John McEnroe was a world-class arguer during his days on the ATP Tour and doesn’t believe his habit of sometimes cursing out chair umpires was a form of verbal intimidation.
McEnroe discusses his volatile nature among a variety of topics in a one-hour interview with Joe Buck in this week’s episode of Undeniable with Joe Buck, which airs on AT&T Audience Network tonight (Tuesday, July 10th) at 8 pm Eastern and Pacific times.
“I never bought that,” McEnroe said of his arguing with umpires as a form of verbal intimidation. “If I say to a guy ‘You’re a terrible umpire,’ he’s gonna give the other guy the call…
“If I go to an umpire and say ‘You’re a f–king a–hole,’ do you think the guy’s gonna give me the next call because I just said that to him?
“I mean I don’t where the connection comes from. He just called me a f–king a–hole so I’m gonna give him the next call.”
Host Buck isn’t buying it, telling McEnroe if he was an umpire he’d give the next call because “I don’t want to be called a f–king a–hole by the guy throwing his racquet around.”
“That’s the other side of the argument,” McEnroe replies.
The Hall of Famer also recalls his first encounter with rival Jimmy Connors prior to his first Wimbledon semifinal.
“He gave me the complete brush-off and didn’t acknowledge my existence,” says McEnroe of Connors.
In retrospect, McEnroe says he wishes he would have confronted Connors and said “I’m going to kick your ass, you son of a…”
McEnroe also discusses how former Top 20 player Phil Dent, Taylor Dent’s father, altered his attitude on arguing with umpires.