Monday, August 22, 2011

John McEnroe Is Still The Greatest

The more you watch sports the more you realize records are meant to be broken. Whenever players come close to equaling or surpassing some unattainable mark the more you appreciate the accomplishment.

Novak Djokovic was on his way to having the best season in the history of men's tennis when things took a turn for the worst. Djokovic had to pull out of the finals at the Western & Southern Open on Sunday with a shoulder injury. Even with the walk over Novak's record for the year is an astounding 57-2.

That's the same record John McEnroe had in 1984 on his way to a historic 82-3. If it wasn't for the 84' season McEnroe would never be considered on of the greatest of all time. A heartbreaking loss at the French Open (again, same as Djokovic) is the only real blemish on his resume that year and his performance at Wimbledon and the US Open more than made up for it. The red clay at Roland Garros has claimed numerous victims.

As dominant as Novak Djokovic has been there are factors in his pursuit of immortality that are out of his control. Injuries, mental fatigue, and experience all play a major role. It is not always about the skill level, but the intangibles that make record breaking so difficult.

Watching Novak Djokovic chase McEnroe fills me up with excitement and anticipation. You never want to see someone achieve greater heights than your idol, but as you get older you learn to respect those who are mentioned in the same breath. Hopefully Novak gets healthy so he can take one more swing at it. My money is on McEnroe of course. Old habits die hard.

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