VIDEO: Rafael Nadal rejects John McEnroe’s claim he gets ‘preferential treatment’ from umpires

Rafael Nadal responded to an accusation from McEnroe, who suggested in commentary that the Spaniard gets preferential treatment from the tour umpires. When told of the comment by a journalist at the post-match press conference, Rafa was less than impressed.

“I think it’s a joke,” Rafa replied.

“I went through a lot of warnings in my tennis career. Never for breaking the racquet… but yes for the time clock.

“I have a problem, that I am sweating a lot, and when you are playing a game during these very humid conditions, we have the biggest problem today. We don’t have the ballboys bringing the towel to you, so you have to go to the farthest place on the court.

“For players like me, I am sweating that much, you know when you go to pick up the towel you’re going to be in trouble with the time, so I’m not going very often.

“I don’t think I have different treatment from the umpires at all. I don’t think I am receiving different treatment at all. I don’t understand why John can say that on the TV.

“I’m going to have a chat to him later.”


  1. Rafa Nadal doesn’t get special treatment. He has class and respect for his opponents, people, and the umpires. This is on trait that John McEnroe never had. In fact John McEnroe was quite the opposite like some other tennis players.

    • Very Sad from a former player who knows its not true. Maybe he is upset because he supports Novak . He must give credit to Rafa a thorough gentleman both in and out of court. He has received warning for time . Please not to be bias. Give credit to Rafa for what he has Achieved and the Support he gives to upcoming players.

  2. Watch the post-match interview. This is a jerk reporter going after Rafa – not John McEnroe – claiming Rafa gets preferential treatment by the Umpires. We all know Rafa gets warmed frequently and the reporter is just going after Rafa. Rafa of course handles it beautifully. Personally, the shot clock rule in itself is understandable to keep things moving during crunch tournament schedules, but once it’s the last match of the day on a court or the final 3 rounds of a tournament, the clock is not necessary. I understand they have it for all matches for “fairness” but it’s totally ridiculous and I think needs re-thinking as a rule.

    For the record, McEnroe absolutely loves Rafa. He gushes on him and comes to his defense all the time. Don’t be so quick to come down on someone. Get the whole story. But bottom line – Rafa can defend Rafa better than anyone.

  3. McEnroe’s major grief is that his adored Djokovic, despite being unvaccinated did not receive preferential treatment to enter the USA. Might be that it is why he attacks Rafa, whether relevant or not.

    • Perhaps Rafa is guilty of taking an extra 3 to 5 seconds off the clock… however Johnny Mac should stop nitpicking and remember that Rafa has the cleanest records of sportsmanship…Unlike himself wasting a lot more than a few seconds with his outbursts of cursing tantrums & smashing his rackets. Mostly I do hear JM giving Rafa praise However I also hear him making snide comments on this clock issue. I do hope that Rafa has a chat with him.

  4. As usual, McEnroe just grasping for straws and trying to remain relevant. I live in New York City and attend the U.S. Open every year, and I never look forward to his commentary. McEnroe never offers any tactical play-by-play analysis like the Tennis Channel commentators; he just likes to hear the sound of his own voice.

  5. I was watching the ESPN coverage of the match and I don’t remember McEnroe making this comment last night (although I might have missed it). I agree with what others have pointed out that generally John is a huge Rafa fan, so it sort of surprises me to hear him say this. I do remember him going on about this at the French Open when Rafa was playing Djokovic. But in Rafa’s defense he is right, he has received plenty of time violations. Also I’ve noticed in the really hot, humid conditions that the referees tend to give everyone some leeway on the time clocks, so it’s not just Rafa.

  6. Whenever I hear JMac comment on Rafa it seems to be very positive. Kinda shocked he would say this about Rafa because he seems to be quite the Rafa fan when I hear him talk.

  7. John should take a look at himself & how he used to behave on court when we watched Wimbledon in the 80’s. It was embarrassing. Rafa’s behaviour is impeccable compared to him. John likes to moan.

  8. Not only talk to him, if possible bend him over and kick in the …where you know, stupid John.

  9. Some fans say that the journalist lied and that this time John didn’t say it. Anyone watched the match on ESPN or where John commentates?

    • I don’t understand John McEnroe at all. He should check and verify before making such comment.

  10. john mcenroe is anti rafa hé finds nole to be the greatest of all time the only way for rafa to shut him up is winning the us open indoor tournament of paris and atp finals

      • I do believe JM is a fan of Rafa he usually says really nice things but he does comment on his rituals…I’m sure the commentators have their favorites but their job is to commentate the match and leave out personal preferences or dislikes. Best of luck Rafa tomorrow against Fognini! He can give you quite a bit of trouble but hopefully you’ll be ready for him! ❤️❤️

  11. John McEnroe has started a anti Rafa campaign,He appears to be very jealous of Rafa. Sad old loud mouth who is not relevant any more. Rafa has never got “ preferential treatment”. H does not need it either.

  12. You cannot be serious, JMac. It matters little what he or anyone surmises, Rafa is on a mission
    and NY is “spreadin’ the news”. Hijikata lit a fire for Rafa, let it rage🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  13. I can’t believe what is coming out of John McEnroe’s mouth. Accusing the GOAT of tennis of preferential treatment from umpires. That makes me dislike John now.
    Rafa is a true sportsman. He is fair and he is honest.
    He is the best. VAMOS Rafa. No 1 to us all.

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