So McEnroe talked about that time he saw Nadal naked in the locker room.
McEnroe: I’m going to make some people jealous here, I’ve got to be honest at the end of the second set I had to take a quick bathroom break. I was finishing taking this very quick bathroom break when all of a sudden I started to walk out and I saw a naked Rafael Nadal in the bathroom.
Nadal: What was your impression?
McEnroe: I thought to myself that looks a lot like my body. No. Absolutely lying about that. I said to myself I wish I had a body like that.
This is the first year that Channel Nine has broadcast the Australian Open in its home nation after the network won the rights away from Channel Seven, the tournament’s longtime home. Fellow U.S. tennis great Jim Courier previously did the post-match interviews for Channel Seven, and though Channel Nine retained him for his commentary, it gave the on-court microphone to McEnroe. Australian viewers apparently need a little more time to adjust to the change.
After McEnroe’s post-match interview with Roger Federer following his round-of-64 win over Dan Evans on Jan. 14, the Sydney Morning Herald said McEnroe held “the microphone like a margarita he hoped would soon be refilled” and appeared “three sheets to the wind,” though the paper admitted that McEnroe had arrived in Australia just that morning and perhaps was still a little jet-lagged.
Then, after Nadal beat Frances Tiafoe in the quarterfinals, McEnroe spent an inordinate amount of time asking the Spanish star if he would take off his shirt (nakedness, or near-nakedness, would apparently become something of a running gag between the two).
It’s gotten to the point where someone has started a Change.org petition asking that Channel Nine bring back Courier for the post-match interviews.
“John McEnroe has completely ruined the Australian Open coverage for every Australian,” the petition reads. “When Channel 9 replaced Channel 7 as the official broadcaster of the Australian Open, they replaced Jim Courier with John McEnroe for all Men’s singles evening matches. He has not for one second sounded like he wants to be there. He is constantly focusing on the negatives about every player and aspect of the game. He is audibly disappointed when a match goes long and doesn’t end early.
“Jim Courier was excellent and added so much atmosphere to games and needs to be returned to his role of covering Men’s singles evening matches in 2020.”
As of this writing, the petition has 16 signatures.
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