John McEnroe believes tennis has a bright future despite big retirements
John McEnroe believes that the sport of tennis will continue to grow despite the loss of big stars to retirement.
Roger Federer brings the curtain down on his career as he competes against a Team World coached by McEnroe.
Meanwhile Serena Williams has transitioned away from the sport and McEnroe concedes that both players are very well supported but he feels their departure makes space for new stars to emerge.
“These two players are irreplaceable,” he said.
“I don’t think there is any question about that.”
However he added: “The sport goes on no matter what, and we have witnessed that in every sport over time.
“The opportunity is there to market these young kids in a way that I don’t think we have successfully done before.
“Serena and Roger probably have more fans than anybody in tennis,” said the American.
“But, you know, there’s so many more players.
“I think tennis is becoming so much more entertaining because you’re seeing so many new people win.
“It’s really exciting that going into these big events there are 10 different people that could potentially win. Hopefully their fans stay in the sport, want to keep watching.”
McEnroe hopes that both players aren’t set to completely step away from the game altogether given that both have extensive interests that might keep them away from the sport.
“They have been icons, idols to all of us sitting here,” he said at a pre-tournament press conference.
“Hopefully, you know, they have a chance to give back in some form and stay around tennis.”
That was a sentiment echoed by Team World’s top-ranked player Felix Auger-Aliassime.
“They have been icons, idols to all of us sitting here,” he said at a pre-tournament press conference. “Hopefully, you know, they have a chance to give back in some form and stay around tennis.”
Later at the same Laver Cup presser, Andy Murray admitted that thoughts of retirement had crossed his mind.
“As you get older as athletes and with some of the physical issues you do think about what if or when should you stop and when is the right moment and how would you like it to be,” said Murray.
“I have thought about it myself, but I don’t think there’s many better ways to go out than like this.”
The longevity and unprecedented success achieved by Federer and rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic has raised the bar for the sport, but life and tennis moves on.
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