Patrick McEnroe is currently coaching Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt and had been due to be at Sydney Arena on Sunday when John Isner defeated Tennys Sandgren to book his spot in the final of the Kooyong Classic — a key tune-up ahead of the Australian Open.
McEnroe tweeted “massive gut punch” as it became clear that Hewitt would be on the sidelines instead of sending his nephew Andy, a former world No. 1 who is ranked 115th, to play the third and final set of his quarterfinal match in the doubles against Jack Sock and Jack Draper.
Patrick McEnroe, who turns 47 on Wednesday, played 44 Grand Slams (1993-2011) and won 31, including the Australian Open. He had been seen on the court with his brother and current ESPN tennis analyst John McEnroe before Sunday’s match. He and Tommy Haas (the biggest draw at 63 in singles) partnered Sock and Draper, and if Haas had won their match, McEnroe would have been in the marquee event alongside McEnroe, John, and Haas to take on Sock and Draper. That consolation match would have been held the following day.
“It was really sad,” Patrick McEnroe told Reuters. “I guess it could be attributed to the rough start to the year that Andy is having. I guess when you look at the two weeks leading up to the Australian Open, where Andy plays (Mikhail) Youzhny and Pablo Carreno Busta and it was a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 loss (in the second round), it probably gets a little tough.”
The Australian Open starts in a little over a week.
“As an uncle, the shock of seeing a baby die at the age of five gave me a huge perspective. I feel a bit more in control of my emotions,” he added.
McEnroe said he thought it could be the end of his coaching days and return to television for now but had not ruled out one last special stint for Andy when he made his comeback in Sydney.
Read the full story at Reuters.
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