Could tennis have a decrease of interest once Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic retire from the professional game? In an interview to Le Figaro, the seven-time Grand Slam winner John McEnroe replied: "Yeah, because we saw over the last ten years probably the greatest players in tennis history.
Federer is the best player I have ever seen, Nadal is a surprising champion with an unprecedented physical and technical combination. Djokovic is a machine. This is why I am focused on the next generations, in order to one day make them get closer to the level of those immense champions.
I grew up admiring Rod Laver. I played against Bjorn Borg, who was a decent player (laughter). I lived a golden era of tennis, and that's why we will do all the possible to promote the game better so that it keeps a big interest in the public's eye.
The challenge is also to make some rules easier and get more kids involved." What is he asking for? "I am promoting a campaign to furthermore shorten the matches. The introduction of a tie-break in the fifth set is good.
But I do not understand why the French Open is the last Grand Slam that has not introduced it yet. I cannot understand it because on clay it may take hours..." Asked about how the game evolved, McEnroe replied: "It's faster than it has ever been.
You need to be more physical. In America, we find the best athletes in American football or basketball. If this kind of athletes were interested in tennis earlier, we would have great champions again, I am sure about it."