John McEnroe's brother Patrick fondly revisits Rafael Nadal overcoming French Open crowd's booing at start of his career

Patrick McEnroe revisits Rafael Nadal braving jeers to win his French Open 2005 4R match
Patrick McEnroe revisits Rafael Nadal braving jeers to win his French Open 2005 4R match

John McEnroe's brother and former tennis player Patrick recently revisited Rafael Nadal's performance against Sebastian Grosjean in the fourth round of the French Open 19 years ago.

Nadal entered the 2005 edition of Roland-Garros as one of the favourites to win the title, after making his ATP top 4 rankings debut just weeks prior during the claycourt season. The then-teenager won his first three matches on the terre battue in straight sets before taking on 23rd-seeded Grosjean on the Philippe-Chatrier.

Rafael Nadal took the opening set of the above match 6-4, and all seemed well in the second set until a controversial line call went his way. It was at that point the local crowd in Paris began profusely booing the Spaniard, so much so that he required a few minutes to regain his composure.

On Sunday (April 27), Patrick McEnroe fondly looked back at Nadal's Round-of-16 outing in the 2005 French Open, reposting a video of a point that the Spaniard won amidst heavy jeers.

McEnroe wrote in his caption:


Although Sebastian Grosjean stormed back to take the second set 6-3, his younger opponent remained resilient and eventually secured a comprehensive 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 win to reach the quarterfinals. Nadal then beat Roger Federer, David Ferrer and Mariano Puerta en route to his maiden Major title.

Rafael Nadal on being booed during French Open 2005: "I remember that match and for a moment it was unplayable

2005 French Open trophy ceremony
2005 French Open trophy ceremony

Rafael Nadal reminisced about his fourth-round clash against Sebastien Grosjean while speaking to the media before his semifinal match at the 2022 Indian Wells Masters.

The 22-time Major winner claimed that focusing on his game in such a tumultuous environment was hard for him. He also recalled there was a rain delay midway through the match, but both that and the crowd's treatment did little to deter him.

"Of course, I remember that match and for a moment it was unplayable, but was not my job to stop that. It was the referee's job to stop this atmosphere that was making it impossible to play tennis in that moment," Nadal said during his press conference at Indian Wells Masters 2022.
"But then I think we stopped for light or rain, I don't know, and then we come back the next day. But I just tried to do the things that help me to keep going," he added.

Nadal is currently ramping up his preparations for this year's French Open, which will likely be his last. The 'King of Clay' has been in great form at the Madrid Open this week, taking out both Alex de Minaur and Darwin Blanch in straight sets to reach the third round.

The Spaniard will next face Argentina's Pedro Cachin for a place in the fourth round at the Caja Magica.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now