When thinking of tennis, you may be more familiar with his brother John, but come September you’ll have plenty of chances to watch Patrick McEnroe. From August 26 through September 8, he’ll be part of CBS’ U.S. Open commentary crew. Then he’ll step into the arena as captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, which heads to Paris September 20-22 to take on defending champ France in the semifinals of tennis’ premier team competition.
AW: What are the challenges of being the other tennis-playing McEnroe?
PM: I’ve been asked questions like this since I was 11, so I’ve become quite experienced when it comes to verbalizing, which I suppose in many ways helped me get where I am today.
AW: What makes the Davis Cup unlike anything else in tennis?
PM: As a tennis player, you miss all that makes team sports great — working together and the support of others. The Davis Cup brings you that in a big, high-stakes way.
AW: What would make the Davis Cup more popular in the U.S.?
PM: Right now it’s scheduled yearlong at odd times, which makes it hard to promote. We’ve got to change the format, either by playing it over a five-week season, or every other year.
AW: Talk about going up against the French team.
PM: We’re playing at Roland Garros, a venue the French built nearly 75 years ago for its Davis Cup matches against the U.S. We’ll also be slight underdogs since we’re playing on clay, a surface the French prefer a bit more than we do. But we’ll be inspired. You’d never want to count out a team with big guns like Pete Sampras and Andy Roddick.