ATP Tour

Raonic: McEnroe is a positive influence

John McEnroe and Milos Raonic (Getty Images)
John McEnroe and Milos Raonic (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Canadian star Milos Raonic says that John McEnroe has had a very positive influence on the way he plays tennis since joining his coaching team.

The 57-year-old joined Raonic's coaching staff in an advisory capacity for the grass court season alongside full-time coach Carlos Moya and helped the big-serving world No 7 reach the finals at Queens and Wimbledon, where he lost to Britain's Andy Murray in both finals.

McEnroe has since agreed on remaining part of Raonic coaching team until the US Open in September and then take it from there.

In his playing days, McEnroe, the seven-time singles grand slam winner, was known for his court tantrums and at times negative persona along with sheer brilliance on court with his aggressive serve and volley play mixed with deft touches.

Raonic dispelled the myth that McEnroe was in anyway negative in an interview with The Globe and the Mail, saying, "John is helping me get more intensity out of myself on the court. Some would perceive he was really robust and negative on court when he played, but he’s actually not a negative person at all.

"He thinks I need to get the tension and nervous energy out that builds up and use it the right way. I think that helped me a lot throughout Queens and Wimbledon.

"When you have a guy big like me who has weapons and can express intensity, it can be daunting for an opponent to look over at me,” he added.

With regard to his withdrawal from the Rio Olympics over Zika virus fears, Raonic said: "Zika was something I was nervous about, because I thought about lots of things, like when I’d like to start a family or about getting the flu-like symptoms and losing a week or two or my preparations before the next Slam.

“The unknowns about Zika concerned me, and I’ve always had bad experiences with mosquitoes. You know when a group of people are outside and that one guy is getting bit by mosquitoes like crazy? That’s me. It added tension for me.”
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