Rafael Nadal believes he is treated the same as any other player in terms of shot-clock violations – even if John McEnroe suggests otherwise.
Nadal became engaged in a slightly awkward exchange with a reporter following his first-round win at the US Open on Tuesday.
After beating Rinky Hijikata 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-3, it was put to the Spaniard that there are "different rules for Rafael Nadal than there are for everybody else".
The reporter referred to comments from McEnroe, who has asked why Nadal was not punished for taking more than 25 seconds to serve.
Nadal was amused by both the question and McEnroe's comments, replying: "Yeah, I think it's a joke.
"I went through a lot of warnings under my tennis career – never for breaking a racquet, never for doing a mess on court, but yes, for the time clock.
65 - Rafael Nadal has won 65 main draw matches at the US Open, equalling John McEnroe at the seventh place for the most wins in this tournament in the Open Era. Gourmand.@atptour @ATPMediaInfo #USOpen2022 #USOpentennis pic.twitter.com/DZ6ph9WeEq— OptaAce (@OptaAce) August 31, 2022
"I have a problem that I am sweating a lot. When you are playing during these very humid conditions, we have a biggest problem today, that is we don't have the ballboys bringing the towel to you for the last couple of years. You have to go to the farthest place of the court to take the towel.
"The problem for players like me that are sweating that much, you know when you go to pick up the towel, you're going to be in trouble with the time. So I am not going very often.
"I don't think I have a different treatment from the umpires at all.
"I never said that [there should be different rules for Nadal]. I am following the rules. If I am having more than 25 seconds, I receive a warning every single time.
"If not, check the clock. I don't know if you want to create [something].
"I don't think I'm receiving a different treatment at all. I don't understand why John can say that on the TV. But I'm going to have a chat with him later."