McEnroe can turn anything into a complaint and make it all about him!
McEnroe: U.S. Open schedule cost me 1985 title
Does what you accomplished at the U.S. Open in 1984 seem like a greater
achievement when you look back at it in retrospect? It seems these days
it is hard for some players to recover from a tough match in even 48
hours, let alone 24.
John McEnroe: First of all, I played in five finals and I won four of
the five here, but I still believe there should be a day of rest. While
it affected Lendl perhaps a little bit more that day than it did me I
was lucky enough to find a reserve that I didn t know I had the
following year it cost me the final, in my opinion. If I had that day
off, I think I would ve won the match, because I had beaten Lendl in the
two finals leading up to the U.S. Open [in 1985].
Especially nowadays when the game is arguably more physical than ever,
it s really a disservice, to be quite honest, to the players because
it s very difficult to be able to play your best. You can go back a lot
of years to where you ve seen a great Open final, because it s really
tough to back it up, especially when you re talking about best of five,
playing two days in a row. It s just a really tall order. And you have
to go a long ways back, maybe to the I m trying to think there were a
couple of finals that went the distance, but a lot of them weren t even
close because I think one player was way more effective.
What were your initial impressions of this year s draw? Are you glad
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal aren t in the same half?
I think it sort of worked out the way you would hope, that they weren t
all stacked in one area. The Roddick-Djokovic quarter sort of seems
fitting, in that Roddick wouldn t have to play the top three at least
until the semis. That Murray and Nadal are on the same side, because
there s dispute over the No. 2 and No. 3. That Roger and Rafa are still
in different halfs. So it sort of worked out that way.
Richard Gasquet in the first round for Nadal is obviously tricky,
because he s a former Top 10 player. But for the most part, it seems
fairly straight ahead in terms of what you would come to expect and hope
for. There s not going to have to be some part of the draw that s wide
open, per se.
What do you expect to see from Nadal? Do you think he ll be way off his
It s difficult to say, it s really difficult to say. I wouldn t say way
off his best. Certainly his most difficult surface is this. I d like to
think that if he does well, and I hope he does, that he may actually be
the fresher of the top players when it comes to the end, because he
didn t play for a couple of months. But first he has to get there, so
that s easier said than done.
What he s added to our sport recently, I d love to see him be back and
healthy and doing well. And he could still be No. 1 for the year. If he
won this and finished the year strong, to me there d be an argument,
especially if he were to beat Federer in this tournament and/or the
Masters, that he d be the No. 1 player in the world.