Florida junior Chris Haushammer had the chance last week to practice with John McEnroe before the American legend competed in the senior "Champions" tournament at the ITC Delray Beach ATP event. The 16-year-old from Delray Beach discussed his unique experience with Tennis-prose.com...Tennis-prose.com: How did you get the chance to hit with John McEnroe?Chris Haushammer: "Well, I was inside, he was looking for a sparring partner. He was eager to hit and I was eager to play. He was looking for someone who can hit, you know, who can hit well. And I was just there. And his agent asked me to hit some with him."Tennis-prose.com: How would you describe the way he treated you?Chris Haushammer: "Very respectful. He didn't talk too much before we actually hit. Before we hit he was kind of quiet, reserved, barking out orders, telling me where to go. After that he was nice, after we started hitting. He was nice, serious."Tennis-prose.com: On the court, did anything suprise you about him?Chris Haushammer: "I already knew he had really good hands. But his serve surprised me. He has a very good serve. His groundstrokes didn't surprise me. Just well-timed, like I said, good hands and nice serve, well-placed."Tennis-prose.com: Did he ask you any questions?Chris Haushammer: "Yes. He asked me how old I was, where I train. My ranking. Stuff like that."Tennis-prose.com: Where do you train?Chris Haushammer: "I train at this facility with a semi-private coach."Tennis-prose.com: Do you have a lasting memory of John McEnroe?Chris Haushammer: "I would have to say just hitting with him. Seeing all the photographers line up there to watch and stuff like that. I think that was pretty memorable."Tennis-prose.com: Do you remember the last thing he said to you?Chris Haushammer: "He said it was a little too early to tell how I was doing. But he said he thought I was hitting well."Tennis-prose.com: What has been the greatest moment of your tennis career so far?Chris Haushammer: "I beat a guy who has nine ATP points, six-0. (Who?) I forgot his name, from Romania. Practice set."Tennis-prose.com: Your best win in a tourament?Chris Haushammer: "I can't name one right off the bat, unfortunately."Tennis-prose.com: Who are some other great players that you have the chance to hit with?Chris Haushammer: "I hit with Pat Cash, Ivan Dodig, Kei Nishikori, Matthew Ebden."Tennis-prose.com: What stands out about Dodig's game?Chris Haushammer: "How smooth, effortless it looked. It looks really effortless."Tennis-prose.com: How about Nishikori?Chris Haushammer: "Heavy topspin, lot of topspin."Tennis-prose.com: Who are your favorite players?Chris Haushammer: "Federer would be, for sure. (Ever meet him?) No, never, but he does like to hit with juniors. That's one of his trademarks. I've never met him personally though."
(Chris Haushammer uses a Wilson racquet and wears K-Swiss shoes.)