Rafael Nadal hulking up at US Open

‘Never write off Rafael Nadal,’ warns legend ahead of US Open

John McEnroe has dismissed any suggestion that Rafael Nadal should not be consider a major favourite to win the US Open.

Nadal is coming to New York having played just one match since withdrawing from the Wimbledon semi-finals with an abdominal tear.

He lost that match in three sets, to Borna Coric in Cincinnati, but McEnroe still expects the world number three to be a major force at the US Open.

Speaking to ESPN about Rafael Nadal and his US Open chances, John McEnroe said: “We don’t know where he’s at exactly here.

“What we do know is that he could win this because he just won the Australian Open having not played.

“Rafa is definitely one of the favourites. There’s no question about it. Rafa has as good a chance as anyone to win this, if not more of a chance. The guy’s won 21 majors, what is it, 22 majors? I’m losing track. It’s incredible. We can never write him off.”

There is little doubt that there are question marks over Nadal’s fitness ahead of the US Open, buy McEnroe makes the point that there has always been concerns about that – and he has made a career out of overcoming them.

“As far as Rafa, it’s unbelievable obviously what he’s been able to do,” He said. “We didn’t think he’d be playing this long.

“So, the answer of how long he could play, there’s no way to know the answer to that either. I’ve never envisioned he would take six months off at 35 and turns around and wins the Australian from two sets to love down in the finals, and then comes through after having barely played and then wins the French at 36.

“That was less unexpected, obviously, but still nonetheless mighty impressive. And then he was at the semis in Wimbledon and defaults.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.