John McEnroe has made a bold prediction, suggesting that injured Rafael Nadal might retire if he cannot pull up fit for this spring’s Roland Garros.

The 37-year-old Spaniard was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open after the hip problem which kept him out for almost all of 2023 flared again after playing just three 2024 matches in Brisbane.

Nadal returned to Spain and said doctors had diagnosed a micro-tear of a hip muscle, ruling him out for a few more weeks/months at least.

For television commentator McEnroe, this latest setback could mark the end of the line for the 22-time Grand Slam champion if he cannot get fit in time for the French Open starting in late May..

“I think Rafa was hoping, ‘hopefully I’ll be ready for the French, see if my body holds up there,’” Mac told ESPN.

“If it doesn’t, I think you’ll see him not play anymore. 

“We’re all obviously hopeful he can because Rafa has been amazing for the game. We’d like to see him as long as we can.”

The former player, 64, also acknowledged how much the Melbourne Grand Slam date has grown in stature over the past decades.

“The few times I played Australia was to get ready for the rest of the year. The timing was tough to put all the chips on the table early on (in the season).” 

But he added: “Players have now accepted that the Australian Open has gotten closer in importance with Wimbledon and the US.

“When I was playing, the top guys didn’t even play. It’s come a long way.”

Main photo:- John McEnroe commentating at Wimbledon by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd