Tennis

John McEnroe picks three young stars he would like to coach in the future

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Over the past decade, tennis has been dominated by the likes of Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. It is fair to say that they have set the sport alight.

Despite these household names taking charge in the sport, new young talent has started to emerge over the last few years.

Amid this current mix of all-time greats and exciting youngsters in the sport, tennis legend John McEnroe admits the lesser experienced players aren't being given the chance to break past the ‘big four’.

In a recent interview with Marca, McEnroe revealed he would like to coach Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Denis Shapovalov and thinks they are capable of succeeding the likes of Federer and co..

When asked to pick a player he wishes he could coach, he replied: "For me, I'd say Nick Kyrgios. Then there's Alexander Zverev too, he's certain to be a No. 1. I enjoyed training Milos [Raonic] but I identify more with the new Canadian [Denis Shapovalov]. He has a style and personality that's similar to mine."

Zverev has enjoyed a brilliant 2017, winning two Masters 1000 and of the players in the top 20, has appeared to benefit most from Djokovic and Murray's on going fitness problems.

Shapovalov, the youngest of the three at 18, sparked interest at the US Open by reaching the last 16 in New York. Although unable to progress further, it is a teenage dream to be amongst the stars at that level in the competition and a great achievement at that age.

Finally, we have the ever controversial, Nick Kyrgios. The Aussie, at 22, has regularly turned heads in the sporting world and not always for a good reason.

The young star has an impressive record against Djokovic, Federer and Nadal but often struggles to reach the same level against weaker opponents due to a lack of motivation. He has an abundance of potential, however, the tendency to ‘throw his toys out of the pram’ has often held him back.

McEnroe was also asked why it has taken this young talent so long to break down the ‘big four’, he said; “Firstly, because Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray are too good, perhaps the best ever, although I would say it is Rod Laver.

“They are good, hungry and talented and young players have sometimes failed to take advantage of their opportunities.

It is a sport which is always bringing new talent up the ranks. Now, with some guidance like McEnroe says, the tables could be about to turn. 

Topics:
Novak Djokovic
Andy Murray
Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer

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