Tennis News

From around the world

Thiem Among Players To Resume Training

  • Posted: May 21, 2020

Thiem Among Players To Resume Training

Djokovic, Wawrinka also back on court

As normalcy begins returning to daily life in some parts of the world, players in countries where COVID-19 restrictions have been eased are grabbing their racquets and hitting the court.

Players are ensuring that they adhere to the social distancing guidelines set by individual governments and tennis federations, but are happy just to resume on-court sessions again after a lengthy break. ATPTour.com looks at some of the notable names who started training again.

You May Also Like:

Will Feliciano Lopez Play Next Year? Spaniard Answers Your Questions

Novak Djokovic perfected his clay-court slide while training in Spain.

 

View this post on Instagram
 

☄️☄️☄️

A post shared by Novak Djokovic (@djokernole) on

Dominic Thiem was all smiles on his first day back.

 

View this post on Instagram
 

forehand is coming back

A post shared by Dominic Thiem (@domithiem) on

Stan Wawrinka made sure to have hand sanitiser on hand for his hitting session.

 

View this post on Instagram
 

All this time off and I’ve forgotten how to play tennis …. can anyone remind me ?? 🤔🥵🎾🤷🏻‍♂️♟ #backatit #tennis #enjoy #loveit #stantheman

A post shared by Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka85) on

Gael Monfils showed he hasn’t lost his love of flashy hitting.

Fabio Fognini took to the court with his wife, former US Open champion Flavia Pennetta.

 

View this post on Instagram
 

In these troubling times you realise just how much something means to you when it’s taken away….for me, that is Tennis. Today is a special day. Being back on the court after two months has been something amazing. And I’m blessed to share this moment with the person I love. This is my country, my city, my court, my sea. Something very normal but special. The road to normality is still very long but I will always remember the feeling of this day. Sending all my emotions and love to all of you. Let’s keep fighting together! #love ❤️

A post shared by Fabio Fognini (@fabiofogna) on

Felix Auger-Aliassime is currently training in France.

 

View this post on Instagram
 

Rise like a 𝙁𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙭 🦅

A post shared by Mouratoglou Tennis Academy (@mouratoglou_tennis_academy) on

Hubert Hurkacz worked on his game in Florida.

 

View this post on Instagram
 

Fun week💪😊🎾 @yonex_tennis @grupa_lotos @emocjedopelna #hubi @atptour #hardwork

A post shared by Hubert Hurkacz (@hubihurkacz) on

Jan-Lennard Struff enjoyed a hitting session with fellow pro Louis Wessels.

 

View this post on Instagram
 

Great hit with @louis_wessels #neverquit #tennisisback

A post shared by Jan-Lennard Struff (@jl_struff) on

Jamie Murray had a perfect backdrop for his training session at the All England Club.

 

View this post on Instagram
 

Wimbledon with @beechy102 #tennis #wimbledon #sw19 #camoan

A post shared by Jamie Murray (@jamie__murray) on

Source link

Duckworth Under The Knife Again: 'It's A Bit Different To My Seven Other Operations'

  • Posted: May 21, 2020

Duckworth Under The Knife Again: ‘It’s A Bit Different To My Seven Other Operations’

Aussie working on recovery in Brisbane 

Some players have used the current suspension on Tour as a chance to pick up a new hobby or reconnect with old friends. James Duckworth saw an opportunity to undergo surgery.

The 28-year-old Aussie overcame seven surgeries, including five in a 13-month period throughout 2017 and 2018, to reach his career-high FedEx ATP Ranking of No. 71 this February. He’ll need to push through an eighth surgery if he wants to surpass that after having a procedure in March to clean out his right shoulder, which had been bothering him for nine months prior.

“It’s a bit different to my seven other operations,” Duckworth told ATPTour.com, smiling. “We don’t really know what to prepare for. I’m a bit more conservative in my rehab than I have been previously because I’m not rushing to get back into competition. We’re trying to do all the right things rehab-wise, get it as strong as possible and hopefully have some reduced pain when the season starts again.

“I wouldn’t have had anything done if it wasn’t for the coronavirus. I would have just kept pushing through. But if I hadn’t done something for the shoulder now, I might have been kicking myself when the season started again. It might not work, but my mindset is that at least I tried something.”

You May Also Like:

Red-Hot Duckworth Soars To Career-High With Bengaluru Crown

Although Duckworth isn’t ready to resume hitting yet, he’s been actively rehabbing his shoulder and continuing to work on his fitness. He also has a home gym setup at his apartment in Brisbane.

