"He managed to pull it off, those days are over" - Tennis Hall of Famer explains why Gauff and Pegula cannot emulate John McEnroe's success in both singles and doubles

American tennis players Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula have by far had the most hectic and intense campaigns on the WTA tour this season, with double duty in singles and doubles throughout the year.

While they have been highly successful in both formats, racking up many more wins than losses, tennis journalist and Hall of Famer Steve Flink believes their schedule of playing singles and doubles non-stop is not sustainable in the long term and explained his reasoning behind the same.

Pegula played a whopping 111 matches all season (63 in singles, 44 in doubles, and 4 in mixed doubles). Meanwhile, Coco Gauff has played as many as 104 matches this season (60 in singles, 40 in women's doubles, and 4 in mixed doubles), and that was before her participation in the ongoing Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

While many other players in the past have managed to have long careers while extensively competing in both singles and doubles events, Flink believes John McEnroe was the "last of the breed." Speaking during a recent episode of the Court-Side with Beilinson Tennis podcast Flink opined that the likes of Gauff, Pegula, and others will need to be mindful of injuries and cannot emulate the McEnroe era.

"That worked out for him (John McEnroe) and he managed to pull it off. He was the last of a breed there," Flink said. "He was preceded by people like John Newcombe, Tony Roche, Stan Smith, and Bob Lutz, who all were great doubles players as well as standouts in singles. Those days are over."

The American sports journalist went on to explain why he believes players of the current era cannot regularly keep playing singles and doubles throughout an entire season, highlighting a susceptibility to major injuries and wear and tear as the reasons behind the same. Flink feels that while Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula are young, they will need to reconsider their schedules going forward and prioritize singles over doubles.

"If you play that much singles and doubles, can you really keep up that pace? Are you not going to make yourself vulnerable to injuries in the years ahead? That's something that players that are that good in singles and doubles, as Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff are, have to think about and the priority has to be singles.

"It may mean cutting back on some of the doubles and maybe slightly reshaping their singles schedules. You can't go on and play that many matches year in and year out without having something go wrong with your body."

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