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Thursday, April 26, 2018

John McEnroe: Novak Djokovic’s Streak More Impressive Than Mine

Novak Djokovic has incredibly won his first 37 matches of the tennis season, threatening to break John McEnroe’s record of 42 straight matches won to start a calendar year. Djokovic started off the year winning the Australian Open, then he won in Dubai, at the BNP Paribas Open, the Sony Ericsson Open, Serbia, Madrid, and last weekend at the Italian Open. He’s won on hardcourts, on clay, and he’s gone 7-0 against Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the other two top players in the world. Nole’s list of accomplishments to start the year is so impressive, McEnroe has said it’s better than what he did in 1984.

“Given there’s more competition, more athleticism, deeper fields, I’d say his record is even more impressive than mine – especially given that in 1984, the major in Australia was played at the end of the year,” McEnroe said when he announced he’ll be playing in London in December.

As if that’s not enough to knock you on your butt in surprise, McEnroe said he’s rooting for Djokovic to break the record!

“I’m quite excited that he might break my record at the French Open,” McEnroe added. “To put it mildly, it’s been quite amazing to see what he’s done and how much more confidently he’s playing.”

McEnroe also said tennis has needed a shot in the arm which is why Novak’s streak is good for the game. He’s definitely right because Djokovic gains national headlines every time he wins, and that’s especially important in America where we hardly have any top players in the world.

What Djokovic is doing may be the most impressive current feat in all of sports. He’s beating the top players in the world soundly, doing it on different surfaces, and he’s mostly winning in straight sets.

I’ve always thought Djokovic had an extremely well-rounded game and that he could one day be the top player in the world after Federer was done, but I didn’t expect his rise to prominence to come so quickly. And I know I’m also not alone in my shock after hearing that McEnroe is rooting for him. John McEnroe? Johnny Mac really said that? And he wasn’t drugged beforehand? That’s quite the compliment to Novak and it shows a lot of character coming from McEnroe, especially towards someone previously best known for his mocking impressions.

Thanks to On the Go Tennis for the tip

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