His productive stint at home could be attributed to not being unfamiliar with long stints of rehab and recovery. Duckworth’s long list of surgeries would make anyone wince. But even at his lowest moments at the start of 2018, when his body wasn’t rewarding him for diligent rehab efforts, his love for the game ensured that he never considered hanging up his racquets.

Duckworth’s Surgery Timeline

 Date  Procedure
 Late 2012  Right elbow
 Early 2014  Right elbow
 February 2017  Right foot
 March 2017  Right shoulder
 August 2017  Right foot
 January 2018  Right foot
 February 2018  Right elbow
 March 2020  Right shoulder

“When I was going through such a long phase of not being able to hop and jump and push off like I needed to… I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do this or not. My dad is a shoulder and elbow surgeon, so he knows a lot in the medical world, and he wasn’t sure if my last foot surgery would work,” Duckworth said. “I was pretty nervous because if this didn’t work, there aren’t many other options. There was never a stage where I thought that I’m done, but there were times I thought that I might be in trouble.”

With the support of his family and girlfriend, Duckworth persevered and made a full-time return to the Tour at 2018 Roland Garros. Eighteen months later, he broke back into the Top 100 after winning his fourth ATP Challenger Tour title of 2019 in Pune. The Aussie returned to the Indian city this February and reached his first ATP Tour semi-final, then won another Challenger title the following week in Bengaluru.

Although some players have said that the current suspension gave them new perspective on the sport, Duckworth’s injury battles throughout his career have ensured he’ll always be grateful to compete.

“I went through that already with my previous surgeries,” Duckworth said. “You do take for granted how much you enjoy the sport and how fun it is to be out there competing. Since I came back in 2018, I haven’t taken anything for granted, that’s for sure.”

Source link

From Baseline To COVID-19 Frontline, Doctor Thacher Continues Serving

  • Posted: May 21, 2020

From Baseline To COVID-19 Frontline, Doctor Thacher Continues Serving

Learn how a former ATP player has become a doctor on the frontlines in NYC

In early April, Dr. Ryan Thacher’s life as a first-year orthopedic surgery resident changed as he knew it.

The 30-year-old works at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, New York, where he now is as comfortable in the operating room as he once was belting groundstrokes on his way to three All-American honours at Stanford University. Thacher sacrificed a tennis career to pursue medicine, and the California native now works with attending surgeons and higher-ranking residents to treat patients as he hones his craft.

“I feel like I had a very successful career as a tennis player and I have a lot of moments and tournaments that I can look back on fondly and feel good about what I was able to accomplish,” Thacher told ATPTour.com. “I feel fulfilled in the job that I do and excited for the future. I think that’s about as much as anyone can ask for.”

The majority of the work at HSS is elective surgery, and because of that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, roles have changed. Thacher, who once left behind tennis for the bigger picture, temporarily put his surgical training on hold to help combat the spread of coronavirus, the biggest health crisis the world has faced in 100 years. The hospital began repurposing its space into Intensive Care Units in order to accommodate COVID-19 patients. Instead of helping perform surgeries, Thacher is working 12-hour days in the ICU.

“As an orthopedic surgery resident, when all of the coronavirus stuff hit, we were a little bit unsure as to what role we’d be playing… I think a lot of us, myself included, were actually happy to be put in a position where we could be as useful as possible to the other members of the medical team,” Thacher said. “We go through a lot of schooling and take a lot of time to get to where we want to be and I think you have to have that type of perspective to stick with it.”

Thacher is grateful that he and his family have remained healthy, saying, “I almost feel guilty about it, it’s kind of weird.” Every day, he takes his temperature using a thermometer provided by the hospital. Thacher hasn’t spoken to many people outside his family about his experiences.

“We’re obviously in the midst of a time in our lives that nobody’s really ever seen before, and we may never see again. I think it is important just to understand and appreciate the impact of every single lost life as a result of the pandemic,” Thacher said. “It’s easy to get caught up in the statistics of it and often sort of forget the humanistic part of it and having been in the hospital and having helped take care of patients who have suffered through this and seeing firsthand the impact that has on families, I just think it’s an important perspective for everyone to keep.”

My Point: Get The Players' Point Of View

There are plenty of people who are thankful for the work Thacher has been doing, and he certainly has support in the tennis world, having been a world-class junior who earned a FedEx ATP Ranking.

