In a conference call with the media today to promote his appearance partnering Pete Sampras in an exhibition match against Tommy Haas and Ivan Lendl at the second annual Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic, September 21-22, McEnroe said the fifth-ranked Nadal deserves top-seeded status in Paris. The 1984 French Open finalist suggests the top players would support a seeding raise for Nadal — to save themselves from a potential quarterfinal clash with him.
“Let me put it to you this way: I guarantee you that none of those four guys, as great as they are, want to see him in the quarters,” McEnroe told TENNIS.com. “Quite honestly, I would seed him number one. I’d seed him number one, actually, because I think he deserves that. I think the other players deserve it.”
It’s unlikely Nadal, who trails David Ferrer by nearly one thousand points for the fourth spot in the ATP rankings, will crack the top four before Roland Garros sets it seeds. McEnroe says seeding Nadal ahead of Ferrer is a no-brainer and says the reigning champion should be seeded ahead of third-ranked Andy Murray as well.
“Certainly, you can’t even possibly question if he should be [seeded] ahead of David Ferrer, as much as I respect him, or for that matter even Murray on clay,” McEnroe told TENNIS.com. “Djokovic is the only one, given his accomplishments on clay, that you could possibly make an argument deserves to be seeded ahead of [Nadal]...I don't know that they [the Roland Garros seeding committee] are willing to change the seedings at their event."
McEnroe suggests the best-of-five set French Open format can benefit Nadal.
"It’s a little unclear in best-of-five sets, maybe it will help him, give him some more time," McEnroe said. "But I’m not quite sure where he is [physically] right now. I’ve only seen him a few times, but he’s looking pretty damn good to me.”