Sections

Lil’ brother takes over for Johnny Mac

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"I am extremely honored to accept the position," McEnroe said. "It will be very exciting and quite a challenge to work with the rising stars in men's tennis as we work toward bringing the Davis Cup back to the United States."

Patrick McEnroe is the 38th U.S. Davis Cup captain since the competition began in 1900 and will make his debut Feb. 9 through Feb. 11 in Basel, Switzerland, where the United States will take on Switzerland in the first round of the 2001 Davis Cup.

"I'm obviously very excited about it. It's something that I'm passionate about," McEnroe said. "I'm really going to pour myself into it with all the energy that I can to make this a good experience for the players of the U.S. I think that's the most important thing. They have to want to really be part of Davis Cup and be part of the whole process."

One of the reasons his brother John resigned from the post was his frustration at not being able to secure some of the top players in the United States, like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, to make a commitment to play in the Davis Cup. Without the two, the U.S. lost to eventual champion Spain, in the 2000 Davis Cup semifinals.

"He's also in a stage where I think he wanted to spend some more time with his family," McEnroe said of his older brother. "He's playing a lot on the senior tour. He loved to compete. He loves to be a part of it.

"I think one of the things that frustrated him about being captain was that he wasn't really able to be out there and do the things he did so well as a player, which is really control what was going on out there, dominate so many matches as he did as a player."

Of course, Patrick McEnroe could face similar problems.

"Certainly, Pete Sampras is at the top of the list, and so is Andre Agassi," Patrick McEnroe said. "Yes, they've said it may not necessarily be the priority. I want to speak to them about it. Am I going to be able to make it something that they want to be a part of? I think so."

McEnroe said he is going to call all available Davis Cup players, "from Pete Sampras to Paul Goldstein." That also doesn't rule his older brother out for possible doubles action.

"I'd certainly consider it. It's certainly out there," McEnroe said. "It's not something that I haven't gotten down, as I said, to talking to any of the players who could play. But I'm certainly not ruling it out. It's going to come down to who I think is the most capable of winning the match. That's the bottom line."

After helping lead Stanford University to a pair of NCAA titles, Patrick McEnroe spent nine years on the ATP tour, reaching the semifinals of the 1991 Australian Open and the quarterfinals of the 1995 US Open. He also won 16 doubles titles, including the 1989 French Open doubles crown with Jim Grabb and competed in the Davis Cup for the US in 1993, 1994 and 1996.

Since retiring from professional tennis in 1998, McEnroe has spent him time in the broadcast booth for CBS, ESPN and MSNBC, as well as a gig on the "Imus in the Morning" program on WFAN.

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