McEnroe: Djokovic Win Streak “Even More Impressive Than Mine”
by Staff | May 18th, 2011, 9:13 am

The man Novak Djokovic is trying to chase for the best start to any season has come out and said that the Serb’s streak is already better than his. John McEnroe, who holds the mark for the best start to a season with 42 straight wins in 1984, says what the Djokovic is now far eclipses his run.

“Given that there’s more competition, more athleticism and deeper fields now, I’d say his record is even more impressive than mine,” said McEnroe speaking

“Especially given that in 1984, the major in Australia was played at the end of the year, whereas he had to win it (as part of his streak). I was coming into my first Grand Slam of the year at the French, where the streak was broken (in the final against Ivan Lendl). So things are different. Also, he came into the year at No. 3 and to be able to dominate [higher ranked players] the way he has, well, to put it mildly, it’s been quite amazing to see what he’s done and how much more confidently he’s playing.”

With Djokovic just six wins from record, McEnroe, who will be in Paris broadcasting for the Tennis Channel and NBC, sounds excited to see it happen.

“I’m quite excited that he might break my record at the French Open,” he said. “Records are made to be broken. It’s the definition of mixed emotions. I think I’ve pretty much lost every record that I had but, at the same time, I know that this has been a shot in the arm for our sport. Everyone knew he was capable, because he had won a major and he showed some heart at the [2010 US] Open, when he came from two match points down [v Roger Federer]. To see what he’s done since then, I hasten to say that even he’s a little surprised.”

The draw for the 2011 French Open will be released on Friday. If Djokovic can reach the final (six wins to pass Mac) he will also become the new No. 1 ranked player following the event.

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13 Comments for McEnroe: Djokovic Win Streak “Even More Impressive Than Mine”

skeezerweezer Says:

“Given that there’s more competition, more athleticism and deeper fields now, I’d say his record is even more impressive than mine,” said McEnroe speaking …

Quite a compliment from the great one….;), have to agree, though you were still a kick to watch JohnnyMac and very awesome in your time. Who still kicks A@@ @ 50+? JMAC!

Dory Says:

Good to see former greats acknowledging the increase in the overall standard and level of tennis. Agassi also said similar words recently.

jane Says:

J-Mac is very cool, methinks. He cares so much for the sport, more than for his own records. He often speaks of what he thinks would be “good for the sport” or “good for tennis” in his interviews &/or when he is commentating. It’s clear how much tennis means to him overall; he comes across like a fan / supporter sometimes, as much as one of the all-time great players. Maybe all the champions are like this? But this definitely shows with J-Mac.

Super Says:

John McEnroe is a class act. He is very committed to the sport and is one of my favorite commentators.

cherry Says:

I love John McEnroe. He’s very humble. I like his attitude!

Huh Says:

JMac Rocks!!! He’s much greater than he would ever admit and thereinlies his greatness. I just lov Johny Mac as an absolutely talented player n also as a funny
hot headed volatile personality, lol! :D :P

Huh Says:

Crazy to see that nole’s impersonated not just d temperamental behavior of JMac(in uso 09) but now also duplicatin his amazin winnin streak most likely! I suspect a secret deal between JMac n Nole to hav taken place between these 2 in uso 09 where may be jmac passed on to him quite a few tips about improvin his game overall, besides doin dat famous PR stunt, but now that nole’s about to break his record, JMac is “surprised”; he woulda never thought while impartin tips about volley makin to nole(nole’s volleyin has improvd manifolds since that interaction with Johny, I think) that this may lead to his own record bein smashed, lol! ;)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Ummm “humble” and “class act” are not among the many adjectives that should EVER be applied to the Brat. I love him too- love his game and his commentating. But humble and classy he is not.

Karomia Says:

Ditto, TV. His public persona is one thing; his attitude away from the cameras and microphones is another thing entirely.

Super Says:

I haven’t checked this thread in days.

No idea what you two (TV and Karomia) are talking about. If you are referring to his temperamental outbursts at chair umpires, then that’s relatively minor and overblown in my view.

He also does those types of things these days just for show. He and Patrick have given a lot to tennis. To put the sport beyond one’s own personal wishes at times is what I consider classy. Of course, you are free to disagree and I won’t mind. I just wanted to clarify my reasons for saying so.

grendel Says:

Super says: “To put the sport beyond one’s own personal wishes at times is what I consider classy”.

There was an unusual and interesting example of this emerging from a story Mac’s buddy Peter Fleming relayed the other day. McEnroe was beating up in someone in a fairly comprehensive way, when he suddenly went into a wild rant over a line call. Fleming approached McEnroe after the match, deeply puzzled. Why, he wanted to know, go off the deep end like that when all he had to do was stand on half a leg and he’d win. McEnroe replied that that was just it. He could sense the boredom in the crowd, and as someone who always liked to entertain – give the public value for its money – he felt bad about this. Hence the urge to inject a bit of drama into the proceedings.

You have to think that is eccentric – but on the other hand, it displays a sensitivity to the needs of the public.

In general, I have always thought of McEnroe as surprisingly humble, but that is admittedly in his public persona. Who knows what he is like in private? Would he acknowledge an ordinary person if the camera was not on him? No idea, myself. One player who is very good this way, I have heard, is the German Rainer Schuettler, who rose, briefly, as high as #4. The word is that Schuettler was, at best, embarrassed by fame, and that his manner to everyone – rich or poor, famous or unknown – was exactly the same. I’d guess that is highly unusual, and if MacEnroe isn’t like that, nor will many other big time players be. Fame is not exactly a character builder.

But as a commentator, McEnroe does seem to be spontaneous – always a good sign – he doesn’t pull rank, and seems more than happy to acknowledge legendary players as being better than him, even when that is not obviously true.

jane Says:

JMac definitely cares about public perception and in particular how tennis can be made popular and gain a wider audience. Good for him to spice things up, talk up change and history in the press, and basically do whatever he can to draw attention to the sport of tennis. I agree with Super. This is admirable.

nancy g. Says:

Love to see all the positive comments on John McEnroe. He is the original player who made tennis exciting to watch. O.K., So he was a bit sassy at times but deservedly so most of the time. We have a lot of talent out there on the courts now but none so great as Johnny-Mac. At least he’s still around as a commentator — and he’s great at that, too.

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