Patrick McEnroe knows a thing or two about the French Open, having won the doubles title back in 1989 with Jim Grabb. Skipping forward to the present day, McEnroe is still optimistic that Rafael Nadal can go on to win more Roland Garros trophies, despite his age and injury status.
Speaking to ESPN sport, McEnroe spoke optimistically about the Spaniard and claimed, “If he stays healthy, Nadal could end up winning one to three more French Opens”.
He further added, “It’s harder to make an argument that he can win multiple other majors at this point.”
This claim seems to be fairly reasonable too. Since winning his first French Open back in 2005, it’s been no secret that Nadal has dominated this competition and has gone on to win a staggering 13 French Open titles.
This is a record that doesn’t look like it’s going to be topped any time soon.
Furthermore, Nadal has won this competition the past four times in a row and if he can stay fit, you would bank on him to do it again. Whilst McEnroe alluded that his days on grass or hardcourt may be over, it’s still hard to argue that he’s not the king of clay either.
Currently, Nadal is ranked 6th in the ATP rankings. However, the reason for this is that it also takes into account other factors such as grass and hardcourt as well as the fact Nadal hasn’t played as many tournaments as his rivals this year.
Will Rafa Nadal reclaim his French Open crown next year?
Of course, there is cause for concern with respect to Nadal as 2021 saw rival Novak Djokovic win the title for only the second time in his career. Here, he beat Nadal on the way to the final in a shock defeat.
It is worth pointing out that Nadal has previously bounced back from French Open defeats, albeit he was much younger back then.
There is also a financial incentive for Nadal to pursue the French Open too, seeing as he has amassed a fortune of over $125 million over his career which has also seen him earn brand deals with the likes of Richard Mille. As well as this, there is his legacy to continue too.
Overall, McEnroe’s comments make sense and it will be interesting to see whether they come to fruition.
Whilst Nadal does have a history of injuries and is edging closer to 40, he’s still been able to manage his fitness throughout his career and has bounced back from hardship before.