McEnroe Interviews Noah Rubin On ESPN Radio

John McEnroe is a Renaissance man. And he’s everywhere.

I received a Tweet yesterday from the New York Rangers that Henrik Lundqvist was about to be interviewed in a few minutes by John McEnroe on ESPN Radio at 4. Say what?

So with curiosity, I tuned in. McEnroe is guest co-hosting the Michael Kay Show with Don La Greca on ESPN Radio. After Lundqvist, McEnroe and La Greca interviewed Aaron Boone at the All Star Game about Derek Jeter, then came a surprise. At 4:45 Noah Rubin, the newly crowned junior Wimbledon champion, was coming on the show.

McEnroe said Rubin will play an exhibition on August 2lst against ATP World Number One and reigning Wimbledon champ Novak Djokovic at the McEnroe Academy to help raise money for underprivileged but talented teen tennis players to attend Mac’s Academy located at Randall’s Island.

Rubin, not lacking a sense of humor, cracked, “Djokovic is a great matchup. I think I really have a chance (to win)…I hope he’s not listening to this.”

Rubin went on to say, His father put a racquet in his hand when he was one.

He’s committed to play college tennis at Wake Forest. He doesn’t think the college tennis option “will hinder anything, it’s the best opportunity to take a couple of years to mature as a player and person. Most of the pros listed in the ATP media guide are around 28, 29” so he has plenty of time on his side. Also, “the training will be great at Wake Forest and it will help me for my career.”

Rubin’s favorite players to watch are David Ferrer and Lleyton Hewitt. And of course McEnroe but “that’s a given.”

After winning Wimbledon, Rubin’s Twitter handle (@noahrubin33) increased by about a thousand new followers.

His favorite sports outside tennis are hockey (he’s an Islanders fan) and soccer. He played soccer but “My tennis ability far outweighed my soccer ability.”

Rubin also credited Nick Kyrgios, who he played last year in juniors: “He has a tremendous serve, he has all the abilities to be a top ten, top fifteen player.”

At the end of the interview, John noted that the New York City area has not produced an ATP pro player since his brother Patrick about 25 years ago. McEnroe also joked to Rubin “To get back out on the court and quit clowning around with McEnroe on the radio.”

McEnroe did a fine job, asking probing questions. Such as like to his buddy Lundqvist, McEnroe asked if Rangers upper management made personnel decisions based on any input with himself or other prominent Ranger players? Lundqvist answered No. McEnroe sounds like any other sports fan radio host even though he brings a superstar perspective to the dynamic.

If this is a tryout for McEnroe for ESPN, I think he passed with flying colors. And I greatly look forward to more McEnroe radio hosting on ESPN Radio which will surely bring tennis more into the New York sporting mainstream.

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  • Andrew Miller · July 16, 2014 at 10:43 am

    U.s. junior boys are doing well. They are hungry. Really believe the u.s. guys are getting in the game.

  • McEnroe, Rubin Talk Tennis On ESPN Radio | jmta · July 16, 2014 at 10:48 am

    […] friend Scoop Malinowski at Tennis-Prose has this nice recap of John McEnroe’s interview with Noah Rubin yesterday when John hosted the afternoon drive […]

  • Harold · July 16, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Mac said he signed a 5 year contract with ESPN. He has been on since last Thursday, is hoping to do a radio show with Patrick.

    Last Thursday he was either very nervous, or drank 5 Red Bulls before going on.He was in Europe the day before, so I’m betting Red Bulls to beat Jet lag.

    Talked a lot of Basketball Thurs. and Friday, because of all the Lebron and Meli stuff, either he is too busy to follow hoops, or he is more of a jump on the NY bandwagon. Knew very little other than Knick stuff

  • Dan markowitz · July 16, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I don’t like Patrick on the radio when he has his own show. He tries to pump up energy levels, but I didn’t feel he went very deep in his discussions. You have to really know your big sports to host these shows. I wish NY radio had a radio show devoted to tennis like Denver has. Can you believe a Tennis-Prose.com on the radio?! I think I’ll suggest it to some radio stations prior to the Open.

    Harold, I met a guy who bets exclusively on pro tennis as his living and since he has a Australian bookie where betting on tennis is legal, I pitched the story to Australia Tennis Magazine and they’re interested. We could get to the bottom of this betting story.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 16, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Harold, I enjoyed listening to McEnroe yesterday. It’s neat to listen to a sports icon like McEnroe talk sports with other sports guys. It changes the whole game. I’m very interested to tune into ESPN radio, yesterday was actually my first time listening to ESPN Radio, haven’t listened to WFAN in about ten years. But I’m going to listen to the McEnroes talk sports and tennis. One of my favorite magazine innovations was Any Warhols Interview Magazine when it featured entertainment celebrities interviewing other celebrities. McEnroe with a radio show reminds of this.

