In his post-match press conference, a reporter asked if Rafael Nadal was leaving “some kind of a shadow” on his legacy by “not following the serve clock rule”. The reporter also cited John McEnroe in support of his argument.
Rafa described the situation as a “joke” and, with tongue in cheek, said he would speak with McEnroe later. Appearing as part of Eurosport’s US Open coverage, McEnroe addressed the row but said he had not spoken to our champ.
“Why did they throw me under the bus? We haven’t had that talk (with Nadal) but let me just add that… he didn’t let me finish, whoever the dumb journalist was.
“Rafa Nadal is entitled to do whatever the hell he wants, that’s part of why you get as good as [Nadal is], you’ve got to deal with that.
“And it’s not up to him. We all know that he’s been doing this for the past 10 to 15 years. There’s nothing new to that. It’s not his call – it’s the umpires.
“And by the way I think it’s BS anyway, that [rule]. No one pays attention to that. It should be automatic if you’re actually going to do it, right?
“And when do they turn it on? Is it at the end of the point? Is it when they get to the towel? Is it when the crowd comes down?
“This guy… now Nadal thinks I’m saying his legacy’s been stained because he takes too much time.”