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September 7, 1992

John McEnroe


Q. Can you talk to us about the tennis first, John?

JOHN McENROE: Why? Is there something else to talk about?

Q. John, did you ever feel that you can get any sort of-- put any dent in his serving today, on his service game?

JOHN McENROE: I felt like he served extremely well. I mean, it was just-- seemed like a high percentage. He put it in the corners, just served incredible, and I managed to get back in the third, but I felt like I was close, I wasn't missing by much, but he certainly seemed to be in control on his serve. It just boosts your confidence on my serve, made it much tougher for me.

Q. John, you had a really low first serve percentage in the first two sets. How much did that hurt you?

JOHN McENROE: Started off serving all right. And then put a lot of pressure on me. I think I just -- I wasn't -- I just reacted a little differently, not too well, and maybe just tried to go for it a little bit too much, and then that caused it to make matters worse, instead of maybe taking off a little bit. I thought maybe I could put a little bit more mustard on it and hopefully win a few free points, and I wasn't winning many free points. I settled down in the third set, but from, like, the middle of the first set, towards the end of the second, I didn't get a high percentage in. It definitely doesn't help him, it hurts me.

Q. Did you ever feel after a while that sooner or later he would miss some of the passing shots? He was right on the line. Did it frustrate you?

JOHN McENROE: I couldn't count on that, but I felt like I lifted my game and I played a hard third set, and just, the better guy won. That is all there is to it.

Q. John, how well is he playing?

JOHN McENROE: I think people sort of made a big thing about how he is not playing that well. When you are the number one seed coming into the U.S. Open, and he played a couple of guys that were sort of unusual matches for him in the semis, that he played a young guy that was around his age, but it just started before, so, if-- so there wasn't much pressure on him. Then he played a guy he lost to a couple of times, but when he played me, he certainly seemed to be playing top tennis, and I mean, he has, so far, clearly been number one. It's going to take an incredible match by Agassi to beat him. But if Andre plays as well as he is capable of, it should be an unbelievable match in the quarters, assuming he beats Costa. I think he is going to. Carlos is quite tough on clay. But Andre is hitting the ball so clean, I don't see him losing to Carlos on this surface. If the two of those guys play well, it should be a great match. I feel like Jim is really ready and prepared to keep going.

Q. Have you considered that this might be your last appearance on this court?

JOHN McENROE: Oh, definitely. No one can say for sure, but this is a pretty clear indication that Jim has outplayed me, and that the top guys are clearly a step ahead of me, and it is not really a difficult decision.

Q. Would you consider playing just the doubles?

JOHN McENROE: I suppose playing just the doubles is a possibility. I mean, you only have to cover half the court, so that is a lot easier, and also, you know, my game is more adaptable to doubles, but I don't see myself playing like a full-time doubles player, by any means. There is just no way of knowing right now, but I have nothing to hang my head about. I played as hard as I could, and you just-- he just outplayed me, simple as that. I had some things I wish I had done better, but I don't feel like I played badly by any means. I feel like I played pretty well. I played a couple of bad points here and there, but that was because I was feeling the pressure, and he really played well.

Q. Is it really possible that you would bypass to play this tournament in singles next year?

JOHN McENROE: Oh definitely. I mean it is just know way of knowing. It is easy to sit here right now and sort of just see and then I am sure it is always tougher when you get closer, but, it is just one of those things that happens in athletics. So you just have to move on, and I have got a couple of more tournaments; some Davis Cup; maybe I could still be involved in that, as a player, as a coach, next year, and that could keep me sharp, and-- but I mean, you know, I played as hard as I could. I felt like I was playing well. And Jim beat me in straight sets, so, it is one thing if you have covered around 10, 20, 30 or onwards down or even higher, but if you have been number one-- and then when you have guys that are -- Andre beat up on me pretty good at Wimbledon. I got to the semis. I felt like I was playing well here. Jim beat me pretty good here. It is the really not that tough a decision.

Q. John, when you say you would play just doubles and there is less court to cover. Do you find it is speed that has left you more than anything else?

JOHN McENROE: It is a combination of everything. I mean, it is just the bottom line, I am not as good as the top players. I mean, that is the bottom line. I am a step below the top players. The Courier, Andre when he is playing well and Pete, if they are on top of the game and I am on top of the game, it appears that I come up short.

Q. What was your quarrel with the photographer, John?

JOHN McENROE: Just simply asked him to stop, you know, I am-- same thing I have been asking, just simply to ask -- to change his camera on the changeovers, that is all. And I sort of find it insulting to-- as I am asking him to do it, he continues to change it. And so, I just felt that was really inappropriate. And then he flipped off at the referee and they had him removed. So I mean, I don't think-- it is not why I lost the match. I wish I could blame it on the guys changing the cameras. I think it's a courtesy, no big deal. People choose not to do it. We have to play on, but I think it is a courtesy that should be adhered to.

