Everybody who's ever followed tennis knows the McEnroe name. From 1977 until the rest of time, the game will forever involve the New Yorker with a serious game and serious (later determined to be endearing) attitude. John McEnroe was expected to be in the tennis sphere for the long haul, but his brother has been the relevation of the family. Patrick McEnroe had the unenviable task of following in his famous brother's footsteps as a player. He had a very respectable career that included a major semifinal and a singles title, before it was time to move on to life's next stage, a stage that would turn out to be his magnus opus.

McEnroe became a prominent broadcaster, a coach in player development, and the captain of a championship-winning United States Davis Cup team. He's remained at the forefront of the pro game, and has carved out his own path in the game his older brother dominated. And in 2023, he added another duty to his work-plate as president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. McEnroe joined the Inside-In Podcast to dicuss his career, his future, and why this is the life he gladly chose.


McEnroe's journey to the top of the broadcasting world almost didn't happen, as the pro was debating leaving the sport entirely and going to business school. But as is the case in the present day, the opportunity to call matches before his official retirement sparked a flame that still burns bright to this day. McEnroe excelled early and often, becoming a trusted voice in the game globally. It was through constantly stepping outside of his comfort zone and trying new things that was able to realize his potential on the microphone. He hosted a general sports radio show, has dabbbled in entertainment and political spaces, and honed new skills to remain equally confident and fair when he speaks.

"What I really worked on was being the host myself," McEnroe explained. "I always tried to lomd of improve myself and improve my skill set just be doing things that push me out of my comfort zone."

Tennis Channel Inside In - Patrick McEnroe

Tennis Channel Inside In - Patrick McEnroe


Despite his natural prowess in the broadcast booth, McEnroe also knew that he had more to offer to the game. He wanted to work with the next generation of tennis players, and he did that on all levels. At the USTA he oversaw some of the current-day tennis stars during their formative years, and he served as the captain of the United Sates Davis Cup team for over a decade. That team featured a collection of talent (and egos) that was special enough to claim the title in 2007. The captain serves an important role, though as McEnroe pointed out the position is often unenviable.

"Less is more. I mean, these are professionals, these guys are at the top of the game. You could get yourself into,more trouble if you say something stupid, which (Andy) Roddick would remind me of many times," McEnroe explained.

He learned a valuable lesson from his college coach at Stanford, the legendary Dick Gould, to treat all players fairly but not necessarily the same. With patriotisim running deep in the McEnroe family, he was always going to serve when he got the call for his country. And being captain of the title-winning team in 2007 is on the short list of his crowning achievements.

Patrick McEnroe has built up some incredible equity in the sport, and he has become a sought after man for various opportunities. The most recent gig is an enormous one, as McEnroe became the president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHOF) this past spring. There is a great responsiblity in that role, but one that he savors as both a student of the game and a proud proponent of efforts to grow the sport.

"There's so many kids and adults that just play, who are not going to be Hall of Fame tennis players. But they love the game, and love the sport. And I think part of what the Hall of Fame should do is spread that message," McEnroe professed. "Whatever level you're at, if you're really into it and you enjoy it, you can get so much out of it. And it can teach you so much about life."

With a full-plate of committments, McEnroe is as passionate as ever about the sport he fell in love with as a kid. He remains a top flight analyst, with the ability to break down current action as good as any commentator in the world. Naturally, he had quite a bit of praise to offer the reigning No. 1 Novak Djokovic, as he continues to collect titles and records into his 30s.

"Novak can steamroll you obviously. But he also has this ability to just play the big points better than anyone and just win the close matches as well. Normally as you get older that becomes a little bit more difficult, but normal is not the word we're going to use with him," McEnroe stated. "He's so hungry to keep going after all he's done, so let's enjoy it because it's pretty incredible."

Tennis Channel Inside-In has had a lot of distinguished, high-profile guests in the world of tennis since the launch of the podcast in April of 2021. Finally adding Patrick McEnroe to the guest list elevates the show even further. Enjoy his commentary about the next wave of American men's players, the type of traits he looks for when he's coaching a young player, and why you should make Newport, Rhode Island, the site of the ITHOF, your next travel destination. If tennis has taught us anything in the last half century, it's that the game is always in good hands when there's a McEnroe holding it.