Eurosport expert John McEnroe has given his views on Rafael Nadal and said his chances of winning the French Open again are "all about his health".
Nadal kick-started his bid for a 14th French Open title with a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 6-2 victory over Australian Jordan Thompson in the first round.
The 13-time champion was looking to make an early statement at Roland-Garros after failing to pick up a single warm-up title on clay, with a recurring foot problem hampering his preparations.
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No such issues arose in his opening encounter on Court Philippe-Chatrier, however, with Nadal needing just two hours and four minutes to wrap up the victory.
Having found himself in the same quarter of the draw as world No. 1 and great rival, Novak Djokovic, and rising star and fellow Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz, he will face wild card Corentin Moutet in the second round on Tuesday evening.
McEnroe has described Nadal's exploits at his second home on the red dirt at Roland-Garros as "insane" and reiterated that his prospects of securing a second Grand Slam triumph in succession after his Australian Open crown depends on his fitness.
"Obviously, he steps foot on any court at the French Open - it's almost always Philippe Chatrier - you expect him to win," McEnroe told Eurosport in Paris.
"This is insane what he has done. You start laughing when you say it, it’s so incredible. But when I saw him play [Denis] Shapovalov in Rome and he limped off the court, I’m like, ‘woah, it doesn’t look [likely] he’s going to play the French’.
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"He loves it here, obviously. He’s got so much history here - he’s got a statue outside the stadium. He looked good.
"I mean, listen, if he’s healthy, it’s either him or Novak [Djokovic] or [Carlos] Alcaraz [who will] win this thing. [Alexander] Zverev would be the next guy, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas. Those are the five most overwhelmingly likely guys who are going to win it.
"It’s all about his health though, to give him a chance."
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Speaking before the tournament, McEnroe again made the point that Nadal can be victorious again at Roland-Garros if his body can hold up to the strains of the tournament.
“Well, the only reason that [Rafael Nadal not being the favourite] would be true is because he seems to have some type of injury," McEnroe told Eurosport.
"But obviously, [with] the way he’s played at Roland-Garros, it would be pretty impossible to think that he wouldn’t be the favourite, [especially] when you’ve won it 13 times.
"He did lose last year, and [Carlos] Alcaraz looks incredible. Rafa looked like he was injured in Rome, so it’s hard to say.
"But you know, I don’t think it matters, ultimately. What matters is how healthy he is: that is what matters.”
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