McEnroe Brothers: Novak Djokovic is Not an Overwhelming Favorite to Win the US Open
by Staff | August 17th, 2011, 5:00 pm

The brother McEnroe, John and Patrick, gave their thoughts on Novak Djokovic’s chances at a first US Open. Despite the Serb’s incredible season, they still don’t see Djokovic as an overwhelming favorite for the New York title.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say overwhelming,” John said during an ESPN US Open conference call this afternoon. “Obvious, yeah, no doubt about it. The guy’s playing amazing. He’s unbelievable. So there is no question about it that he’s a big favorite. When you have guys like Nadal defending the championship and Federer and Murray who I assume should be hungrier than ever and more desperate than ever the way things have been going, I can’t say overwhelming, especially with the pressure that he’ll be feeling, but certainly a big favorite.

“I just want to see Nadal play Federer at the Open,” John added. “So in a way, if it’s the semis, I’m good with that. That would mean whoever won that would be playing with a lot more confidence when and if they had to play Djokovic. But that’s always a dicey situation when you have to play two days in a row to see how that pans out who has a tougher semi.”

Said brother Patrick, “I agree. I don’t think he’s an overwhelming favorite of all. You have two of the greatest players of all time who will be extremely motivated. For Federer it’s been a pretty disappointing year by his standards, so you know he’ll be motivated. And John’s point is most relevant to him as far as the semis or the finals. If he’s got to play Rafa and potentially Novak back‑to‑back at 30, that’s going to be really tough for him.

“But Nadal will be extremely motivated, so he’s going to want to show that he can get back to number one. And if he wins the Open, he’s certainly got a case, depending on how the rest of the year goes to finish number one or at least be in the conversation. But what Djokovic has done this year has just been off the charts. To do what he’s done and win two majors, five straight masters events with Federer and Nadal right there, it’s pretty remarkable. Even saying that, he’s the favorite, but it’s definitely not overwhelming.”

Djokovic has never won the US Open, finishing runner-up twice to Roger Federer and last year to Rafael Nadal. This year, though, he’s yet to lose on hardcourts with a match tonight against American upstart Ryan Harrison at Cincinnati.

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29 Comments for McEnroe Brothers: Novak Djokovic is Not an Overwhelming Favorite to Win the US Open

Katarina Says:

I don’t understand, really the Big Brothers McEnroe!!Thay saying what thay saying about Djokovic but still he is not an overwhelming favorite!?And that same old story about Fed and Nadal and motivation like they are not being motivated on AO and Wimbledon?You tell me,please!What are thay talking about?Sorry for my bad english!

billyboy512 Says:

These two are a couple of hacks who have never uttered an original thought in their lives. Have they been even watching tennis this year? Murray? Really?

Egad, they sound as tedious as when they provide “color” commentary (and I use the term loosely).

Thank goodness for the MUTE button.

Heyy17 Says:

John McEnroe is just way too obsessed with Nadal as usual. He rants about how amazing Nadal is while commentating on a match that Nadal isn’t even apart of. He’s a weird guy.

grendel Says:

To sum up the position of the McEnroes:

The basic reason to think Djokovic will win is that he is playing streets ahead of anybody else, especially his main rivals.

The basic reason to think Fed, Nadal or Murray might win is that they must be feeling pretty miffed about how things have gone this year.

Now which of hese two positions seems to be the more persuasive?

Lou Says:

What i see here is that Mcenroe might be a bit tensed and hoping that his record does not get broken! Hence spreading all this mental things about Djoko. As it is, I have never liked Mcenroe brothers as they seem to be obsessed about themselves and Nadal more than anyone else.
i think Djokovic is more than a strong fav to win US open and no matter how people try to belittle his achievements, i am sure he will play to win not heeding to this useless rant of people.

I loved this article on Djokovic and his mindset which has enabled him to win so much this year!

Where There Is Djokovic/Serena, There Is A Way

Prob Mcenroe brothers can read this and clear their head!

Brando Says:

I think they’re just trying to sell the tournament, drum up interest. Why would they say djokovic is the overwhelming favourite? Because it’s the truth. He’s unbeaten on hardcourt for over 8 months!! But saying that would be bad marketing you need to sell the tournament, the big matches hence drum up the notion- which is reasonable and valid to do so- that nadal, federer and Murray are major threats.

Margie Says:

Aw – come on you guys – – the McEnroe boys are great – – – love them both…. I think Patrick is a real sweetheart of a guy – and as for John, he is a little rough around the edges – but always ends things with a SMILE

billyboy512 Says:

Margie, Obviously related or married to these lah-ooo-zers or hitting the sauce. Please stop.

