John McEnroe news: ‘Some people think Novak Djokovic is Darth Vader,’ jokes American
John McEnroe has echoed Nick Kyrgios’ calls for tennis to embrace more personalities to make sure the sport does not get left behind once Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer retire.
The Big Three of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer have dominated tennis the past two decades with each winning 20 Grand Slams and leaving the rest of the pack battling for the scraps.
As a result, the focus – from within the sport as well as from outside – has always centred around the trio and Kyrgios has warned that once they retire there will be a gaping hole.
The Australian feels the powers that be need to do more to when it comes to supporting players with different personalities and former world No 1 McEnroe is in agreement.
“I’ve been talking about the need in tennis for personalities. You need to have a rooting interest in someone. Whether you think he’s the bad guy, some people think Djokovic is Darth Vader. Everyone loves Roger Federer,” he told Eurosport.
“It’s not like it is in team sports where you can root for your city or your country, so this idea of expressing yourself and showing personality is very important.
“It would be pretty hard on the other hand not to focus the last 10-15 years on those three guys. What they’ve done is beyond belief, out of this world. Winning 20 majors each. I used to think I had seven, that’s pretty good. Well it doesn’t look so good now.
“This is an amazing thing. We’re looking at these legends that are playing at the same time and doing things that are absolutely extraordinary, but at the same time I do think tennis needs to look around for other guys because the future is now.
“These guys aren’t going to be doing it forever and we desperately need to see that. I completely agree with Nick on that and I’m hopeful that he will be one of the guys that we will be able to focus on… if he can go out and consistently give the type of effort necessary to win majors.
“In the meantime, [Daniil] Medvedev, I love the way he is on the court, he’s a personality in a different way. He’s like a chess master. So there’s ways we can work on that and absolutely need to.”
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