‘Was puzzled to read Nadal comments on Djokovic’s racquet abuse in Tokyo,’ says former Aussie pro Paul McNamee

Former World No.24 Paul McNamee opens on how surprised he was to read Rafael Nadal's comments on the racquet abuse episode of Novak Djokovic in Tokyo.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

World No.1 Novak Djokovic came to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a realistic chance of winning the coveted gold medal. Unfortunately, the Serb was stunned in the semifinals by Germany’s Alexander Zverev in three sets.

After his shocking loss, the 20-time Grand Slam champion also had the opportunity to settle for a bronze medal, when he took on Pablo Carreno Busta. To make matters worse, Djokovic lost to the Spaniard in three sets, and in the process returned home empty-handed.

Understandably, a dejected and angry Djokovic was once again captured racquet-abusing, which raised several eyebrows in the tennis fraternity. Over the years, the 34-year-old has been often reprimanded for violent behaviour on the court. While Djokovic escaped without any warning in Tokyo, his rival and World No. 3 Rafael Nadal didn’t shy away from expressing his candid views.

Upon asked to comment on the issue in Washington, the 20-time Grand Slam said that Djokovic’s behaviour was not setting the correct example for the next generation. While the comment was received pretty well by some section, former Australian player Paul McNamee was “puzzled” that Nadal presented his view on the same.

I’m surprised Rafa actually bothered to respond, and comment, on a peer’s missteps,” he said on Twitter. “That’s generally ‘not the code’ amongst athletes, who all know your own fall may only be a moment away. I greatly admire Rafa, so it puzzles me.”

“Highly unusual, and raised my eyebrows, for one great to give free advice to a fellow great. It creates news copy but not ideal,” the former World No.24 added.

Djokovic and Nadal to fight for US Open

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

While Djokovic is likely to return to action at the Cincinnati masters in a few weeks, the Spaniard was upset by Lloyd Harris in the pre-quarters of Citi Open in Washington. The King of Clay is already in Canada, preparing for the upcoming Toronto Masters. Both Djokovic and Nadal will be keen on winning their 21st Grand Slam in New York, later in the month.

Also read: American youngster Jenson Brooksby’s impressive game captures the attention of Andy Murray