John McEnroe has gone through several ups and downs throughout his career. The German-born American has been number 1 and has fallen from the top quite often as well. At a certain stage in his career, McEnroe was on a steroid program and was also taking cocaine and marijuana. His usage led to addiction issues that also led to problems in his relationship with his wife, Tatum O’Neal.
McEnroe married O’Neal in 1986. The two were together for 6 years before they divorced in 1994 with three children. Prior to their divorce, McEnroe’s form was suffering and he had fallen in rankings.
John McEnroe blames himself for the divorce
Prior to their divorce, McEnroe had started abusing cocaine and marijuana. A big problem for any player in general, a start of a downward spiral for the player at the top. 1984 was McEnroe’s best season as he had won 82 matches of the 85 he had played that year. The pressure of being at the top got to him as he had to take a hiatus in 1985.
During this hiatus, he married O’Neal and had their first son. The two had another son and a daughter later on. McEnroe had a history with drugs which added to the collapse of their marriage. McEnroe confirmed it in the documentary on his life called ‘McEnroe’. The legendary tennis player said that the drug did not help matters and he blames himself for it.
“Cocaine, let’s just say it didn’t help. I have myself to blame for that, I’m not gonna sit here and blame her for that.”
However, McEnroe realized that he was on a path of self-destruction and tried to seek professional help.
McEnroe also sought help to recover from his addictions
McEnroe stated that he had planned to get better. The American legend wanted to become the same player he was. He accepted that he was at fault for the downfall of his career.
The player also consulted several psychologists and psychiatrists but he was unable to figure out why he acted the way he did.
“The plan was to get better. Do you think for one second I wanted to get worse. Never be the same player? Its safe to say that wasn’t a very good feeling. It was absurd what I did to sabotage myself. From the 37 psychologists and psychiatrists I’ve seen, through court orders and my free will. Never been able to figure that one out.” McEnroe eventually found his footing and was able to let go of his anger. Today, he works as a commenter and has calmed down a lot.