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Patrick McEnroe steps down as head of U.S. development

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Patrick McEnroe said on Wednesday he was stepping down from his role as head of player development for the U.S. Tennis Association after more than six years in the job.

McEnroe, the former captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, ESPN analyst and younger brother of seven-times grand slam singles winner John McEnroe, told a news conference at the U.S. Open after the New York Times broke the news on Wednesday.

"I will be stepping down from my position," McEnroe, who lives in New York, told reporters, saying that it made sense to have a full-time director based at the new USTA headquarters being built in Orlando, Florida.

"It made all the sense in the world that the person in this position be full-time based in Orlando. I think we both looked at each other ... and realized that that probably wasn't going to be me for a variety of reasons, both professional and personal."

"Patrick has really created a foundation that we will build on," said Gordon Smith, the USTA's executive director and chief operating officer. "Patrick will be actively involved for the foreseeable future on the transition."

The United States, particularly on the men's side, has struggled to produce players at the highest level in recent years. No American man has won a grand slam since the now-retired Andy Roddick won the U.S. Open in 2003.

John Isner, the top American at Flushing Meadows was seeded 13th, and 57th-ranked Sam Querrey both reached the third round for the best U.S. men's finish.

The USTA announced in May plans to build a state-of-the-art facility in Orlando with the goal of creating playing, training and educational experience for players and coaches.

The new facility will feature 100-plus courts, a mix of hard and clay, on more than 60 acres and will focus on developing players from the youngest, to recreational competitors up to collegians and professional tour-level players.

The facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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