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grizzly4life
04-09-2007, 09:27 AM
i finished mcenroe's book in under one day. i guess i liked it:p

just a few things in it,

mcenroe seems pretty honest with his feelings. wrote things we aren't supposed to say. para-phrasing here but he didn't seem to want his brother to be too successful in tennis or his doubles partner peter fleming to be happy in love.. my brother comment might be off, but it's hard to describe his feelings.

huge feud with connors.... connors (and mcenroe) both come off looking like jerks. and i think mcenroe really dispels connors love affair with the fans. it was all for connors benefit, he didn't actually care about the fans. (again para-phrasing). hated that jimmy seldom played davis cup.

absolute worship for bjorn borg.... mac loved the guy unbelievably... borg said that being #2 or lower was absolutely pointless. mcenroe isn't so sure, although he likes the money.

lendl was a robot...... choked for the longest time, and then mcenroe choked losing to him. that was the monkey off lendl's back and then he went on to alot of major wins.

some sampras, chang and agassi in the book, but doesn't really get into their personalities.

mcenroe is pained horribly to this day over his 1984 2 sets to none loss to ivan lendl at FO (can't remember if this was monkey off back match, don't think it was)

hooked up with tatum at the peak of his career and NEVER won another major. LOL..... doesn't rip tatum that badly at all in the book. and is pretty vague about drug use (other reviewers) said he was very specific)

who was the major celebrity he dated in new york in early-mid 80's? he said older, single mother with two kids in manhattan ... one name jumps to mind, but she must be too old.

two tennis tips that were helpful to me and they are mcenroe-centric (meaning they may not be good for us)

hit everything on the rise and come forward.

wrist acceleration for spin serve way out wide. like a knife thrower.

very enjoyable book... any others out there i should read. maybe bjorn borg.

BaseLineBash
04-09-2007, 09:38 AM
Cool. I know that Johnny Mac took Agassi under his wing and helped him adjust to the atp when he was young. I think he might have been the only atp player that liked Agassi at first.

LttlElvis
04-09-2007, 09:44 AM
I read this book in a couple of days too, when it first came out a few years ago. I was lucky enough to get him to sign the book after he came off a practice court. I agree with every thing you said. I too think he didn't rip into Tatum like he could have (or not as much as she thinks). The book is a fun read.

Another good book is Joel Drucker's "Jimmy Connors Saved My Life." Drucker has some good insight and happens to be one of the few tennis reporters to have a good relationship with Connors. Drucker also gets very brave and talks about his own family problems, and how tennis and Connors was a great diversion for him.

grizzly4life
04-09-2007, 09:45 AM
one more thing...

mac went downhill after meeting tatum and strange combinations over time of under/overtraining and his heart not being in it 100% after having kids ... makes clear that you have to have a huge commitment to stay at #1. most personalities can't handle it. nice guys don't get to #1, he basically say (or at least implies).... then his career went way downhill after lendl and chang topspin lobbed him to death and he didn't have the footspeed to cover them..

stormholloway
04-09-2007, 09:49 AM
With a risky game like Mac's, your mind has to be in perfect shape. His wasn't.

grizzly4life
04-09-2007, 09:51 AM
With a risky game like Mac's, your mind has to be in perfect shape. His wasn't.

good point... and i forgot to add that it seems like racquet technology probably adversely affected mac on a relative basis. next generation of SV'ers were boomers, not finesse guys. i think boris becker basically opened mac's eyes. is henman closest recent recent player to mcenroe style??

Moose Malloy
04-09-2007, 10:01 AM
Cool. I know that Johnny Mac took Agassi under his wing and helped him adjust to the atp when he was young. I think he might have been the only atp player that liked Agassi at first.

Mac was the ultimate loner, he was friends with no one, & he greatly resented Agassi for taking away attention from him(Mac loved being the top american/top draw in the sport) Everyone hated the young Agassi, especially Connors, Mac & Lendl, they constantly ragged on him publicly(and with Agassi's tanking, playing to the crowd, skipping Wimbledon, applauding his opponents winners-usually when he was destroying them-it was pretty easy to criticize him)

Their relationship only got good when Mac was in his final year on tour. I think part of Mac's 'friendship' with Agassi was designed to get named Davis Cup captain(when you have the support of the players, its easier to get that job)

Most top guys in the 80s were not friendly at all, & wouldn't take anyone under their wing. Players today are a bit more laidback(Agassi & Roddick are very helpful to younger players)

Agassi even joked about it a few years ago, when somebody asked him about his friendship with the young Roddick, he said "I was lucky to get a 'hello' from the top players when I first joined the tour."

grizzly4life
04-09-2007, 10:07 AM
moose is probably right... although i'd warn there's very little agassi in the book....surprisingly effectively no insightful edberg in the book.... seemed to really respect wilander, although he's only there a couple of times.

forgot to mention vitas too.... lots of vitas in the book. although it was hard to tell how tight they were. seemingly quite. i thought the book would be alot more talking about partying etc., but it isn't.

Moose Malloy
04-09-2007, 10:23 AM
forgot to mention vitas too.... lots of vitas in the book. although it was hard to tell how tight they were. seemingly quite. i thought the book would be alot more talking about partying etc., but it isn't.

No doubt they were friends at some point, but you have to take anything Mac says(or anything said in a autobiography by anyone) with a grain of salt.

