Tennis and college, can it work? McEnroe: 'Kids, do not be in a rush...'

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Tennis and college, can it work? McEnroe: 'Kids, do not be in a rush...'

In the last year, two promising American players turned professional choosing not to go to college, saying good bye - at least at the moment - to books. We are speaking about 18-year-old Catherine Bellis and 17-year-old Sofia Kenin.

Kenin reached third round in the 2017 US Open main draw losing to Maria Sharapova. But is it right to skip college? History shows you can also be successful after playing at the university level, as John McEnroe, a former college player, won seven Grand Slam titles.

It's obvious that now there is much more money involved and things have changed, but McEnroe has suggested players to keep studying and at the same time playing tennis. 'Look at [Kevin] Anderson,' McEnroe said.

'He went to college and is in the finals of the U.S. Open. That should send a message to a lot of kids that are rushing it. It’s harder to do well in the pros at a young age now, so it makes total sense,' added the former American player, who went to college only for one year.

It's true he spent less time there, but it doesn't matter: 'It was one of the best decisions I ever made professionally, even if it was only one year. When I was a junior, people were coming after me. I was the hunted instead of the hunter.

Giving myself a year in college to get ready for the pro tour was really helpful for me. More kids should look at it.' Story by New York Times ALSO READ: Maria Sharapova: 'Serena Williams is intimidating'