Patrick McEnroe resigns as U.S. Davis Cup captain
NEW YORK – Patrick McEnroe resigned as U.S. Davis Cup captain Monday, saying his 10-year tenure will end after the Americans’ playoff against Colombia this month.
McEnroe led the United States to a Davis Cup title in 2007. This year, though, the Americans must win in the playoffs to secure a spot in the top tier of the Davis Cup, the first time they have found themselves in that position since 2005.
The younger brother of seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe said he wanted to dedicate his time to his family and his other jobs. Already a TV analyst, he was hired two years ago to run the U.S. Tennis Association’s program to develop elite players.
“Player development is really a consuming job,” McEnroe said. “An exciting job, a job that I love, but it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort.”
McEnroe mentioned Jim Courier and Todd Martin as obvious candidates for the position. Courier, a four-time major champion, said while calling the U.S. Open for CBS on Monday that he’d be interested.
The 2007 title was the Americans’ first since 1995, ending the longest drought in U.S. Davis Cup history. McEnroe’s record is 16-9, second only to Tom Gorman’s 18 wins.
“No regrets. It was a great run,” McEnroe said. “Obviously I wish we could’ve won more. But I wanted to accomplish a couple of things when I took over, which was obviously to get the players that were passionate about playing, No. 1, molded into a team, give us a chance to be competitive every year.”
Under McEnroe, the lineup of Andy Roddick, James Blake and Bob and Mike Bryan played in 10 consecutive Davis Cup events.
“Patrick changed the culture of Davis Cup in the United States, creating a true team environment and a sense of camaraderie that the U.S. has never before seen,” Jim Curley, the USTA’s chief professional tournaments officer, said in a statement. “He has been a champion of the competition in every sense of the word, and elevated the stature of the event in this country.”
McEnroe said Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey, John Isner and Ryan Harrison will represent the U.S. in Colombia. Because of the altitude in Bogota, he wanted to bring an extra singles player in case somebody struggled to adjust.
Mike Bryan said he and his brother had talked to McEnroe about the options and were supportive of the decision. McEnroe said his ideal doubles team would be Fish and Isner, but that will depend on how healthy both are and how everyone handles the altitude.
“I saw him evolve from a rookie Davis Cup captain to a great Davis Cup captain,” Fish said.
“He always was really straightforward, sometimes brutally straightforward as far as where I stood, and I also respected that,” Fish added.