Daniel D Martin Says:

he makes the sport a nationalistic stuff!
we all hate that!
he has typical Serbian macho chauvinism that most other players and countries do not
i think there are better players than him
Murray almost took him twice this year ,Nadal has a psicological fear of him but could overcome it anytime ,
Del Potro should be on the rise as well as Feliciano Lopez and Dolgopolov
Federer could take anybody anytime
Tsonga is playing great and even Mardy Fish got a set out of him,watch out!

Michael Says:

How can you confer Nadal with the title of Greatest player of all time ??? He has much to prove to deserve that honour. Ofcourse, there is no doubt that Nadal is a great player and his records speak for himself. But the title of Greatest is in a league of its own. Federer has proved time and again to deserve that tag. Nadal is yet to prove although his piling of records so far has been brilliant to say the least at his age. There is more in him and we can analyse this only when he finishes his career. As of today, Federer deserves the Greatest tag and Nadal definitely one of the All Time Greats.

Dory Says:

Unfortunately, for Nadal and Federer to meet in the semis as McEnroe wants, they must be in the same side of the draw which is NEVER the case. This US Open, again Djokovic and Federer will be in the same side of the draw even if the draw is “random”.

harsh Says:

What the Mc Enroes are saying is right. Essentially, there will be more focussed and driven opposition to Djokovic’s current unbelievable wave of success. They are saying Djokovic is a heavy favourite but not overwhelming – which translates to ‘there will be serious opposition to him’.
I think if Federer is in Djokovic’s half and they meet up in the semis that will be the end of Djokovic. Nadal fans should be praying for such a draw as Nadal’s game type easily prevails over Federer (Federer’s single handed backhand) while finds it very hard to overcome the flat counterhitting of Djokovic.

harsh Says:

@Dory, the draw could well put Nadal and Federer in the same half. The way it is done is that seeds 1 and 4 are in one half with seeds 2 and 3 in the other….OR seeds 1 and 4 in one half while seeds 2 and 3 in the other…depending on the way the names are drawn from the ‘hat’. So, it’s a 50-50 chance really…

anon Says:

I think they are just saying that those other three can play tennis too and are capable of doing it too is all really. At least I hope …

harsh Says:

sorry, I meant to say “OR seeds 1 and 3 in one half while seeds 2 and 4 in the other…”

Vasos Pavlika Says:

It is always great to read the words of the Macs, they know what they are talking about. It is refreshing to hear their words regarding Rafa and Roger. The US Open should be interesting, hopefully we will have a Roger and Rafa final if they are in different halves of the draw of course.

Dory Says:

I think there’s no stopping Djokovic at least for the US Open. The superserb has won more titles this year than all titles in his career combined prior to 2011.

Tran Says:

Djoker definitely is NOT the favorite but, given the results he got so far, he is a favorite still.

Duro Says:

Dory!? He won 27 of them…

alison hodge Says:

rep micheal i agree,and rafa to his credit has always said roger is the greatest,and has always said hes happy to just be regarded as one of the greatest,to be honest it seems to be the fans and the commontators that obsess over who is the greater,not the players themselves.

alison hodge Says:

rep vasos pavlika,i agree,although some may not,a roger rafa final at the us open,would mean they would have come full circle and faced each other in every grand slam,heres hoping they are on opposite sides of the draw,as for the macs ive always loved them too,they are always honest people dont always like what they have to say,tough luck im afraid,thats life.

felix Says:

the conclusion is,Djoker is not McEnroe Brothers Favorite, and its a shame, that they give such a negative comment like that. As a proff comentator, you should not take side, but, they just did, to tell , how much they love Rafa and Roger, and how much they want them to last forever, hope Djoker will come out to prove them wrong……

RFFan Says:

Geez, they both said he’s the favorite but not the “overwhelming” favorite.

That’s fair considering he’s never won the Open and is only in his first year at world #1.

“Overwhelming favorite” would apply to Nadal at the FO before this year, or Fed at Wimby 2005, AO 2006 or sth like that.

efip Says:

“A big cloud of dust follows a good horse”
– Serbian proverb :))

Vasos Says:

Rep Alison,

Great to read the words of someome that understands tennis i.e. about the Macs, I enjoyed reading ur comments.

Vasos Pavlika

sar Says:


Marylynn Says:


jamie Says:

John is not liking the possibility of Nole having a better year than his 1984 season, obviously…

Zach Says:

Dory said:
Unfortunately, for Nadal and Federer to meet in the semis as McEnroe wants, they must be in the same side of the draw which is NEVER the case. This US Open, again Djokovic and Federer will be in the same side of the draw even if the draw is “random”.
Harsh I think that’s fairly obvious to everybody how the players are seeded. What Dory is applying I think is that the “random” drawing from the hat might not be that random at all considering that Djokovic and Federer now have been in the same half of the draw at the French and Wimbledon. I will bet you $100 that the same will happen again at the U.S. since the American “market” would like to see a Rafa-Federer final. I don’t think it matters for Nole anyway as he has proven that he is better than Rafa or Federer….

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