John McEnroe says COVID-19 pandemic brought him closer to his kids

·2-min read

John McEnroe says the COVID-19 outbreak helped bring him closer to his five children.
The former tennis ace is dad to three kids, Kevin, Sean and Emily, with his first wife Tatum O'Neal, and two daughters, Anna and Ava, with his second wife, singer Patty Smyth, and he says being stuck at home during the pandemic-enforced lockdown gave him the chance to spend quality time with them all.
He told The Big Issue magazine: “I’m proud of where I’ve gotten to. Each year, as a father and a husband and as far as work, I’m hoping I learn from past experiences and will be better for it in the end. The most important thins is that I feel like I’m going in that direction.
“Ironically, this crazy pandemic helped me to get to better places with all my kids. And if your kids are happy, it automatically makes you happier.”
The three-time Wimbledon champion went on to say: “This doesn’t mean I don’t screw things up every day, but generally I feel proud of the direction I’ve been trying to go.”
John said he longed to become a dad during the height of his tennis career as he felt like something was missing in his life.
However, he admitted he struggled to juggle work with family life and felt like both ended up suffering.
He said: “Becoming a parent didn’t necessarily help my tennis … I was living in a bubble and it did feel empty. The idea of being a parent felt incredible. I thought I’d be able to handle that and still win the big ones … I wasn’t able to juggle it, to be the best and hopefully a good father and husband at the same time. I never could quite figure it out.”

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