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McEnroe: My Favorite Player to Watch


By Richard Pagliaro

John McEnroe
views the GOAT as a three-headed major monster.

Hall of Famer McEnroe calls world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and 20-time Grand Slam champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal the "three greatest guys that ever played."

McEnroe: AO Should Play All Best-of-Three-Set Matches

The mercurial McEnroe calls Djokovic "the best mover I've ever seen on a tennis court", lauds Nadal as "the greatest fighter in any sport" and praised Federer as the most graceful and fluid of all champions.

Yet none of the Big 3 top the ESPN analyst's as his favorite player to watch. That honor goes to ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev

"I'd like to see a guy like Medvedev, I think he's like a chess master to me," McEnroe told the media today. "He's basically my favorite guy to watch now because he just plays like old school a little bit. He's strategizing, he's thinking ahead. These are the type of guys that we need and that we're going to be seeing."


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Medvedev Daniil (@medwed33)



In a conference call with the media to promote ESPN's first ball to last ball coverage of the Australian Open starting Sunday, February 7th at 7 p.m. on ESPN, McEnroe said he sees both eight-time Australian Open champion Djokovic and 13-time Roland Garros champion Nadal winning more Grand Slam titles in the years to come.

"Novak and Rafa are going to be around a couple more years. They're obviously going to be tough to beat," McEnroe said. "Djokovic looks amazing. Nadal looks amazing. They both look incredible still. These guys are getting closer. Ultimately they have to believe that. Tsitsipas, he has to look at himself and say I've got to do this to add to my game, if I don't I'm not going to beat these guys, but I can.

"They're closer than they've ever been. It's more open and more unpredictable than it has been for a long time in some ways because of the pandemic, the age. But these guys leave no stone unturned, the top guys, so they're going to have to step up and improve. Who has improved the most during these sort of crazy times? That would be the best answer to a question."



The former world No. 1 in singles and doubles said tennis will benefit if one of the rising young stars is eventually able to elevate his game and knock off Nadal or Djokovic in a Grand Slam final.

Tennis Express

"I think it would be better for the game if some of these guys beat those guys before they stop playing," McEnroe said. "It would be a shame if they kept winning. It's like if Tom Brady won again and he retired. You'd be like, Wow, unbelievable.

"He loves to play so much. Maybe they do. Maybe they're willing to put themselves out there two or three more years. These guys can finally have a shot at them. But they've got to step up."

Photo credit: Christopher Levy

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