Saturday, June 25, 2022

McEnroe says struggling Nadal needs a new coach

London, July 4 (IANS/EFE) Spain’s Rafael Nadal, whose dismal season continued with a second-round loss this week at Wimbledon, needs a new coach to overcome his struggles, American former tennis great John McEnroe said in an interview with BBC Radio 5.

“Nadal is one of the great champions — a class act. He plays with a lot of effort and energy but, dare we say, is it time for some fresh blood in the Nadal camp? Can we say that? Uncle Toni’s going to be upset,” the 56-year-old McEnroe said on Friday.

McEnroe was the winner of three Wimbledon championships and four US Open titles in the late 1970s and early 1980s

McEnroe made his remarks after Nadal, a two-time champion at the All England Club, crashed out of Wimbledon prior to the quarter-finals for the fourth straight year, losing 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday to big-serving German Dustin Brown, the world’s 102nd-ranked player.

Toni Nadal, the 14-time Slam champion’s uncle and coach his entire career, “has done a magnificent job since he was a little kid and told him it was a good thing to go left-handed but clearly at this stage it would appear that some fresh ideas would be in order,” McEnroe said.

Nadal, meanwhile, said he will patiently work to recover his best level.

“I’m taking it day by day, tournament by tournament. After some time, we’ll see where I’m at, where I can be and where I can’t be. If we stay like this for two more years then we’ll see,” the Spaniard, whose ranking has fallen to No. 10, said after his loss to Brown.

The 29-year-old Nadal has been unable to get his game back on track after dealing with a wrist injury and a bout of appendicitis in the second half of last year.

He struggled throughout the clay-court season, a stretch of the schedule from mid-April to early June that he used to dominate, including a straight-set loss to Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the French Open.

That defeat was only the second the nine-time champion has suffered at Roland Garros.


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