Tennis Prose



McEnroe would coach Shapovalov or Kyrgios but not Goffin


John McEnroe said to a Belgian media outlet that he while he has great respect for David Goffin and his tremendous overachieving, he would prefer to coach Denis Shapovalov or Nick Kyrgios.

McEnroe expressed high praise for what Goffin has accomplished but thinks there are a couple of limiting factors in Goffin’s bid to win a Grand Slam major title. “You don’t see a lot of emotion negative or positive from him,” referring to the importance of emotional adrenaline factors in uplifting a player to a higher level of play. And McEnroe feels Goffin’s physical stature of five-foot-eleven and 150 pounds as being too small against all the physical heavyweights out there. “About three inches, that’s what he’s missing. He’s not as big or as strong as some of the other players. But he’s faster and he’s smarter and he has a natural feel for the game. Top ten is a great accomplishment for him. He’s had a lot of success doing it his way. It’s not for me to say he should do it differently. But it’s hard to overcome those two or three guys who are bigger and stronger and someone who has a big serve.”

After having coached Sergi Bruguera (for hard courts), Mark Philippoussis and Milos Raonic to limited success, McEnroe is still open to working with another player and mentioned a couple of current mega talents. “Shapovalov is the type of player I was like when I was young. That would make a lot more sense. Or Kyrgios – personality-wise there’s a lot of similarities.”

It certainly would be interesting to see how the combinations of McEnroe with Shapovalov and Kyrgios would work out and if McEnroe can finally accomplish the feat of coaching a young talent to win his first major title.

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  • Joe Blow · May 30, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Nice of Mac to openly talk about coaching someone else’s player. What a F****** self obsessed a hole he turned into.
    All these years of him begging top players to let him coach, and he’s still out there chasing. Remember when he tried to latch on to Agassi at the Open one year, ended up with Brugera( a dirt baller)..they accomplished nothing

    Guess he needs a big name to wear a JMac Academy patch on their clothes. Nike which has a 40 year relationship with Mac, and now sponsors both Shapo and Kyrgios, hasn’t put them together, which might be telling in itself.

  • Joe Blow · May 30, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Did anyone in the Media ask Mac if he’d be willing to give up any part of his TV gigs to be on hand for his player during big tourneys?
    He seems to think he adds so much he doesn’t need to be in the box for matches, didn’t work out w/ Raonic during Wimby.

    Mac was one of my all-timers, but from 86 (not winning after 84 turned him meaner)on, he’s been a self obsessed dork. He was the last person I ever thought would stick around the game after he stopped playing. They always said his Dad invested his money well, maybe that foray into the NY art world took a big chunk. Now he seems to want to stick his toes into everything.
    Waiting for the chants to have a court named after him in Flushing

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 30, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    McEnroe either is addicted to fame or he loves being part of the action. Plus he is still competitive and he still is driven to succeed as a coach figure, though he has the successful academy he still wants to create/produce a major title winner like Lendl, Moya, Becker, etc. I think McEnroe would be a good fit for both Kyrgios and Shapovalov and he can offer them a lot of valuable information. The one troubling factor is that McEnroe is such a larger than life figure, his presence almost overshadows the player he coaches. And it gives the other players extra incentive to want to beat the player AND McEnroe. It’s like what Angelo Dundee had to deal with after he trained Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, his presence gave opponents extra incentive to want to beat the guy Dundee was training.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 30, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    McEnroe won’t give up his TV jobs, that’s what he’s best known for now. He’s not going to risk that to coach a guy for two months and then it ends. McEnroe is committed to TV work and nobody wants him to give that up. It’s possible for him to work around a situation with a player like Nick or Denis. And Mac just can be a co coach, an extra voice. I predict Shapovalov hires Mac to help him and Laurendeau at US Open and it will result in another good run by Denis.

  • Duke Carnoustie · May 30, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I wouldn’t hire Mac with a 10-foot pole. There’s a reason Milos dumped him. Mac is an attention whore who should focus on his Laver Cup duties. He is one of the most overpaid people on the planet by the BBC as well. Mac is a great champion who is a horrible human being. I’dd as soon hire Scoop or Dan before this chump.

