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Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Monday, 5 July 2010 12:50 UK

John McEnroe tips Rafael Nadal for career Grand Slam

Rafael Nadal celebrates his win

Nadal regains Wimbledon title (UK only)

Tennis legend John McEnroe says Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal can win the US Open in September - the only major title to elude him.

McEnroe told the ATP Champions Tour: "Nadal wants to win the US Open so badly it would be hard not to pick him, even though he's never won it.

"He's mentally and physically incredible and can definitely do it."

The world number one has won the three other Grand Slam events but has never reached the final of Flushing Meadows.

McEnroe, who won the US Open four times in his playing career, said he expected Nadal to take some time off before the New York tournament starts at the end of August.

The Spaniard sealed his second Wimbledon title on Sunday, beating 12th seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets.

He has won the French Open five times and the Australian once; the US Open is the only Grand Slam to elude him.


Last year, Nadal lost in the US Open semi-final to eventual champion Juan Martin del Potro; in 2008 he also lost in the semi-final to Andy Murray.

On his way to this year's Wimbledon title, Nadal overpowered Murray in the semi-final.

McEnroe said Murray played well and just needed to continue on the same path.

"I thought it was a little soon for Murray at Wimbledon because he hasn't been playing with much confidence for a lot of this year, but he likes the hard courts a lot better so he'll be playing well at the US Open," stated McEnroe.

"If he sticks with it and perseveres I think at some point he'll get some luck and be able to pull a Grand Slam out of the bag. He just has to keep strong mentally and realise that his time will come."

McEnroe also had words of encouragement for Roger Federer, who suffered a surprise quarter-final defeat at Wimbledon and has now dropped to number three in the world rankings.

"Federer's done so amazingly well that anything but a win is almost considered a bad tournament," he added.

"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."

McEnroe said Federer would probably not be able to dominate the game in the way he has in recent years, but he has "enough talent and enough pride" to figure out a way of winning more Grand Slam tournaments.

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see also
Federer drops in world rankings
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Nadal hails 'best crowd in world'
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BBC pundits on Nadal v Berdych
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Wimbledon men's final as it happened
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Wimbledon - day 13 photos
04 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Nadal ends Murray's hopes in semi
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Berdych reaches Wimbledon final
02 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
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