Nadal modesty irks McEnroe

2011-06-20 14:20

London - American tennis great John McEnroe has pleaded with world number one Rafael Nadal to drop his modesty and admit that he may just be the greatest player of all time.

Nadal begins the defence of his Wimbledon title on Monday, just two weeks after capturing a record-equalling sixth French Open crown which took his Grand Slam tally to 10, just six behind Roger Federer's all-time mark.

But the Spaniard has constantly played down his chances of catching his great Swiss rival despite being almost five years younger, a stance that is beginning to irritate former Wimbledon champion McEnroe.

"I'm getting a little bit tired of him continuing to downplay his chances," McEnroe told the BBC.

"There is definitely an argument for him not only being the best player at the moment, but the greatest of all time.

"Rafa has won things like the Davis Cup and an Olympic gold medal (in singles) that Roger Federer hasn't, and he is right on his tail in terms of Grand Slam titles too - so why can't he just say 'look, I'm the best'."


  • Grayman - 2011-06-20 14:32

    " why can't he just say 'look, I'm the best'." Because, Mr McEnroe, he's a gentleman and a sportsman. We need role models like this for our kids. Keep it up Mr Nadal.

      Lindi - 2011-06-20 22:55

      Of course, he COULD just say :"look, I'm the best." But he doesn't because he's Nadal, and not McEnroe. And I think it's more than being "a gentleman and a sportsman". Humility is part of true greatness.

      Bratt - 2011-06-21 09:29

      I think, McEnroe was just joking. Nadal is nowhere near the best as yet. He has achieved a LOT, but there are still a few players that have achieved more. Those are better than him. Besides that, even if he achieved more than anyone else, Nadal still probably wouldn't say such. I believe McEnroe is enough in the know to be aware of this.

  • Rover_ZA - 2011-06-20 14:46

    Can you take PR advice from McEnroe seriously??

  • theMoose - 2011-06-20 14:59

    haha. what a legend

  • harry1 - 2011-06-20 15:04

    JP McEnroe made tennis hugely popular during his time. The % tennis viewers are down from what it was, so maybe he has a point. Faked modesty is easily identified. So perhaps we should take note of what the man says, after all, he was the 'Mohamed Ali' of tennis.

      Grayman - 2011-06-20 16:19

      @harry1: I take it that you were not a coach at that time. The behaviour of kids on the courts got out of control. And it spread into other sport codes too. As much of an entertainment it was for us to watch the antics of McEnroe, it was a pain to handle the wannabies on the school courts. Viva Nadal!

  • ?????? - 2011-06-20 15:06

    Nadal is definitely better than Federer.Federer appears good because the likes of Nadal and Djockovic werent near their best.Lendl was a greater player than Federer and Nadal because he had the likes of Edberg,Courier,Becker,Wilander,Connors,Mcenroe,Sampras and Chang to compete against,and who does Federer,Djockovic and Nadal have to compete against? Only them three.Andy Murray is a total idiot,so he doesnt count. Lendl is the best player of all time

      Opelisti - 2011-06-20 15:20

      But Lendl never won Wimbledon!

      ?????? - 2011-06-20 15:57

      But thats not important u know.Who had the most success vs tough opponents? Lendl !

      Bratt - 2011-06-21 09:34

      I'm not sure you know what you are talking about. Federer is SO good he made the other players look ordinary. Lendl etc never quite achieved this. It's not that the quality of the players Federer faced is not up to par, just that he was too good. Except maybe in Nadal's case. If that's not good enough to convince you, listen to what the players you mentioned say about Federer. They probably know a bit more about tennis than you.

  • Apeface - 2011-06-20 15:19

    McEnroe was not a role model at all - was a cry baby and an idiot

  • barbara.collett1 - 2011-06-20 15:47

    I loved Edberg, but I'm sorry Federer and Nadal are far better than any of those guys.

      Mike - 2011-06-20 16:40

      And no-one has mentioned Bjorn Borg!

      Bratt - 2011-06-21 09:37

      I agree Mike. I remember watching Borg as a kid and always amazed at his composure and skill. You had McEnroe screaming and throwing tantrums the one end and a totally calm efficient Borg the other. Great matches. He was a marvel. The same could probably be said of Edberg. A true gentleman of the game.

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