Fans Rip Into McEnroe's Dismissive Commentary Of Lower-Ranked Players At Australian Open

Fans Rip Into McEnroe's Dismissive Commentary Of Lower-Ranked Players At Australian Open

by Nurein Ahmed

John McEnroe was an incredible tennis player during his heydays and has since transitioned to the television booth to become one of the most insightful commentators.

He is a respected analyst who has a way of breaking down the game and making it more understandable and easier to digest, even for non-tennis viewers. In sports, there is a select band of fans who would only tune in to a match just so they can hear their favorite commentator.

Calling tennis matches from the mic isn't for the fainthearted as it requires ample preparation and research, in-depth knowledge of the sport, and the ability to resonate with the audience in a manner McEnroe often excels at. Usursingly, he has always commanded the greenback in thousands for a fortnight's work because of his expertise.

However, McEnroe's biggest flaw on set has been his regular dismissive commentary of lower-ranked players on a live telecast, as was the case during a first-round match between Greek seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and Belgian lucky loser Zizou Bergs.

Bergs, who has a career-best ranking of World No. 112 and is appearing in his second successive Australian Open main draw, features heavily on the Challenger Tour - the ATP's second tier - where he has amassed seven titles.

Admittedly, McEnroe is not fond of that level and reportedly confessed on air to not knowing a lot of Bergs, which drew the ire of tennis viewers. Avid tennis fans and even players slammed the tennis legend for his substandard tennis knowledge of players, which has become a habit.

American tennis player Thai-Son Kwiatkowski wrote on X, "Insane to me that time and time again J. McEnroe goes on air and just admits he has zero clue who a player is. (Today, bergs, 120 atp) just says to the world, hey guys, I’ve done zero research for my job and I’m just going to disrespect someone who’s top 150 in the world at a job."

Those words were echoed by tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg who tweeted, " It’s not only disrespectful to the players, it’s disrespectful to the audience at home to be that unprepared, especially when given plenty of time to prep and a whole production crew ready to get you up to speed."

One user declared, "There’s a reason he’s the world's Worst Tennis Commentator," far from pleased by the 64-year-old's work on the mic, while another fan stated, "John McEnroe should only commentate matches with two highly ranked players. Talks about lower ranked players like they are amateurs at the local country club."

Bergs took a set from the seventh-seeded Tsitsipas. One fan noted that the gulf in the ranking was not a representation of being a mediocre tennis player, as explained in a tweet, "And then, when that lower ranked player he’s never heard of is putting up a good fight, he’ll say it’s the best they’ve ever played in their life."


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