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Daily Bagel: John McEnroe calls to ditch doubles at Grand Slams

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The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

• Video: Daniela Hantuchova shows off her classical training by playing piano during an exhibition with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils in Bratislava, Slovakia.

• Shocker: John McEnroe calls for tennis to ditch doubles at the majors. Strong words.

“Why we are even playing doubles at this point is a mystery to me,” said McEnroe. “I love doubles but I don’t even recognise what this is. If there was a volleying contest from the service line, most of these guys couldn’t . . .” He stopped and sighed. “They play an inch from the net. It is like wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

“If you cut out doubles and gave that money to singles players ranked between 200 and 1,000, maybe that would do something for the game. Then some other guy who never really had the chance to play ends up becoming No 100 in the world instead of quitting when he’s No 400.

“Most doubles players, I hate to say, are the slow guys who were not quick enough to play singles.”

• CNN profiles Serena Williams and her team.

• Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic are in Bogota, Colombia, for an exhibition event.

• Melanie Oudin talks about her recovery from rhabdomyolysis, a muscle-damaging condition.

• The ATP is counting down the best comebacks of the season.

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  • Published On Dec 06, 2013
  • 10 comments
    Sereniza
    Sereniza

    Mac's point is that the doubles specialists are successful simply because the top singles players no longer play doubles. Put Federer-Wawrinka in their path, or recently, Verdasco with a partner, and the Bryans can be beat.


    Not so in Mac's time, or when BJK, Court, Navratilova and Hingis were both top singles and top doubles players. Back when Venus was still healthy, she and Serena were the real best doubles team in women's tennis, not the Spaniards or the Italians (I can't even remember their names). Nothing proves Mac's point better than that.

    Vinny Cordoba
    Vinny Cordoba

    Gotta admit, men's doubles does look more like badminton now than tennis.

    mali.nico
    mali.nico

    I kind of agree w/ McEnroe but not completely.  Eliminate double specialist but not the matches.  This will encourage lower rank players to play doubles because their chances of winning will increase.

    AYahoo!u5er
    AYahoo!u5er

    He has a point, but it isn't a good one. Most of the 100-400 level guys also play doubles. They are going to make more playing doubles where they have a relative chance of winning something, 

    CMassrey
    CMassrey

    That's really shocking comments from J-Mac considering he played doubles all the time.

    Tom14
    Tom14

    Om the contrary, adding more money to singles will just allow more mid level players to make a very nice living by getting to the second round of a major or funding a retirement account with a rare appearance in a majors second week. It's a shame James Blake would stay in the game in the doubles draw. I'm convinced Andy Roddick would have more majors if he played doubles and learned how to volley.

    MatthewNeiger
    MatthewNeiger

    I'd love to see a combined ranking that would encourage more top and near-top players to play doubles.  If 50% of your doubles points could be used for singles entry, you'd see plenty of players get involved.



    LarryB1
    LarryB1

    You are wrong Johnny Mac, most viewers are people who play doubles and want to see doubles matches.  Tired of the Nadal, Jerkovich and Federer matches.

    SRJ
    SRJ

    I agree.


    He didn't mind taking the money and the ranking points (including the doubles part which had added to his legacy) when the style was something he thought was acceptable, and now he's calling for it to be ditched in its entirety.... UHHH.


    Thankfully he's not an authority on this issue, and I highly doubt the slams will just categorically get rid of the entire genre like that.