Thacher chuckles thinking back to it, but nearly 13 years ago, he played his first tour-level tournament when he was only 17. The lefty competed at the Los Angeles ATP Tour event, where he received a qualifying wild card. He won his first-round match, and then got to play another 17-year-old: Kei Nishikori.

“There were some rumblings I recall that he was a really promising up and coming, young player from Japan. I didn’t know much more about him than that, I hadn’t seen him play… I had some fans in the crowd and I remember I came out and I think the first couple of games were pretty close… I actually thought I was playing really well. I was like, ‘Gosh, this guy is so solid,’” Thacher recalled. “I had a pretty good serve and I was serving and volleying a little bit and I felt like I was playing really well, and I was having a really hard time winning points.”

Nishikori won 6-1, 6-4, and less than a year later he would win his first ATP Tour title in Delray Beach. But for Thacher, Nishikori’s on-court presence was not the only memorable aspect of the match.

“He was incredibly polite and really friendly and I actually saw him a few times after that match,” Thacher said. “He remembered me and we would just say, ‘Hello’. That was very meaningful and very telling of what kind of guy he is.”

Tennis At Home | How ATP Players Make The Most Of Stay At Home

Less than two months later, Thacher reached the third round of the US Open boys’ singles draw, losing to current World No. 28 Daniel Evans. Thacher got to practise with former World No. 1 John McEnroe in Flushing Meadows.

“That was a pretty cool experience. That was different. He’s not one of the contemporary guys, but he still hit the ball so clean. He was still really good,” Thacher said. “He was trying to tune his game up and stay sharp. That was obviously, for a younger kid, such an incredible experience.”

The Los Angeles Times earlier that year touted him as a future hope for American tennis. Thacher certainly had the respect of his peers, including future college teammate and current ATP Tour pro Bradley Klahn.

“I remember many players used to make the running joke that he hadn’t made an error since a year earlier in the 2000s,” Klahn said. “I can remember numerous players who were very much doubting [their chances] before stepping on court with Ryan just knowing what he could do to them.”

Ryan Thacher, Bradley Klahn
Ryan Thacher (left) and Bradley Klahn played doubles together at Stanford University. Photo Credit: Stanford Athletics
Thacher never seriously considered bypassing college. He attended Stanford, where he played doubles with Klahn for three and a half years. The duo made the final of the 2011 NCAA Doubles Championships and earned three All-American doubles honours.

“He was a guy who was insanely athletic, big, strong, moved exceptionally well. It was very hard to get a ball by him and he was able to use that athleticism. He had a big serve that was always going to put you under pressure and then he wasn’t going to give you anything,” Klahn said. “He had a great backhand, he could hit the open stance sliding defensive backhand when he needed to, and he could step up and crunch one when he needed to as well. He had a lot of variety that would throw people off and the biggest thing was that he won a lot of matches.”

By his junior year, Thacher became fairly set on his future plans: he wanted to become a doctor. After college, the lefty would give life on the ATP Tour a shot to get his taste of life as a pro. But eventually, he was going to go to medical school. That wasn’t a surprise to his peers, including countryman Steve Johnson.

“Growing up Ryan was always the most athletic kid out there and probably the smartest as well, no doubt about it,” Johnson said. “When it all came to it and he went to Stanford, me personally, I really felt like tennis probably wasn’t his main goal in life and there was something driving him beyond and to bigger and better things.”

Thacher graduated from Stanford and in July 2012 began playing professionally. By that December, Thacher competed in his final event, and he was ready to move on to his next chapter. Perhaps he had the potential to push higher than his career-highs of No. 974 in singles and No. 528 in doubles.

Could he have joined Klahn in achieving success on Tour?

“I believe he had the game. He had the athleticism. I think the keys were in place. But he knew what he wanted out of his life and I have a huge amount of respect for him knowing what he wanted to do and making that decision and giving it a try, getting to travel a little bit and then going back and pursuing medicine,” Klahn said. “He’s one of those guys who you knew was going to be successful in whatever he did. I have no doubts that he’ll be hugely successful as an orthopedic surgeon.”

Watch over 165 classic ATP Tour matches from the 90s

Thacher first moved to New York to take a position as a research assistant, and then he attended Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Although he was no longer on Tour, he had the support of the players he grew up with.

“Lo and behold he’s a doctor out in New York. Couldn’t ask for a better guy, a better human. He’s always someone who would be there for you and someone who would always help if he could,” Johnson said. “He’s always been a standup guy and couldn’t be happier for him and couldn’t think of a better person out in New York fighting this thing and giving it his best shot.”

