Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (
-   Former Pro Player Talk (
-   -   John McEnroe and Harry Hopman (

BeHappy 05-27-2012 02:11 PM

John McEnroe and Harry Hopman
McEnroe was trained by Harry Hopman in college. He was noticably much bigger and stronger in his early years on the tour:

Much more diciplined in how he played too. He was hitting his groundstrokes bigger than Vilas here, out Vilasing Vilas!

edit: Guess I was wrong about Harry Hopman coaching him in college, it was actually earlier. but I guess his having a scholarship in college meant he had to do what he was told and whatever physical programme they had him in college had a great effect on him. Maybe he would have been even better if he'd kept up his focus on fitness.

kiki 05-27-2012 02:14 PM

Hopman developed projects into players in the 70s at the US.He coached JMac ( who was also coached by Palafox, a former player of the 60s) and very specially Vitas Gerulaitis.I guess, he did a great job with Vitas but could never induce Mc Enroe into great work habits...

gavna 05-27-2012 09:34 PM

Hopman was at Port Washington as was Palafox, Brett, Moore and Gerulaitis's father (who was his main coach). Hopman took over the Pt Washington program in early 69 and i was there from 1974 thru 1978 as well (along with like 600+ kids). By the time JMac was off to Stanford - Hoppy was already spltting time in Florida and was pretty much gone from NY. Palafox was Jmac's main coach from the mid 70's on.......JMac always had some "babyfat" and didnt really start to lose weight and get really thin until after 1981.

jaggy 05-28-2012 09:01 AM

Who was his coach at Stanford?

coolhandluke 05-28-2012 11:15 AM

dick gould

borg number one 05-28-2012 11:25 AM

See this link to a good short article on Harry Hopman written by Chris Lewis.

Some excerpts:


I began visiting his tennis academy at Bardmoor in 1977, and during the time I spent there, such good players as Andrea Jaeger, Kathy Horvath, Ramesh Krishnan, Fritz Buehning, Scott Davis, Hans Gildemeister, Johan Kriek, Peter McNamara, Paul McNamee, Andres Gomez, Vitas Gerulaitis and John McEnroe trained at the academy.

Such was the respect that Harry Hopman commanded, just by his record and his presence, that all the players, without exception, would call him Mister Hopman. Well, almost without exception, as occasionally Vitas would call him “Mr H,” but no one would dream of calling him Harry.
One of the reasons Hopman earned so much respect, was that he truly loved the game. He wasn‘t just interested in the big names, but in anyone wanting to play tennis. At his camp, there were always dozens of inexperienced players, as well as the bigger names, and Hopman took a personal interest in all of them.

He was an incredibly interesting character. He began playing international tennis in 1928. A top class doubles player, winning two Australian doubles titles with Jack Crawford in 1929 and 1930, and also reaching the French doubles final and the Wimbledon mixed (with his wife Nell).

He was playing captain of the Australian Davis Cup Team in 1938-39, and as late as 1948 reached the French Doubles final with Frank Sedgman.

It was as mastermind of Australian tennis that he made his reputation though, guiding players from the era of Frank Sedgman, Ken Rosewall and Lew Hoad, through to John Newcombe and Tony Roche. He left Australia in 1969 to base himself in the United States.

As well as being passionate about the sport, Hopman was also a strict disciplinarian. He was known to stand hidden on the balcony of his house, which overlooked a golf course used by tennis players as a running track. Hopman would watch the players through a pair of binoculars to make sure they were sticking to the prescribed course and running at the right speed!

Players who visited his tennis camp knew they were going there to work. A typical day there for me would begin with 10-15 minutes of warm-up exercises, followed by 2 hours on court. These sessions would always be very physical but also very interesting. Harry Hopman had hundreds of his own drills, and there was always something different to keep players interested.

After this workout would be a lunch break of 90 minutes, followed by more exercises, and the another 2 hours on court.

At the end of the day, players were given the option of playing practice sets or going for a run.

wendersfan 05-28-2012 01:57 PM

I wouldn't assume McEnroe was a lot stronger and muscular then, he had a lot of 'baby fat' that he lost around '81-'82.

BeHappy 05-28-2012 06:14 PM


Originally Posted by wendersfan (Post 6572788)
I wouldn't assume McEnroe was a lot stronger and muscular then, he had a lot of 'baby fat' that he lost around '81-'82.

That looks like muscle to me, not fat.

gavna 05-28-2012 07:54 PM


Originally Posted by BeHappy (Post 6573284)
That looks like muscle to me, not fat.

JMac was never muscular - from the Jrs on till about 82 he was somewhat chubby and he himself made lots of jokes about his "Hagen Daz" diet. He was pretty soft - even the year he spent at Stanford he caught flak for his work habits. He really didnt work hard (serious gym work) and watch his diet until after 1986 when he lost a ton of weight.

Tshooter 06-01-2012 07:40 PM

"At his camp, there were always dozens of inexperienced players, as well as the bigger names, and Hopman took a personal interest in all of them. "

I can attest to that too. Hopman used to ride around in a golf cart and he would hop out and give pointers to the campers.

stringertom 06-06-2012 06:00 PM

I have fond memories of a one-week adult camp visit to Bardmoor in the mid-80's. Mr. H. was still active but mostly involved in coaching the pros and a few juniors in attendance. He still took some time to meet all of us and watch a bit of the drilling we got from his staff. Vitas was there that week so he got most of Hop's attention. Mel Purcell was also training that week and he was a blast to hang out with! A great week indeed!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse