today, that is we don’t have the ballboys bringing the towel to you for the last couple of years [because of the COVID rules, editor’s note].

You have to go to the farthest place of the court to take the towel. The problem for players like me, that am sweating that much, you know when you go to pick up the towel, you [are] going to be in trouble with the time. So I am not going very often.

I don’t think I have a different treatment from the umpires at all. I never said that [I needed a rule for me because I’m sweating a lot]. I am following the rules. If I am having more than 25 seconds, I receive a warning every single time.

If not, check the clock. I don’t understand why John can say that on the TV. But I [am] going to have a chat with him later!” Meanwhile, Nadal recovered from a set down to beat wildcard Hijikata in four sets. Nadal plays next Fabio Fognini. Nadal is playing at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2019 and is aiming his fifth title at the tournament.

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