John McEnroe won the ATP Champions Tour double-header in Verona and Modena, beating Sergi Bruguera 6-4, 6-3 in the final, and then talked about his admiration for Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
In front of a capacity crowd at La Grande Sfida in Modena, he was in fine form to overcome a man 12 years his junior.
“The last couple of years I’ve played in Italy and the crowd has been unbelievable,” said McEnroe. “So passionate and they remind me of someone – myself – so they get really into it, they lift me up and you’ve got to want to play for people who come out like that.”
McEnroe also kept half an eye on the final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, where Djokovic completed a stunning year with a straight sets victory over Federer.
“I’m in total amazement at how consistent Novak has been, at such a high level,” said McEnroe. “From my own memories of trying to win big ones and be the best, I remember how hard it was to be that consistent and have that much domination mentally over all the other guys.
“Roger has also amazed me because my peak year was 25. This guy is 34 and looks better than ever – so I ask myself ‘what the hell was I doing wrong?’ A lot, apparently. He’s forcing guys to get better, which I think is a good thing. But I’m also waiting to see who these next guys are who are going to finally break the stranglehold.”
McEnroe will now join Thomas Enqvist and Pete Sampras at the top of the ATP Champions Tour standings for 2016.
The Tour now moves on the London for Champions Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall, 2-6 December.
For more information: www.atpchampionstour.com