Thacher spent four years in medical school preparing himself for life as a doctor before beginning his residency in June 2019. He believes his tennis background is helping him as a doctor.

“I think every match that you play, you deal with certain adversity. Nothing ever feels perfect. Your forehand might feel really good one day but you can’t hit a serve and you’ve got a nagging ankle injury and you still have to persevere and do your best to figure out the best way to win,” Thacher said. “I think the learning that I got from playing so many matches, just in terms of how to deal with those situations, has served me the best moving forward in my current career. I think there are lots of instances when you never really know what you’re going to get when you walk into a patient’s room. You have to try to figure out the best way to connect with them and get them to trust you and at the same time try to find the best way to help them with whatever condition they have.”

Whether it’s working on the frontlines combatting coronavirus or performing orthopedic surgery, there is always significant pressure on Thacher.

“As a former athlete now working in the medical field, now you feel pressure to do the best you can for your patient. You feel pressure to perform. As a future surgeon, you feel pressure to perform specifically in the operating room,” Thacher said. “Having experienced those things so frequently in the past, I do think that you’re well prepared to handle those emotions and those feelings that you have when you’re in that operating room.”

Watch Federer and Nadal’s greatest encounters

Thacher says that his hospital has begun transitioning back to doing urgent orthopedic cases, which means he’ll soon be back in the operating room. Yet the long-term effects of this pandemic remain unknown in the medical field and beyond.

“I think it puts tennis in perspective,” Klahn said. “Seeing what he goes through and hearing the small snippets that I get from him from time to time, tennis is great, I love what we do. But you realise that it is just a game and it could help put things in perspective and also help you play with a broader significance.” 

Source link

From 30 Finals, Lyon Stands Out For Tsonga

  • Posted: May 21, 2020

From 30 Finals, Lyon Stands Out For Tsonga

Relive the Frenchman’s lone clay-court title

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has won 18 tour-level titles and reached 12 more finals, but only one of those 30 instances came on clay: the 2017 Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon, which was the event’s clay-court debut.

Tsonga arrived in Lyon having only won one match since February. On 18 March 2017, his first child, Shugar, was born. The Frenchman had plenty of confidence from winning titles earlier in the year in Rotterdam and Marseille.

But Tsonga also had been dealing with shoulder pain, withdrawing ahead of his second-round match at the Mutua Madrid Open and pulling out of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Tsonga needed three sets in his Lyon opener against Carlos Berlocq.

“It was a great atmosphere today. The stadium was full. I am very happy to go through this round,” Tsonga said. “It is really important for me to play back-to-back matches.”

Watch over 165 classic ATP Tour matches from the 90s

The Frenchman’s next opponent was a tricky one in the powerful 20-year-old Karen Khachanov. But the second seed began to find his form, defeating the Russian 6-0, 6-4.

“I am really pleased that after playing two-and-a-half hours yesterday, I was feeling great today and didn’t have any pain with my shoulder. This is key for me. I need to be healthy,” said Tsonga. “Today was definitely a better match. I hope that I will keep this rhythm for the upcoming matches.”

Tsonga did just that against another big-hitter in Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, overcoming a second-set blip to reach the final with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory.

“It was good for me to play a long match like this,” said Tsonga. “I haven’t played a match this long for a while. I am not playing my best level, but I am giving everything mentally and that gives me confidence.”

Tsonga needed to take his level up even further in the championship against Tomas Berdych, who had won eight of their 12 ATP Head2Head clashes. The Frenchman was able to do so, celebrating his third title of 2017 with a 7-6(2), 7-5 win against the Czech.

“I am very happy. First title on clay court. It is now added to my CV, and I can move on,” Tsonga said. “It has been a great week overall.”

Source link

John McEnroe: An Artist At No. 1

  • Posted: May 21, 2020

John McEnroe: An Artist At No. 1

The iconic American, who played with great touch and elan

In the fifth profile of a series on the 26 players to rise to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, ATPTour.com looks back on the career of John McEnroe. View Full List 

First week at No. 1: 3 March 1980
Total weeks at No. 1: 170
Year-End No. 1s: 1981-84

