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Nadal slams McEnroe comments on the clock rule not applying to him

Rafael Nadal laughed loudly when he was questioned about the fact that he might break the 25-second serve rule without punishment, after his first round at the US Open

Rafael Nadal Aug 30, 2022; Flushing, NY, USA; Rafael Nadal (ESP) serves against Rinky Hijikata (AUS) (not pictured) on day two of the 2022 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

At first, Rafael Nadal looked at the journalist with his most focused stare. He asked him to repeat his question, and then exploded in laughter when he heard it: “There are 25 seconds to serve. John McEnroe has been pointing out you are not following that rule. It seems like the umpires are not enforcing the rule in your case. My question is: do you think it leaves some kind of a shadow to your otherwise excellent legacy? It seems like there are different rules for Rafael Nadal than there are for everybody else.”

“Yeah, I think it’s a joke,” he smiled during a press conference on Tuesday, after winning against Rinky Hijikata in the first round of the US Open.

He continued: “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.

Nadal : “I am sweating a lot”

“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.”

Memories of Shapovalov rage in Melbourne

Nadal ended his press conference with a smile and a joke promising a summit between legends.

“I don’t understand why John can say that on the TV,” added Nadal. “But I [am] going to have a chat with him later!”

Denis Shapovalov started the year at the Australian Open by complaining openly about what he perceived as a difference in treatment.

“You started the clock like 45 seconds ago and he is not ready to play. You started the clock like so long ago and he is still not ready to play. You’ve gotta code him!” he demanded during their quarter-final before erupting: “You guys are all corrupt! You guys are all corrupt!” In this situation, Nadal was not ready to receive, not to serve.

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