American TV talking head John McEnroe will step into the unknown a week from Sunday when ESPN attempts to cover the French Open from a studio in Connecticut.
Mac already felt ill at ease onsite at the quarantined and nearly deserted US Open, doing match commentary in an empty stadium during the lockdown Slam.
Now, with US residents unwelcome in most of Europe due the country’s status as world leader in COVID-19 deaths (nearly 197,000) and infections (6.6 million) the massive sport cable network is reduced to observing play on monitors across the Atlantic during the clay fortnight.
That doesn’t sit well with Mac the Mouth, according to the New York Post: “From my understanding, with logistics and concern (about the virus) at this time no one is going.
“It’s completely bizarre and surreal, calling matches (in New York last week) and walking around and nobody’s there.
“You can never have imagined not only tennis, but all sports would be doing this right now.’’
But the 61-year-old whose commentary skills are raking in millions annually in a decades-long broadcast career which has surpassed his exploits on court three decades ago, is not actually complaining so much about staying home.
“I’m the lucky one, I’m not the one out there. It’s a lot tougher for players than it is for me.
“I think commentators feed off energy. It’s something I’ve taken pride in over the last 28 years I’ve done this.
“I want to bring that energy to the commentator’s booth the same way hopefully I did on the tennis court.
“It’s a key thing for me. It’s something I’m doubly aware of because it’s so quiet.”