'No one should be telling him what to do...' - Former American Tennis star takes audacious stance on Rafael Nadal's retirement plans

American star player John McEnroe has recently heaped praise on 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal. Notably, the star player faced an early exit from the French Open 2024.

author-image
Pratyusha Bhawar
New Update
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal (Source: X)

Listen to this article
0.75x 1x 1.5x
00:00 / 00:00

American star player John McEnroe has recently heaped praise on 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal. Notably, the star player faced an early exit from the French Open 2024 as he was completely outclassed by Alexander Zverev in the opening round of the marquee event despite having 14 Roland Garros titles to his name in his professional career.

However, the USA-born star feels that no one should be telling 14-time Roland-Garros champion Rafael Nadal what to do as he nears retirement. Notably, the Spaniard may have played his final Grand Slam tournament in Paris but reports claim that it was his last edition at Roland Garros. Meanwhile, the 65-year-old feels the star player has earned the right to retire whenever he wants.

The former American star feels that Rafael Nadal's legacy as "one of the greatest players ever" will not be harmed if he decides to retire from the sport. McEnroe said that he thinks the Spaniard is among the greatest players of all time, along with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, and his decision to continue playing or not would not alter his tennis fans.

He brought tennis up to another level: McEnroe

“Rafa is a total class act, and because of his success the way he is as a person, and what he brings to tennis, no one should be telling him what to do. I don't think it's going to hurt his legacy if he played another year and didn't do as well. He's one of the [top] two or three to me. You're looking at the three greatest players that ever lived, Rafa, Novak, and Roger. He brought tennis up to another level," McEnroe said.

“I remember seeing him early on his serve, you know he was hitting it 160-170 kilometres, to 105-110 mph. He’s obviously had a lot of issues the last few years, a number of years with injuries, and that hasn't helped. But he's still played at a very high level, but maybe not quite as high as before," he added.

Rafael Nadal