Where have all the John McEnroe’s gone?

John McEnroe

John McEnroe
John McEnroe Tennis Academy

Where did all the tennis players go? And, specifically, where are the American tennis players?

Let’s ask Johnny Mac?

“Andy Roddick’s now gone and we haven’t won any slams in 10 years since Pete Sampras quit other than Roddick’s one (2003 U.S. Open), so obviously there’s some concern here. There’s a lot of work to do and I think people remember the old days a bit,” said McEnroe to a media contingent assembled to see the John McEnroe Tennis Academy housed at Sportime facilities at three different locations in New York and its suburbs. “It was a great time for me and it was sort of a golden era for American tennis with Jimmy Connors and myself, then Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier.

“So, yes, there’s something that’s missing and hopefully we can fill that niche and maybe inspire some younger kids as well.”

What happened to the talent pool? Did the kids all start playing basketball and lacrosse, because they’re certainly not playing baseball and (American/NFL-style) football. Ask President Barack Obama about that, eh?

“I’ve seen them all,” McEnroe chimed in. ” What Billie Jean King has done for the game and the way she played was more like how I played, Then, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert won a billion tournaments, Steffi Graf. And, when Serena (Williams) is on, she’s the best I’ve ever seen play. She has the whole package as far as what she can bring to the table.

“Hopefully for us, (meaning American tennis), we’re wondering where the next American guy is? For the next American woman, we’re still looking pretty sharp. Hopefully this will inspire some other people to get out there,” noted McEnroe.

And, he’s backing up his wish with a venture sure to create a few new stars, right from the New York metropolitan area because McEnroe’s academies help train more than 300 young prospects, who get first-hand training from Douglaston’s favorite son, along with his brother, mark, and Peter Fleming — Mac’s longtime doubles partner who heads up a gaggle of 30 of the top tennis coaches in the country, all packed into facilities on Randall’s Island, Westchester County and out on Long Island. Because of Johnny Mac’s heavy travels and TV commentary gig, his academy is managed by his brother after it was created by New York entrepreneur Claude Okin.”

So where’s the next American tennis champion?

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Article written by Terry Lyons – Huff Post Sports

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