Australian Open 2023: Channel 9 lose seven-time grand slam winner John McEnroe in commentary

Australian Open viewers will notice a change to the commentary booth with a couple of changes for 2023’s season-opening grand slam.

Seven-time grand slam winner and former World No. 1 John McEnroe won’t be in Aussie fans ears this season after he wasn’t brought to Australia by his employer ESPN, Newscorp reported.

McEnroe, who is remembered for his outbursts on court, has been a regular in the commentary booth and facilitator of on-court interviews but won’t be on Australian screens.

However, his opinions will still be heard as he casts his eye over the play on court, having claimed via Eurosport that Novak Djokovic would go on a tear through the tournament.

“I think he will be overjoyed at first, but then there is going to sort of be a bit of bitterness, I believe, and he has got to get through that,” McEnroe told Eurosport’s Reem Abulleil.

“I think he can get through that, he’s obviously proven that he has gone through some unbelievably difficult obstacles, none more so than the last 12 months of his career.

“The fact that he was still able to go out and win Wimbledon and go out and play these smaller events in the fall to get his ranking high enough so that he can go and win the event in Turin and the year-end event, and embrace playing and competing, was just incredible because it would have been very easy to be frustrated and angry.

“I can only imagine how he felt when he was deported out of Australia and subsequently dealing with that.

“I don’t think he was right until Wimbledon, but somehow he found it, and again, so few players will ever be able to do.”

McEnroe won’t be only person not back on Nine’s commentary team as former Aussie star Sam Groth won’t be back either, as he was voted in as the Member for Nepean in Victoria’s state election in November.

However, two-time Australian Open winner Jim Courier will return.

He will join Todd Woodbridge, Lleyton Hewitt, Jelena Dokic, Dylan Alcott, Casey Dellacqua, Sam Smith, Alicia Molik, Mark Philippoussis, Darren Cahill and Peter Psaltis in the commentary booth.

AFL great Matthew Pavlich will join the off-court reporting team, while Andy Lee’s Guess Who? segment appears as though it will be replaced for a special edition of The Hundred in a piece of cross-promotion for the network.

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