  • Thomas Tung · May 30, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    In other news, yet another drama-filled match involving a certain A. Cornet (and the first set has just been completed) … tough loss for Donaldson earlier, his legs let him down, even if his will to win was there. Could’ve really been a big breakout victory for the young American. Five sets on red clay is very respectable against a player of Dimitrov’s caliber, though.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 30, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    McEnroe is not a bad guy, he can be nice and friendly. He’s one of the most famous sports people in the world so he has a lot on his plate and he’s juggling a lot. Can’t please everybody but he’s been fair and nice to me. He once told me at a WTT practice, while he was on court and I was in the crowd watching, “Scoop I liked your book (about the Tyson-Lewis fight, which I gave him a copy months earlier during a boxing interview we did in NYC).” He didn’t have to do that. The sport is better off with McEnroe involved on all the levels he is.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 30, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Donaldson lost but that’s a very impressive loss to a great player. Querrey has had a lot of trouble with tricky Gillou, heck a lot of players did, I remember Hewitt was 0-4 vs Simon.

  • Thomas Tung · May 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Simon is one of those subtly difficult players; even the great Federer struggled with him early in his career. Querrey probably wished he was playing Nadal instead of Gilles!

  • Thomas Tung · May 30, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Parmentier too mentally tough for a game Alize in the end; long, tough, tense (but never personal, due to the French connection) match. Nice hug from both players at the end, and a very disappointed Cornet.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 30, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Simon and Q Ball have a close rivarly, about 4-4 or 5-3. Simon really is an interesting player, and yes I believe he did beat Federer the first two times they played. Two things I always think of about Simon, he’s a really nice, accessible normal regular guy and I overheard the Le Equipe reporter at Miami Open make that fart noise with his mouth saying he’s boring to watch. But this guy is not really a tennis player and probably played no more than three times in his life, or tried to play. Anyone who can hold a 4-0 career record vs Hewitt is a heckuva player.

  • Duke Carnoustie · May 31, 2018 at 12:31 am

    Simon is great to watch if you understand tennis strategy. QBall wrecked him at the USO last year, however. Here are some of the greats on Gillou

    Djoker: But, you know, can expect unforced errors when you’re playing Gilles Simon who is one of the best counter-punchers in the tour at the moment and he’s been around for many years. He likes to play long matches. He likes to play long rallies.

    ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. How much did you see Gilles Simon play? I’m just wondering, because I think people miss the point of him. He plays every match like that. He makes you miss. He makes you go for the lines and he runs down a lot of balls. A lot of points end in errors, if you like.

  • Hartt · May 31, 2018 at 6:36 am

    A while ago there was an interesting interview with Simon, where he said he uses the first set to figure out how to best play against his opponent. He basically said that because he doesn’t have the power, etc. of some of his opponents he has to out think them. Which, of course, he often does beautifully.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 31, 2018 at 7:07 am

    It’s nice to hear a little subtle confidence or cockiness of a player saying he outsmarts his opponents. Rampant over-humility gets tiring after a while.

  • catherine · May 31, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Petko into the 3rd round in Paris ! Nice to see Andrea winning again – unfortunately out of the doubles yesterday with Hsieh.

    Watson lost badly yesterday, must be feeling it, and let’s hope she didn’t read K Mitchell’s report in the Guardian. What’s the point of beating someone up when they’re lying squashed on the court ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 31, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Catherine, I know Kevin Mitchell from boxing and also some tennis. He wrote an unkind article about Watson?

  • catherine · May 31, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    It wasn’t too cruel but clearly Mitchell isn’t enamoured of Heather and didn’t think much of the match or the players. (When I re-read it I was amused to see he had managed to slip Konta’s name into the report.)

    It was just one of those days for both players and if Heather hadn’t been a Brit the match wouldn’t have warranted a write-up. I feel a bit sorry for Heather – she does try but the spark isn’t there. She also seems a very nice person.



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