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McEnroe: Why you should play tennis
John McEnroe is on a mission to get you playing tennis.

Here he says why it's such a great game and how you can earn his automatic respect.

John McEnroe
John McEnroe
Seven-time Grand Slam winner

Tennis does have a stuffy image. That's not just in the UK but everywhere, even the United States.

But I can tell you tennis is one of the best all round games that I've been lucky enough to be part of.

It combines a lot of strategy and the mental part of the sport is huge because you're out there by yourself.

It can be difficult being on your own, I know this myself.

John McEnroe
Born: 16 February 1959
Wiesbaden, Germany (of American parents)
Wimbledon titles: 1981, 1983, 1984
Runner up: 1980, 1982
Grand Slam titles: 7
Prize money: $12,539,622

When you lose you feel really naked out there and it's difficult to accept it but that's part of the process.

Tennis is one of the most difficult sports to learn, but when you do master it, it's so enjoyable because things happen without you even thinking.

You can win points in lots of different ways and be totally creative on the court too.

People talk about attitude and in the UK it seems very important to be a good loser.

While in America you are taught to win at any cost. I personally feel that somewhere in the middle of that would be ideal.

I always say that the greatest match I was ever part of was the 1980 Wimbledon final which I lost to Bjorn Borg.

Even though it sounds corny, I felt like I came out of that match a winner.

My respect level among players and fans went up by 20 or 50 times more and that's the match people always ask me about.

It's a lot harder to go out and fail or lose than to try at all. I give automatic respect to people who are willing to get themselves out there.

You should take great pride in giving 100 per cent effort.

Maybe you don't always win but you'll be amazed that a lot of good things will happen.

Never give up!


Borg's mental lessons
26 Jun 07 |  Skills

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