Q. He claimed it was the guy next to him. You were looking right at him, he said when he was changing the camera.

JOHN McENROE: He was actually changing the camera after I asked him, so I mean, if he is even beginning to claim that it wasn't him, that is just outright-- that is not fact. I don't know why he couldn't have said, okay, I asked him, and wanted to get his name in the paper, I guess.

Q. John, you say it is not that tough of a decision when you talk about your future here?

JOHN McENROE: It is a very tough decision, I am not going to say it's an easy decision, but it is pretty clear that after all this, I mean, it is always tough to make a decision to stop playing, but based on where I was hoping to get to, that is not that tough.

Q. What happened to Scott yesterday?

JOHN McENROE: It is just not -- it is one of those things that happened on the court. I just felt like it is not something that should be discussed in public. I think he just blew things out of proportion. It was one of those things that happens in a match. I mean, it can happen in a match, but that is another situation that had absolutely nothing to do with today, whatsoever. That was a doubles match, that was played yesterday. He chose to sort of bring up, you know, to get upset and start cursing at me and stuff, so I mean that is up to the officials if they want to do something about it. If -- what they decide, it is not-- it is out of my hands. I have no interest in sort of following up on it. I think that is up to the other people to decide.

Q. John, have you seen other athletes whether in your sport or other sports stay around longer than they should have? Are you concerned about embarrassment to yourself, about milking this too long?

JOHN McENROE: I think that that is a pretty easy question to answer. I mean, you see that all the time. Athletes that go on to -- it is, like I said, 99% of athletes, would probably quit at a different time if they could, but it just doesn't work out that way. I have nothing to feel ashamed about. I did the best I could, and I am not asking -- I don't need any sympathy -- I feel like I am very happy with my career. It is just one of those things. You got to decide sooner or later. That is just the way it is. It is not something that I am looking for sympathy, or -- it is just one of those things. It looks likes it is pretty clear to me. As I said, I am going to take December, January, February; not commit to anything and just see how I feel. But I suspect, it is, enough is enough.

Q. John, would you feel different about Wimbledon as an individual tournament because you did so well there, wouldn't it be hard to walk away from that as a single player?

JOHN McENROE: There is always a couple of ways of looking at it. You go out on a high; then you look at it like there is that temptation to play. I don't think I played that much worse than I did in Wimbledon to be honest. I mean, I don't think I have been playing badly all year. It is just that usually, after you have been playing on the circuit for 15 years, at least for me, it is much more natural to be pumped up and when you are playing the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, and then the experience can show a little bit more against some of the big players, but when you are talking about one, two, three, guys, then it is different. Then it is even tougher to pull out of those situations.

Q. Looking back over your career, if you had to choose a favorite moment or recollection or two--

JOHN McENROE: I don't know right now. It is not something that I am interested in discussing you know, recollecting my career. I have had a lot of great moments.

Q. Will it be hard for you to motivate for the rest of the season apart from Davis Cup?

JOHN McENROE: You know, it is hard to say, right now. I don't feel like -- it depends on the moment. I mean, if I feel physically healthy, I think that that will be good. And something to shoot towards, like we played Davis Cup; if we win that you could sort of shoot towards the finals. I am hoping that things like that will keep me going and then there is the final tournament like maybe the Grand Slam Cup. So, that should be motivation enough to keep going and hoping to get a couple of good wins and to go out playing well, to continue to play well the rest of the year.

Q. Does it bother you to watching Kareem last year, seeing--

JOHN McENROE: I am sorry.

Q. Did it bother you watching Kareem in his last year, sort of way down on his game?

JOHN McENROE: I mean, that is-- it is not for me to say. I mean, Kareem is like a legend in basketball, so if he chooses to play then that is his decision. If Connors wants to keep playing at 40 then that is his decision. We are all different. And he may have had other-- Kareem had a really unfortunate situation occur where his house burned down and he lost all his valuables and maybe financially, I believe, he had some tough dealings with his manager. So make he had -- it is different things. I mean, that is it. I have no business discussing that other than in a positive way in my opinion. I mean, it is just ridiculous for me to get into it.

Q. John, you just mentioned you will be playing Davis Cup. What is your feeling about this tournament, first time?

JOHN McENROE: Well, I know that my feelings are about it that I think it is sort of ridiculous that we have a Masters and this tournament so close together. I think that is a big mistake for tennis. But I am not in the Masters so that is not really much of a problem for me. So it is sort of like a situation where I had qualify because of my-- how I did in the Majors and so I have to look-- feel proud about it, feel happy that I was proud-- that I got it in the first time; i chose not to play because I wanted to do something for the players. But nothing was done in -- it was all for nothing; not playing, so for me now, the opportunity to play is simply for me as an individual. It has nothing to do with anything else. I know that Boris and Andre and Mats who are the three other players besides myself that chose not to play, I feel -- well, Mats is not playing, but I feel the other players feel the same way right now. I feel like if anything; they lean towards playing, because assuming everyone is healthy, because it is the situation where, I mean, maybe we can do something good in other ways by playing and doing something with the money that we win. So I look at that as, hopefully, a positive.

End of FastScripts....

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