John McEnroe says end of competitive tennis near for him
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) John McEnroe says he's almost done playing competitive tennis.
The 56-year-old Hall of Famer plans to play an exhibition match against Jim Courier on Aug. 28 in New Haven. That will be part of a Legends Event designed to increase attendance at the Connecticut Open, the last women's tournament before the U.S. Open.
McEnroe told reporters on a conference call Tuesday the match is probably the last chance fans in Connecticut will have to see him play competitively.
''There's a point where those people in the next wave of seniors ... that gap is too much,'' he said. ''It's almost too much, it's tough enough when I'm playing a guy like Jim Courier.''
McEnroe added once he feels he can't be respectable on the court, he will stop playing.
''It's getting to be where every match that I play now I try to appreciate, because I don't know how much longer I can stay out there,'' he said.
The Legends Event also will feature a match Thursday night between James Blake and Andy Roddick.
The WTA tournament added the men's senior players last summer, with Blake, Roddick and Courier playing in exhibitions against each other.
The tournament, which was on the verge of moving to North Carolina in 2013, reported its first increase in attendance since 2005. It drew 47,140 fans for the week, up from 45,796 in 2014.
Attendance was still far below the 90,000-plus it used to draw and the 76,480 who came in 2010, the last year it was a combined men's and women's event.
McEnroe said he believes adding attractions such as a senior or junior event may be the wave of the future for smaller tennis tournaments.