John McEnroe makes unusual Rafael Nadal promise following latest French Open win

Rafa Nadal reacts to winning French Open at Roland-Garros

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John McEnroe has vowed to “handstand for an entire match while commentating” if anyone gets close to Rafael Nadal’s 14 French Open titles in the future. The American made his unusual promise after Nadal extended his winning run in Paris by defeating Norwegian Casper Ruud on Sunday.

Nadal was in scintillating form at Roland Garros, despite being forced to undergo injections ahead of matches due to a chronic foot problem. The Spaniard dropped just three sets throughout the whole tournament as he cemented his place as the King of Clay.

Nadal first appeared at the French Open as a 19-year-old in 2005 and lifted the trophy on that occasion after defeating Mariano Puerta in the final. And he has gone on to dominate in Paris. The blockbuster star has appeared in the last 18 editions of the tournament – and incredibly he has lost just four matches during that time.

This year, there were doubts over whether Nadal could win his first title at Roland Garros since 2020 after he entered the tournament nursing the foot injury which has plagued him ever since his early days on the Tour. But he dispatched Jordan Thompson, Corentin Moutet and Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets during the early rounds, before seeing off Canadian prodigy Felix Auger Aliassime in four sets in the fourth round.

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The 36-year-old then got the better of long-term rival Novak Djokovic in a clash of the titans in the quarter-finals, before booking his place in the showpiece event when semi-final opponent Alexander Zverev was forced off court in a wheelchair after injuring his ankle at the end of the second set. Nadal then held his nerve to ease past Ruud in the final.

And McEnroe, who won seven Grand Slam titles but never lifted the French Open trophy, clearly believes the Spaniard’s dominance in Paris will never be repeated. But Nadal has played down his achievement.

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“I always consider myself a very normal guy so, if I did it, maybe somebody else can do it,” Nadal said after winning his latest Roland Garros title. “It’s obvious the record of 22 Grand Slams is something much more possible that somebody can increase that record. I am sure that’s going to happen – 14 Roland Garros is something very difficult.”

Nadal’s foot problem means he could now be forced to miss Wimbledon, which starts later this month. But the ace admits he will do all he can to play at the All England Club. “I’m going to be in Wimbledon if my body is ready to be in Wimbledon,” Nadal explained. “That’s it. Wimbledon is not a tournament that I want to miss. I think nobody wants to miss Wimbledon. I love Wimbledon.”

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