Tennis Prose



McEnroe Fires Back At Wimbledon

By Scoop Malinowski

John McEnroe has had his share of controversies with the tennis establishment and Wimbledon over the years and after being largely politically quiet for a long time, the inner “rebel” of McEnroe has emerged again.

Today on Eurosport, McEnroe fired some shots at analyst Tim Henman, asserting he does not agree with Wimbledon banning all Russian and Belarussion players for the third Grand Slam event of 2022 because of the Russian-Ukraine war situation which no Russian player has publicly supported. McEnroe also vehemently disagrees with the political power play by the ATP and WTA to strip Wimbledon’s ranking points from players in effect turning the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament into an exhibition.

McEnroe also suggested the players should consider boycotting Wimbledon over this controversy which of course punishes 2021 champion Novak Djokovic the most as it would snatch away his 2000 points for beating Berrettini in the Wimbledon final last year. Ash Barty is retired now so her 2021 points are irrelevant. Even if Djokovic wins Wimbledon this year and world no. 2 Daniil Medvedev loses first round, Djokovic would lose his no. 1 ranking to Medvedev, under this new ruling by the ATP.

McEnroe has long been a friend, ally, defender and admirer of Novak Djokovic, once even playing a spontaneous exhibition tiebreaker with him on Arthur Ashe Stadium after Djokovic beat Moya 64 76 61 in a 2007 US Open quarterfinal night match. McEnroe also previously wanted to help coach the young Djokovic on his volley skills, however Mark Woodforde ended up getting the part time coaching job instead.

The interesting aspect about McEnroe’s comments today is that the former seven-time Grand Slam champion is still a very powerful, persuasive voice in pro tennis and his political bravery could help to spark change and correction for this establishment injustice which is a stab in the back of the lower ranked players, who no matter how well they do at Wimbledon this year, as it stands, they won’t improve their rankings.

Now that McEnroe has courageously spoken what so many other figures in the tennis world also feel, it remains to be seen which figures decide to stand up and join and support McEnroe’s views and how such a rebellion could impact or change the current ruling.

Also possible is a boycott by the players of Wimbledon, as Naomi Osaka today implied she is not sure if she wants to play Wimbledon.

(McEnroe acrylic artwork by Karin Billings.)

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  • catherine · May 23, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    They all say they’re going to boycott but they never do. The lure of the Centre Court and that trophy is just too much. The last ATP boycott in the 70s didn’t affect attendance at all so it’s a pretty blunt weapon. Kodes won that year I think. Beat Metreveli.

    The AELTC take their orders from H M Gov and Boris isn’t a tennis fan.

  • catherine · May 23, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    BTW = I’ve read an online comment today that homes of Russians in the UK have been vandalized and this is a reason the AEC banned Russian and Belarus athletes on the grounds of ‘Player Safety’.

    This story is absolutely not true. I’ve no idea where it came from. It’s a complete fabrication.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 23, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    Catherine, fake news media and propaganda are what the media are all about. Believe nothing you hear or read and only half of what you see.



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