Novak Djokovic is like a human backboard, says John McEnroe

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Novak Djokovic is like a human backboard, says John McEnroe

John McEnroe commented on Novak Djokovic's Wimbledon chances. The former world No. 1 said: "I think he’s benefitted by the fact that the grass courts are much more similar to the other courts now. It’s a different game.

The bounce is much better. I think it’s better, but you don’t see him serving and volleying. It’s not as if he’s altered his game. He’s more or less playing the same way he plays on the other surfaces.

So if you throw in the fact that the courts have slowed down, if you asked all these players, the ball sits up more. He’s an incredible athlete, so he’s going to adjust anywhere. The guy is an amazing athlete. He’s like a human backboard.

So he understands that he can use what he does best, and then he’s added to it. He’s been able to finish points when he’s needed to. His serve is solid. All this stuff is something that — I still think hard courts are his best surface, and I think clay and grass — arguably maybe just patience-wise he’s better off playing on grass because he doesn’t get into as many deep rallies as he does on clay, even though obviously he’s great on clay, too.

But I would say grass would be his second best now and clay would be third. But he’s very close — there’s not a big difference in any of them compared to — he brings the bar high, to begin with. So that alone wins him most of his matches wherever he plays, and then there’s the occasion, whether he has a bad day, someone has a great day, et cetera, that — the Nadal match last year, fantastic match, no question about it, and he just — he’s so consistent.

That’s really what it is. And the courts — in some ways, you could argue grass is slower than clay at times, the way these balls were flying and the balls kick up much higher on the clay. It may suit him even better than the ball stays true and low and not that high.

It helps him against like Nadal and some other players. And listen, he’s got the greatest return in the history of the game. So the fact that now you’ve got more looks at returns is — saves him when he has to play the Andersons of the world or the huge servers that maybe in the past could more have easily blown someone off the court."