After the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the last Masters 1000 on clay, won by Daniil Medvedev, we are preparing for the advent of one of the four most important events of the season, the Roland Garros. The second slam of the year, after the Australian Open, is the subject of discussion by enthusiasts and insiders who wonder how much this now imminent edition can arouse the same interest without its most important exponent, Rafael Nadal, winner for 14 times in Paris.
One of these is John McEnroe, former American legend, now among the most recognized voices of Eurosport. The 7th time slam winner gave an interesting interview to Marca's microphones, giving his opinion on the imminent start of the Parisian slam.
Among the various topics, the American could not fail to dwell on the very painful absence of Nadal: "It is clear that the Roland Garros will not be the same without Rafa. It is unfortunate that he is not there and this opens up the possibility of winning for others.
I'm sure he did everything possible to play and that he didn't want to end up like this. This is why he has already said he wants to retire from the game next year. Whatever he does, we have to respect him. I take the example of Murray, who is still playing but is no longer the player he was.
He wants to retire his way and the same goes for Rafa. When he was there, one could only speak of him as a favourite. Now there are eight who can win. It's true that Djokovic has won twice, but who else? The ideal would have been for Rafa to play at a high level and for someone to prove to be better than him in these circumstances.
That's what people wanted to see." Finally he compared the Spanish champion to another icon of the sport, Lebron James, the eternal champion: "I wouldn't dare say that he can't win again at the Roland Garros after all he did there.
As long as he keeps playing he will have his chances of him. He reminds me of Lebron James, who continues to prove he's a great player, but at the end of the game it starts to cost him dearly. There are too many expectations of him and his age is advanced.
And somehow it will also happen to Nadal, from whom the best is always expected. Let's see what happens because he'll be 38 next year." It can be said that the two sportsmen are comparable, and although it is difficult to make rankings, especially between such different sports as the NBA and tennis, it can be said that Rafa has gone deeper into the history of sports, perhaps more than LeBron.
Winning 14 titles at the French Open is a goal that perhaps no one will achieve and equal in the future. An achievement so impressive that perhaps no other sportsman in the history of sport will be able to match, putting all the components on the scales.