Thread: johnny mac
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Old 03-11-2007, 09:21 PM   #27
Moose Malloy
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Mac sounds like the end is near:

John McEnroe creates drama on the tennis court -- with his play and sometimes with his antics. But he could be doing so in Naples for the last time on Sunday afternoon.

"Just know this is about it for me,'' he told fans after beating Mats Wilander, 4-6, 6-4, (10-5) on Saturday night. "If you've got anything left in your heart, try to pull for me tomorrow.''

Wayne Ferreira will play Aaron Krickstein in the final after McEnroe and Pat Cash meet at 1:30 p.m.

Krickstein defeated Jimmy Arias, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) in a match that didn't affect whether Krickstein made it in the final or not.

During his media session, McEnroe, 48, reiterated his thoughts on whether he would play again here next year.

"I'm looking at it like that if I get here one more time that would be like a bonus,'' he said. "I've got to be able to feel like I can win. When I can't win, it's too disheartening.

"I know it's tough. The guys are younger and hungry. If I don't feel like I can win a tournament, I just don't want to play

anymore. Again, I feel like I can, but I'm not feeling as good about it as I did before. I was winning a lot of events and then it was less.''

McEnroe, who didn't participate in the post-match, on-court interviews either of the previous two nights and did not attend media interviews, admitted the clay surface frustrates him because of the way it affects his game and provides opportunities for the opposition.

"The things that I do better or did better, it's harder to do on this surface and that gives these guys an extra shot or two,'' he said.

One thing McEnroe continues to notice, despite the fact he hasn't won an Outback Champions Series event yet, is the crowd here still treating him like a favorite and not coming over to his side.

"Whenever I've come here in the past, inevitably people started rooting for the underdog,'' he said. "I guess it's a compliment that people still consider me the favorite. I haven't managed a way, and some of it's my fault, to get people to (say) 'Hey, this guy's way older and we shoud be pulling for this guy.'

"I haven't managed to do that. If I'm not able to do that and do that really soon, I'm not going to be able to pull that energy I would need to maybe win a match.''

He had enough to beat Arias in the first round, but dropped a not-close first set to Krickstein and lost a tiebreaker to him.

"Everything's been difficult this week,'' McEnroe said. "Nothing's come easy so I shouldn't expect this one to be even though I've had some good results against (Wilander).

"I know that on clay, this court's real heavy, it's slippery. There's some tough bounces. It's really difficult. ... it doesn't

really suit my game. It's an uphill battle. I'm giving it what I can, but it's been disappointing.''

"You hit an incredible shot and then you miss an easy one,'' he said. "Then you hit a 115 mph ace and then you double (fault). It's a very frustrating game. The key is being able to brush that off. When you're younger, it's a lot easier to do. When you're older, it feels, at least for me, it's a lot more difficult.

McEnroe was more subdued against Wilander, although he did hit one ball out of the stadium in frustration after hitting the ball into the net. He also threw his racket from close range into the backdrop in front of the stands, and slammed the ball down hard after another mis-hit, but the ball just bounced across the net.

Against Arias, he got into exchanges with the chair umpire, fans and Arias for directing remarks at him, and was warned for using a profanity -- which he again uttered later in an exchange with a fan. McEnroe also was upset against Krickstein and hit a ball out of the stadium in that match as well.

"This has been a really tough three weeks for me, just travel weeks,'' said McEnroe, who has been to Europe twice and back before coming here. "Even though it's March, I feel like I need a break.

"To go to Europe and go back in five days and then come right back and come right here in two days ... especially when it's like zero degrees (there). This has always been a problem for me in Naples. Naples is tough for me. I know it going in. It's like my goal is not to have too meltdowns. It's like it's almost inevitable.''

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2007/...ats_wilander_/
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