As World No. 1
John McEnroe replaced his great rival Bjorn Borg to become No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time on 3 March 1980, initially for three weeks. “To look and go, ‘Oh my God, there’s not one person above me is not something when I was growing up that I was expecting to happen,” said McEnroe, last month. “It was quite surprising to look at my name and below it be like Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors.” He reached the summit of men’s professional tennis on a record 14 different occasions until 8 September 1985. His fourth period at No. 1, from 3 August 1981 to 12 September 1982, was his longest at 58 weeks. The 1981-84 year-end ATP Tour No. 1 added, “It depends on the player, but the most important thing when I was playing was who’s No. 1 at the end of the year. That was the most important. You were the best overall. Your 12-month results were the best of anyone.” He is seventh in the list of most weeks at No. 1 with 170 weeks and ranked in the year-end Top 10 on 10 occasions (1978-85, 1987, 1989). Read 40th Anniversary Feature

Grand Slam Highlights
McEnroe made an immediate impact on the world stage, initially as the 1977 Roland Garros junior and mixed doubles champion (w/childhood friend Mary Carillo) in his first Grand Slam championship. Then, as an 18-year-old qualifier, he went on to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals (the youngest for 100 years), losing to Jimmy Connors in four sets. Within a year, he’d established himself among the best four players in the world. McEnroe went on to win three Wimbledon singles titles (1981, 1983-84) and four crowns at the US Open (1979-81, 1984). At 20 years and six months, he won his first major singles crown in New York, beating his great friend Vitas Gerulaitis to become the youngest US Open champion in 31 years, dating back to when 20-year-old Pancho Gonzales won the title in 1948. McEnroe would later say, “I did a terrible job of composing myself. I was a spoiled brat from Long Island, who benefitted from the energy of New York.” Although he lost the five-set 1980 Wimbledon final, it is best remembered for its 34-point fourth-set tie-break, when McEnroe saved five match points and Borg saved six set points. McEnroe led Ivan Lendl two sets to love only to lose the 1984 Roland Garros final, and after his 1984 peak (62-7 record at the four Grand Slams, .899), reached his 11th and last Grand Slam final at the 1985 US Open (l. to Lendl). He advanced to two further Wimbledon semi-finals in 1989 and 1992, in addition to the 1990 US Open.

Nitto ATP Finals Highlights
McEnroe competed at the singles Masters [now named Nitto ATP Finals] at Madison Square Garden in New York on nine occasions (1978-1985, 1989), compiling a 19-11 match record. Turning professional in 1978, when he won five titles, he beat Arthur Ashe 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5 for the first of three Masters crowns. McEnroe also won in 1983 and 1984, beating Ivan Lendl in straight sets both times. He was also runner-up to Lendl in 1982. In partnership with fellow American Peter Fleming, they captured seven straight Masters titles between 1978 and 1984.

Tour Highlights
McEnroe, who moved seamlessly from singles to doubles in a 16-year career, won 77 singles titles and 78 in doubles. He ranked No. 1 for the first time in the team discipline on 23 April 1979. McEnroe, who spent eight different stints in the doubles top spot for a total of 269 weeks, was the year-end No. 1 between 1979-1983. Fleming, who partnered McEnroe to 52 doubles titles — including four at Wimbledon (1979, 1981, 1983, 1984), three US Opens (1979, 1981, 1983) and seven straight season-ending championships (1977-1984), once famously said, “The best doubles pair in the world is John McEnroe and anyone.” He won nine major doubles titles, winning a fifth Wimbledon title with Michael Stich in 1992 and a fourth US Open with Mark Woodforde in 1989. His combined 158 titles are the most in the Open Era, including 10 singles and 17 doubles in 1979. McEnroe’s finest year came in 1984, when he recorded the best single season win-loss record in the Open Era, an 82-3 record (.965) and a career-high 13 titles. He took a six-month break from the sport in 1986, marrying his first wife, actress Tatum O’Neal, and a seven-month break following the 1987 US Open. Much to his frustration, despite his best efforts, he never regained his top form. He represented the United States in Davis Cup ties for 12 years, lifting the trophy in 1978, the year he turned pro, 1979, 1981-82 and 1992). He retired in 1992 but returned 14 years later in 2006 to partner Jonas Bjorkman to the San Jose doubles title.

Overall ATP Singles Match Win-Loss Record 881-198
Overall ATP Singles Titles/Finals Record: 77-32

Biggest Rivalries
McEnroe could match the aggressive counter-punching of Connors, nullify the power of Lendl and trade groundstrokes — and maintain his composure — against Borg, whom he greatly admired. The intense rivalries, particularly with Connors and Borg, took the sport to new heights. McEnroe won 20 of 34 meetings against Connors, while he and Borg split their 14 clashes, with McEnroe winning three of their four major finals. McEnroe said of Borg, “I didn’t get along with most of the players I played against, but the one guy I did get along with was my great rival, so it can be done… People like to see me and Connors, me and Lendl, go at it. We didn’t like each other.”

