McEnroe: “I’ve never loved tennis like Roger Federer”

The Big 3 have been the great rulers of the men’s Tour over the past decade and a half, having raised the popularity of tennis to previously unexplored levels. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are currently paired at 20 slams each, but the Serbian phenomenon is the biggest suspect to make the extension.

In addition to winning eight of the last twelve Majors, the world number 1 has just reached the semifinal of the US Open and is aiming to complete the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’. Roger and Rafa are far from the glories of the past, both for physical and personal reasons.

The Swiss has just started rehabilitation after undergoing surgery on his right knee for the third time, while the Spaniard ended his season prematurely with a foot problem. In a recent interview with GQ, the legendary John McEnroe, who collected 155 singles and doubles trophies, expressed regret not having enjoyed his time as a player as the Big 3 did.

McEnroe reveals his big regrets

“If I would have liked to love tennis as much as Roger Federer does? Absolutely yes, but I have no idea how he does it. He is really crazy. When I think of players like Jimmy Connors, but also Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, I realize that I haven’t been perfect from the point of view of dedication.

I have worked hard enough, but compared to them it seems that I have done nothing. There are always things you could have done better. I wish I had dealt with situations differently, but I still used those experiences to grow.

I think I am better as a person today,” admitted the seven-time Grand Slam champion. McEnroe also recalled his famous outbursts on the court: “Everyone is afraid of failure. In moments when I felt I was about to break down, it was easier to hide behind the anger. This is not the only reason, of course. There have been times when I was honestly very angry, while on other occasions I have deliberately exaggerated.”