More from Mac on schedule and Murray

September 16, 2009

Former tennis player McEnroe watches the Los Angeles Lakers play the Utah Jazz during their NBA basketball game in Los AngelesFour-times U.S. Open champion John McEnroe now works as a TV commentator for CBS network and for cable sports giant ESPN at Flushing Meadows, but the opinionated former bad boy of tennis did not hesitate airing his views to Reuters about the dubious scheduling of matches at the Open and other subjects.

McEnroe hit out particularly at the so-called Super Saturday program that calls for the men’s semi-finals and the women’s final, with the men’s championship match to follow on Sunday, providing no day of rest for the guys in between and putting the tournament’s grand finale at the whim of weather.

“I suppose it’s something CBS prefers for their schedule, maybe they get more people watching on the weekend but as far as the quality of play, it’s impossible to get that if you’re playing two best-of-five sets two days in a row.”

Asked about the chances for change in the Super Saturday schedule to provide more cushion to the players and schedule-makers, McEnroe was dubious.

“So far I’ve never seen that discussed seriously,” he said. “It’s a players’ call. They have to put their foot down, say ‘we’re not going to accept it.’

“I don’t see that changing. Maybe the players don’t care about it that much.”

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Before the tournament, McEnroe predicted that an Andy would win the men’s crown — either Briton Andy Murray or American Andy Roddick.

“I thought that potentially Roddick would use what happened at Wimbledon to fuel him,” he said about the American’s brilliant five-set marathon against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final.

“As far as Murray, I was just amazed. He looked completely flat as a pancake for what was at stake and he didn’t dig for it,” McEnroe said, questioning his effort. “Maybe the pressure was too great.”

McEnroe contrasted Murray’s 7-5 6-2 6-2 losing performance against Marin Cilic to Rafael Nadal’s efforts to carry on despite being troubled by a strained abdominal muscle to reach the semi-finals.

“Look at Nadal, trying to find a way. I didn’t get that feeling from Murray.”

PICTURE: Former tennis player John McEnroe watches the Los Angeles Lakers play the Utah Jazz during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles January 2, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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