Legacy
As a player of considerable skill, and superb touch, particularly on fast courts, McEnroe was often likened to an artist, who looked to play the game with ease. One of the most iconic players, McEnroe was outstanding in both singles and doubles throughout his career; also prone to controversy, but nobody could question his talent and commitment to the United States in the Davis Cup. He was more than a tennis player, transcending his sport. Almost 30 years after the end of his playing career, not withstanding mini comebacks in doubles in 1999 and 2006, McEnroe remains as fit as ever. He still competes on the ATP Champions Tour, collects art, is an astute television commentator and engaging. Today, alongside Borg, he is a team captain in the Laver Cup competition.

Memorable Moment
On 22 June 1981, McEnroe hit a serve down the T to Tom Gullikson in a Wimbledon first-round match on the old No. 1 Court. The line judge called a fault, leading to the American to immediately berate the chair umpire, Ted James, by saying, “You cannot be serious! That ball was on the line. Chalk flew up. It was clearly in. How could you possibly call that out?!” Further disputes over line calls, led the American to tell the chair umpire, “You’re the pits of the world” and “You’re incompetent”, leading to a point penalty. The Championships referee, Fred Hoyles, was called out to adjudicate. After the match, McEnroe was fined $1,500 and came close be being thrown out. McEnroe felt terrible, but it cemented his fiery legacy. The British tabloids nicknamed him ‘SuperBrat’.

On 21 January 1990, McEnroe became the first player since William Alvarez in 1963 to be disqualified from a Grand Slam championship, when playing Mikael Pernfors in the Australian Open fourth round. McEnroe led 2-1 in the third set, but during the changeover he stopped in front of a lineswoman he thought had made a bad call and glared at her. Gerry Armstrong, the chair umpire and long-time ATP Supervisor, issued his first warning for intimidation. Leading 4-2 in the fourth set, McEnroe hit a forehand wide and prompted the American to smash his racquet on the court, which led to a point penalty. A livid McEnroe then began swearing at Armstrong and Ken Farrar, the Grand Slam chief of supervisors, leading Armstrong to call a third and final code violation: “Default Mr McEnroe. Game, set, match.” McEnroe thought he had one more violation before he would be disqualified, but the code violation rules had just been reduced from four to three warnings. He was subsequently fined $6,500.

Ashe on McEnroe
“Whereas against Borg you feel like you’re being hit with a sledgehammer, this guy is a stiletto. [McEnroe] just slices people up… It’s slice here, nick there, cut over here. Pretty soon you’ve got blood all over you, even though the wounds aren’t deep. Soon after that you’ve bled to death.”

Connors on McEnroe
“To play Mac is beyond the realm of tennis. He’s my gauge. I look to him to see the level I have to reach to be No. 1 again… Even though Mac and I clash at every turn, we’re so much alike it’s scary. I’m Irish, he’s Irish. I’m left-handed, he’s left-handed. I’ve got a bad attitude, he’s got a bad attitude. I’ve always said I would love to play myself, and Mac is as close to playing me as I’m going to get.”

McEnroe on McEnroe
“I had enough inner strength to know I could beat anyone at any time, on any surface. There was always a devil inside me, whom I had to fight. And the devil was fear of failure.”

Journalist/Broadcaster Graeme Agars on Borg
John McEnroe was a master tactician with a deft touch and when everything came together in his game, he was a treat to watch. The volatile left-hander won his 881 Tour matches and his 77 titles with finesse rather than force, placement over power.

Never a fan of heavy hitting, McEnroe won by outthinking and out maneuvering his opponents, his softly strung racquet often putting the ball where they were not, instead of trying to hit through them. His hard-to-read serve set him up to close out many points at the net, frustrating those who tried to drag him into long rallies where they could gain the upper hand.

The same characteristics that allowed him to dissect his opponents’ games on court later made him an astute, and at times, controversial commentator on the game. McEnroe has never been afraid of calling it like he sees it and he didn’t mind going verbal on court when his matches got tight, either.

Whether his now famous “You cannot be serious” outbursts were designed to slow the tempo of a match, intimidate linesmen or to just blow off steam, they became a part of the McEnroe “show” when he ventured onto court, meaning his fans always had plenty to remember after they’d witnessed the New York native play.

ATP Heritage: Milestones. Records. Legends.

Source link