I have many old sports illustrateds(which actually covered tennis quite a bit in the 70s/80) and there are first hand accounts from Grand Slam events at the time that don't match with what some older players say today.

For example, the issue on the 1979 US Open, Mac & Gerulaitis did not like each other at all then, & there are actual quotes from each putting down each other at that tournament.

Also I've seen the '81 US Open SF between the 2, much oncourt tension, questioning of linecalls, complaining to the umpire about each other's behavior, etc.

I believe Mac only became close with Vitas when Vitas declined/retired(which was still early in Mac's career, there was an age difference)

grizzly4life
04-10-2007, 10:24 AM
one last instructional nugget..... mcenroe said he spend tons of time practicing his overheads. and he didn't mention any other area of his game for extra practice. says most players don't spend near enough time on overhead... and i'd think for us 3.5 to 4.5 types, overhead would be even more important. i see some many people (me too) who can take the lead in a point but can not finish the point.

CyBorg
04-10-2007, 02:20 PM
I don't think Mac was a loner at all. According to the book he, Vitas and Borg hung out a lot - partied quite a bit.

Connors was the loner. He was a mama's boy of sorts (I don't mean this in a bad way - he was the Lou Gehrig of tennis players) and didn't relate to most of his peers. Mac didn't like him - Borg said he was misunderstood.

Thomas15
04-10-2007, 03:16 PM
thats one of the best books i ever read, read it when it first came out, reald it again couple years ago and im reading it again right now (75 pages left to go)

Deuce
04-11-2007, 12:20 AM
McEnroe says that when he was a teen in N.Y. City, Gerulaitis was a local tennis hero whom McEnroe looked up to (Vitas was a few years older than McEnroe).
McEnroe finally met him, which was a big thrill for him. They became friends not long after, I believe.

grizzly4life
04-11-2007, 04:45 AM
McEnroe says that when he was a teen in N.Y. City, Gerulaitis was a local tennis hero whom McEnroe looked up to (Vitas was a few years older than McEnroe).
McEnroe finally met him, which was a big thrill for him. They became friends not long after, I believe.

that's what's strange about this book.... is like the seinfeld "yada, yada" episode... mcenroe seems to gloss over a huge amount of stuff.

vitas is a huge star mcenroe looks up to
mcenroe becomes a top player and they become friends
vitas lifestyle becomes very questionable.
vitas dies from accidental carbon monoxide overdose.....

but there doesn't seem to be any color on any of this.... i don't think the word cocaine is mentioned once in the book, or any mention of vitas' distribution charges.....

BTW, from which book is the charge that a player sniffed cocaine from his wristband??

zapvor
04-11-2007, 11:27 AM
Mac was the ultimate loner, he was friends with no one, & he greatly resented Agassi for taking away attention from him(Mac loved being the top american/top draw in the sport) Everyone hated the young Agassi, especially Connors, Mac & Lendl, they constantly ragged on him publicly(and with Agassi's tanking, playing to the crowd, skipping Wimbledon, applauding his opponents winners-usually when he was destroying them-it was pretty easy to criticize him)

Their relationship only got good when Mac was in his final year on tour. I think part of Mac's 'friendship' with Agassi was designed to get named Davis Cup captain(when you have the support of the players, its easier to get that job)

Most top guys in the 80s were not friendly at all, & wouldn't take anyone under their wing. Players today are a bit more laidback(Agassi & Roddick are very helpful to younger players)

Agassi even joked about it a few years ago, when somebody asked him about his friendship with the young Roddick, he said "I was lucky to get a 'hello' from the top players when I first joined the tour."

good points. enjoyed this post.

Deuce
04-11-2007, 11:13 PM
BTW, from which book is the charge that a player sniffed cocaine from his wristband??
Might have been from 'Short Circuit' by Michael Mewshaw.

N23
04-26-2007, 07:28 AM
I got this at Borders for $5. Gotta start reading it.

breakfast_of_champions
04-27-2007, 04:35 PM
I don't think Mac was a loner at all. According to the book he, Vitas and Borg hung out a lot - partied quite a bit.

Connors was the loner. He was a mama's boy of sorts (I don't mean this in a bad way - he was the Lou Gehrig of tennis players) and didn't relate to most of his peers. Mac didn't like him - Borg said he was misunderstood.


i'd have to agree with you here. although connors seemed to have plenty of female friends. it was us against the world with connors. mcenroe probably just didn't have many friends because of his personality disorder. connors was the biggest american star ever, and owned ny. dont think that sat well with johnny, even too this day.

i hear so much of jmac on tv, don't think i'd want to read his book.

CEvertFan
04-28-2007, 02:44 PM
Read Navratilova's bio called "Martina". You can probably find it online from Amazon.

Viper
04-28-2007, 08:41 PM
The only thing I didn't like about that book was that he made a buzzilion excuses about everything. I don't think he ever outright said that he lost because his opponent outplayed him. It was always like " and even though he played well my (insert excuse here) caused me to lose."

zapvor
04-29-2007, 04:40 PM
The only thing I didn't like about that book was that he made a buzzilion excuses about everything. I don't think he ever outright said that he lost because his opponent outplayed him. It was always like " and even though he played well my (insert excuse here) caused me to lose."

hahahha what a loser. no excuses.