Tennis

McEnroe wants to help Federer

2009-04-28 21:20
Thanks but no thank you (File)

By Melissa Murphy

New York - John McEnroe coaching Roger Federer? You cannot be serious!

While McEnroe would like to give the 13-time Grand Slam champion some pointers on how to snap out of his winless season, the mild-mannered Federer isn't quite taking him up on the offer.

McEnroe told a French weekly that he'd like to help the Swiss star get on track after Federer lost in the semifinals of the Miami Masters.

"I guess anybody would like to give me advice," Federer said at the Rome Masters. "So I don't think that's a crazy comment we should look into much."

With the French Open looming, Federer is gearing up for another possible match against top-ranked Rafael Nadal, who has defeated Federer in their last five meetings. Federer is still seeking a win at Roland Garros, the one major title that has eluded him.

McEnroe has some ideas on how the second-ranked Federer can beat Nadal on clay.

"Take the ball earlier and not get pulled off the court," McEnroe said in a phone interview from Los Angeles on Tuesday. "Nadal has a lefty slice out wide. Roger is content to get into a rally, and not attack the net, which is difficult on clay because of the slipping and sliding."

After getting married on April 11, Federer lost in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters, and his record fell to 18-5 this year.

"There's an argument that he doesn't need a coach and an argument that he could use some help with someone, which he's done in the past," said McEnroe, a seven-time singles Grand Slam winner. "He won 11 majors in four years. And back in my prime, I'd laugh at them (who offered advice).

"If he wants my input, we have people that represents us. It's a phone call away."

On Wednesday, Federer is scheduled to play 6-foot-10 (2.09-meter) Ivo Karlovic of Croatia at the Rome Masters. The French Open begins on May 24.

"At this stage, he'd have to have a lot of things fall his way to win it," McEnroe said. "If Nadal is healthy, he seems virtually unbeatable on clay. In a best of five, he's one of the fittest guys on tour."

Federer said he spoke with McEnroe during the "Showdown of Champions" in November. He played James Blake and McEnroe faced his old nemesis Bjorn Borg in a series of exhibitions in Macau and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"I spent time with him in the Asian exhibitions," Federer said. "We were there together and talked tennis like I did with James and Bjorn. So we had a good time over there."

Federer is one shy of Pete Sampras' all-time Grand Slam record of 14 titles. McEnroe believes Federer will break the record with titles at Wimbledon or the US Open.

McEnroe, in Los Angles to promote an ad campaign about prostate health for men over 50, said he won't be too upset if Federer doesn't call.

"The few times people asked me to help in past, no one listened to a word I said," McEnroe said of Boris Becker, Sergi Bruguera and Mark Philippoussis.

Read more on:    grand slam
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.