Tennis Identity

Lunch with John McEnroe.


John McEnroe took today’s lunch hour to discuss the French Open before taking to the Tennis Channel booth there May 27. 

Winning predictions? Serena and Rafa take it if they stay healthy and don’t get caught off-guard.

On clay play. “…the
most difficult aspect is the footing, the inability to make that quick first
step that you’re able to do on a surface where you can stop and start on a
dime.  You can’t do that on clay.”

Tennis players under-appreciated for their talents? “In the other major sports, like basketball, I always make
the comparison that the game would be far different if they were to play on
clay, as well.  They would be unable to
make the type of quick moves that you see them do so easily on a wood surface…

…I think in some way
tennis players are under-appreciated because they play on three different
surfaces which can be rather difficult.”

On break-out teens? “It does seem
because of the physicality of the game, it’s difficult to see those 18, 19, 20‑year‑olds
be able to jump and win majors….

…I’m clearly
hopeful that someone comes along that will shake things up, particularly if
he’s American and sort of brings some juice back to what’s going on in America,
bring some more interest.  Obviously
right now you’re just talking about sort of the other four guys, who if anyone
can possibly win a major.”

On changes since he played Paris? “In my day they were
watering the courts virtually after every set, and they don’t do that now.  May go through a whole match or two or three
sets.  Generally the rallies are shorter,
more similar to what you see at other surfaces.” 

TC_Logo_Clay_3-01McEnroe as well as fellow lead analyst Martina Navratilova and others will opin over matches during Tennis Channel’s 200 + hours of French Open coverage. Can’t wait!