Friday, December 15, 2017

You cannot be serious: McEnroe analyzed in book

   John McEnroe grew up in New York, still lives there and has a second home in fashionable Malibu, a Los Angeles-area enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
   But McEnroe also is a Northern California legend. He won the 1978 NCAA singles title in his only year at Stanford and captured five singles and nine doubles title in the San Francisco Bay Area stop on the pro tour before the tournament moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2014. The singles total ties Andre Agassi for the most in the Open Era (since 1968), and the doubles amount is unsurpassed in that period.
   The first seven of McEnroe's doubles titles in the Bay Area came with New Jersey native Peter Fleming. The last two were with Mark Woodforde of Australia and, at the preposterous age of 47 in 2006, Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden.
   Scoop Malinowski's recent book, "Facing McEnroe," consists of quotes about the 58-year-old International Tennis Hall of Famer and renowned tennis commentator. Malinowski also has written "Facing Federer," "Facing Nadal," "Facing Hewitt" and "Facing Sampras."
   McEnroe's second book, "But Seriously," came out in June.
   Here are some sample quotes from "Facing McEnroe":
   --Former world No. 3 Brian Gottfried: "We obviously go back a long ways. He was a guy that had more talent in two fingers than most of us had in two arms. There weren't many guys that you'd go to watch. You'd play your match and leave and prepare for your next match. He was a guy I used to go watch. Because, like I said, his talent level was beyond what the rest of us could do. ... I think he could have been the greatest of all time if he had the work ethic at a young age that he has now. ... "
   --Paul Goldstein, Stanford men's tennis coach and former pro who lost with ex-Cardinal teammate Jim Thomas to McEnroe and Bjorkman in the 2006 SAP Open doubles final in San Jose, 7-6 (2), 4-6 [10-7]. " ... (McEnroe) was the best player on the court for the majority of that match. He was playing with Jonas Bjorkman, who was number one in the world in doubles at the time. All due respect to Jonas, who was phenomenal, but there were times when John was by far the best player on the court. Hit the spots on his serve so well. He doesn't move around the court as well as he used to, but, man, if he was there, he just still has every shot. It was fun. ... "
   --Goldstein, on hitting with McEnroe at Stanford about five years ago: " ... No one was watching, (but) he brought the same level of competitiveness to that one single practice set that he would in a match. He didn't want to lose that practice set, the same way he might not want to lose the French Open final. He just brings out that level of competitiveness, I think, to everything he does."
   --Former world No. 7 and Stanford star Tim Mayotte, on whether McEnroe intentionally erupted to distract opponents: " ... To me, to call it intentional is not accurate. I think it was instinctive. And he was clearly out of control many times. To the point of it being -- I'm not sure that the right word is -- vicious. That's the way he lived. .... "
   --McEnroe, on the qualities he admires most in people: "It's not easy to go out there and give 100 percent. And run the risk of losing. I respect that the most in athletes. The guys that go out there and play hard. They don't give up on it. You can't be a loser if you go out there and give it your best. You're a winner if you go out and do that. Most people can't do that, shockingly enough. They find ways to quit. To me, that's the biggest quality. And the other one would be honesty."

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