London: So impressed by Rafa Nadal’s second Wimbledon triumph on Sunday, John McEnroe has described the Spaniard as an ‘animal’ who should complete his career grand slam of the majors at the US Open later this year.
His straight-sets win over Czech 12th seed Tomas Berdych at the All England Club on Sunday was Nadal’s eighth grand slam title win, and even though the world number one has never reached the final at Flushing Meadow he is clearly the man to beat in New York, said McEnroe.
“Nadal wants to win the US Open so badly,” McEnroe told the ATP Champions Tour website. “It’d be hard not to pick him at this time even though he’s never won it.
“The guy’s just an animal; he’s mentally and physically incredible and he can definitely do it if he’s in this shape. The conditions in New York don’t suit Nadal so well and he needs to make his body hold up.
“So I think after Wimbledon he is going to take some time off and get his knees recovered and then maybe not play too many matches before the Open.”
After missing the defence of his title last year, Nadal’s Wimbledon win catapulted him well clear at the top of the new rankings published on Monday with Roger Federer slipping out of the top two for the first time since 2003.
But the Swiss maestro’s days of winning grand slams are by no means over, according to McEnroe.
“Federer’s done so amazingly well that anything but a win is almost considered a bad tournament,” said the seven-times grand slam winner.
“But he’s won the Australian Open and been in two other quarters at majors this year, and almost any other player would love that.
“It’s inevitable at some stage, when you’ve won 16 and you’ve broken every record that maybe you lose that will at certain times.
“I think Federer is going to win a couple more majors but you won’t see him dominate the way he has before. He’s a great enough talent and he has enough pride that he’ll figure out a way to get a couple more slams.”
The US Open starts Aug 30.