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#pounditSaturday, April 13, 2024

John McEnroe makes plea to USTA: ‘It’s not humane’

John McEnroe looks on

Mar 2, 2020; New York, New York, USA; Former professional tennis player John McEnroe attends the game between the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

John McEnroe made a plea to the USTA on Wednesday regarding the playing conditions at the US Open.

McEnroe was sitting at ESPN’s remote studio desk for the US Open at Flushing Meadows, N.Y. McEnroe, James Blake and Chris McKendry were talking about the conditions endured by Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals match between the men earlier in the day, which Medvedev won in straight sets.

McEnroe said the hot and human conditions the two played through were “not humane in a way.”

“These poor guys today … they looked like they’re going to fall over. It’s not humane in a way,” McEnroe said. “I’m sorry. Please, USTA, in the future, I think seriously we should close the roof.”

The USTA is the United States Tennis Association, which is the governing body of tennis in the U.S., including the US Open.

Arthur Ashe Stadium has a retractable roof that was left open for Wednesday’s matches. The roof is typically closed if there is rain, but not due to heat. Medvedev issued a harsher warning to the tournament organizers, saying that someone would die eventually.

McEnroe believes the conditions are not resulting in what tennis should ultimately strive for: to have players playing at their best, not dragging through a match at their worst.

“The best tennis player, not a war of attrition,” McEnroe says they should be aiming for.

It wasn’t quite as hot out during the first week of the tournament, but it was around 93 degrees out on Wednesday, in addition to the humidity. That produced some extremely difficult playing conditions in the main stadium, which McEnroe doesn’t think is the way it should be.

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