  • bjk · July 16, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    There are so many great tennis commentators, from Martina to Arias to Gilbert and Courier, why does Patrick get so much airtime? He has a real sour demeanor that comes through on air (“that’s nasty” and the clever “hello” being his signature phrases). Who does he know? His brother seems to like to rule the booth, which may explain why he won’t appear with anyone he doesn’t know from the Long Island country club. It’s time for Patrick and Carillo to pack it in. Sadly, we may be stuck with them for the duration.

  • Dan markowitz · July 16, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Gotta disagree with you BJK. Why the McEnroes can both annoy and delight me, Carillon is very good at what she does. Maybe she’s been over exposed, but she is really smart and brings out a lot in her co-commentators.

    Scoop, really, you don’t listen to sports talk radio? What kind of guy are you anyway? What do you listen to? wFUV? Rush?

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 16, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I have always greatly enjoyed listening to Patrick McEnroe, especially his early years for ESPN. That’s when I first started to become a serious player and fan of the sport and he was as good as anyone IMO. He was smart, funny, witty, knowledgable, gelled well with Drysdale, could really analyze a match. I felt I was learning so much about the sport and also how to play. Patrick’s wisdom was like having a coach, I learned about changing paces, mixing speeds, from his comments on the air. Great guy, great commentator, really made the matches even more enjoyable to listen to. Last year I popped in an old late 90s ESPN tape and his energy was great, a little more animated then than now. Which is probably from being in the sport so long, some of the excitement has worn off. But still I find PMac a great great commentator to listen to. Always. One of my favorite PMac anecdotes was calling the Rios-Andre Miami SF in 02, he was kind of criticizing Rios for not really playing wiht a gameplan just kind of “freewheeling it.” Then Rios suddenly hits a jumping backhand cross court crazy angle winner at 66 in the tiebreak and PMac just erupted, “Look at that, that is genius right there…” Loved it so much I put it in my Rios book. Carillo used to be one of the best too in the 90s but you can tell she’s not in the trenches with the players and digging for inside nuggets like she used to do. She’s pretty much doing it now on her past laurels, off her name. Still she’s good but she used to be on par with the best.

  • Patrick · July 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I didn’t realize Mac’s academy was on Randall’s Island. I went to a music festival there.

  • Patrick · July 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    How big is Noah Rubin? He looked small to me, and that was compared to Koslov, who I thought was small.

  • Patrick · July 16, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    PMac feels “safe” to me as an announcer. Like’s he’s reluctant to really tell it like it is. I like Gilbert in that regard. He doesn’t really have a filter.

    And I LOVE Cahill.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 16, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    People treat PMac like he was a player who never broke the top 200, like he just got his breaks because of his name. The guy was a French Open doubles winner. Top 40 singles player. Made SF of the Aussie Open in singles, beat Becker in a major. Played Connors in a five setter at US Open during Jimbo’s magical ride. Wrote a great book a few years ago Hardcourt Confidential. Great book. Top five doubles player. PMac has some serious credentials. I enjoy him and rank him as a commentator right there with John, Cahill, BG, anyone. I really honesty sincerely do.

  • Patrick · July 16, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    I PMac as a person. I met him at DC two years ago and he’s a super nice guy.

    I don’t love him as an announcer, but I don’t hate him. It also annoys me that he can’t go a match without using the term “patterns” five times. I’ve never quite known what that means.

  • bjk · July 17, 2014 at 5:32 am

    Carillo had the advantage of a really deep voice that made her stand out on tv. Certainly gave her an advantage over a Tracy Austin or Pam Shriver (has her voice changed? It’s not quite as deep as I remember). And there are so many more people out there these days, it’s time for new faces.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 17, 2014 at 8:47 am

    All players have patterns of how they like to play. I think the word is perfectly appropriate for tennis commentary and actually PMac is probably the pioneer of introducing it. Just like Vic Braeden used to always talk about “the importance of the seventh game”, Drysdale used to often say how a player was “wrong footed there”, etc.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Carillo was really inside the tennis mix back in her early days, she’d dig for information and scoops. Now she’s not nearly as entrenched, with her other journalism jobs (HBO Real Sports, etc) and family obligations. She’s still good but she was EXCELLENT in her prime.

  • Andrew Miller · July 17, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Pmac wrote the book with pete bodo. Pretty sure that iswhy it was readable.!

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 17, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Andrew I’m pretty sure it would have been readable with or without the assistance of Peter Bodo )

  • Dan markowitz · July 17, 2014 at 10:47 am

    To me the best are Arias and Gilbert. They’re fresh funny and more so w Arias, they’ll voice their opinions good or bad on the players. Cahills good but I feel he’s too entrenched to have that outsiders journalistic perspective. You can’t have coaches like Abbacone doing the commentary or Gimelstob who’s on the ATP Board of Directors because seriously how critical do you expect the to be? That’s always what my problem w PMac is. It’s like having Joe Biden critically analyze the Obama administration. It’s too incestuous and smacks of nepotism.



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