YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! There's NO thread for Mac the Mouth? Well, there is now. Let's talk about trash America's original tennis brat in here. :D
Let's start by posting some news about him today:
McEnroe Shines As Man Of The Year
By Andre Christopher
Remember those times in the late ’70s and early ’80s when, as an American tennis fan, you could get drunk on the genius of John McEnroe’s talent with a tennis racquet, only to have your awe erased by embarrassment when he had one of his outbursts? That’s kind of what it was like Wednesday night when the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) honored McEnroe as its 2005 Man of the Year.
The NYAC, steeped in a history that has produced 123 Olympic gold medals and brought immeasurable pride to Gotham, fell on its face in trying to honor one of New York City’s own, the club’s distinction and dignity besmirched by those among the hundreds packed into Raymond G. Lumpp Gymnasium who either couldn’t handle the free booze during the annual All Sports Dinner or otherwise were just insolent oafs.
Constant chatter made for annoying white noise behind the remarks of McEnroe’s longtime broadcast partner Ted Robinson and WFAN radio personality Chris "Mad Dog" Russo. But that represented civility compared to the disrespect shown to McEnroe’s famed doubles partner, Peter Fleming, who flew in from his London residence for the occasion. Only former New York City mayor David Dinkins received any true measure of respect, while kidding McEnroe for having followed in his footsteps as National Father of the Year (Dinkins 1990, McEnroe 1996) and as a USTA Eastern Section Hall of Fame inductee (Dinkins 1993, McEnroe 1997).
Three times Fleming stopped his laborious tales of the on-court escapades he enjoyed alongside McEnroe in hopes that the audience would settle down. Order could be restored only momentarily, however. Seconds later, jeers of "We want John!" would burst from small pockets throughout the room, where the McEnroe family, including the wives of the three sons, sat front and center.
As Patrick McEnroe, the event’s emcee, gave his oldest brother a final introduction, some jerk shouted, "Is John here?" To which Patrick shot back, "Don’t you people have manners?"
Soon after, placing layer upon layer of irony, John McEnroe stepped to the dais to accept the Man of the Year trophy and dazzled with his decorum. A tirade beginning with his now famous line, "You cannot be serious," would not have been out of line. Instead, McEnroe said, "I feel a bit off center about the reaction my brother got up here on the dais. I had a speech. I’m not sure I’m even going to read it at this point."
And, rightfully, he never did.
The John McEnroe who Robinson praised for his devoted teamwork, loyalty and generosity (revealing that McEnroe made a $25,000 contribution to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts); the John McEnroe who Russo lauded for giving New York City tennis history; the John McEnroe who Patrick McEnroe hailed for having guided him throughout his life (from Stanford to a pro tennis career to the broadcast booth) disarmed the audience with gentility, letting them know of his disappointment, while thanking the NYAC for the honor.
"I thought this was going to be a special evening," he said, "and I’m hoping we’ll look back at this evening and it will be. …I’m going to put aside what happened in the last hour or so because I know I made mistakes in my life. Our goal is to improve as people every day."
Fleming’s first words to the audience had been, "Man of the Year. What is that? It sounds pretty impressive."
The slapping of shoe soles against the tile floor below in a musical march of commuters through the great hall of Grand Central Terminal echoed in the air as John McEnroe stood star gazing on the balcony above the lunch-time rush hour. The New York native met the media in Grand Central on Tuesday in an effort to get senior tennis back on track in the States.
Glancing up 125 feet to the constellation of stars that covers the ceiling of Grand Central's Main Concourse, McEnroe set his sights on the assembled media and discussed the return of senior tennis to the United States with the launch of the inaugural LTU Champions Trophy tournament set for August 18-21st in the Hamptons.
McEnroe, former Wimbledon winners Pat Cash and Goran Ivanisevic, former French Open champion Guillermo Vilas, Anders Jarryd, Aaron Krickstein, Mansour Bahrami and Peter McNamara will play in the round-robin LTU Champions Trophy event staged at the tennis stadium at Sportime on Amagansett, Long Island. Partial ticket proceeds, a silent auction at each playing session and a live auction at the players' party will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. The star of the Back to the Future films was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 14 years and ago and founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson's research.
"You may know a little bit about Parkinson's disease and recognize the signs — like tremors — but what most people don't know is Parkinson's disease can strike anyone — old, young, men, women — and that more than six million people are living with the disease today," Fox said. "And there is no cure. With the money we raise we're able to fund outstanding research from around the world. To date, we've invested more than $52 million in Parkinson's research. John is a legend and one of the greatest competitors in any sport. He fights for what he believes in and doesn't back off of a challenge and I admire him for that."
The LTU Champions Trophy marks the first senior tournament on United States' soil in nearly four years.
"It means a lot to be back in New York," McEnroe told Tennis Week after sharing the stage with Fox to announce the event. "Particularly since one of the last senior event scheduled in the States was supposed to be here in New York. We were supposed to play in Central Park right after 9-11 and when 9-11 happened obviously things changed. New Yorkers and the rest of the country saw how we were able to turn this unbelievable negative into a sort of a coming together as a family so to speak, rising together and handling an awful situation as best we could. It's really taken this long in the States to regroup and get people aware and interested and get the sponsors and get the event on. So I'm very excited about it."
Looking lean and fit and eager for action, McEnroe was clad in a black silk shirt and black pants that contrasted with the silver chain around his neck bearing a silver wedding band and crucifix. Whether this event marks the re launch of the senior circuit in the States or if it will be a one-time tournament remains to be seen. McEnroe himself is not so sure though he is scheduled to play a senior event at The Westside Tennis Club in Houston in November.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion said he's committed to tennis in the New York area. McEnroe has repeatedly expressed his desire to work with a national governing body such as the USTA or LTA in a player development or create his own tennis academy to develop junior players. The man who developed his skills under the guidance of Australian Davis Cup coaching legend Harry Hopman at the Port Washington Tennis Academy has been critical of the USTA's failure to fully develop the National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows — home of the U.S. Open — as a national training development center and has told Tennis Week in prior interviews that what he perceived as the USTA's lack of support in backing a McEnroe-led junior player development program was one factor that led to his resignation as U.S. Davis Cup captain after only one year on the job.
Reiterating his desire to develop junior players in New York, McEnroe told Tennis Week he is hoping to help coach juniors on the grounds of the NTC in 2007.
"You've been around me long enough at my press conferences to know that one of the things I pushed for is the idea of a tennis academy at Flushing Meadows because I believe that's a no brainer," McEnroe said. "There's apparently a new facility that's going up there sometime in 2007. So I'm trying to link these two together and that would obviously working with younger kids."
Though the LTA touted McEnroe as a coaching consultant, he said the role he's played with the Lawn Tennis Association is not as expansive as he had hoped and expressed interest in working with Scottish sensation Andrew Murray, who reached the third round of Wimbledon last month.
"It didn't amount to a hill of beans, to be honest," McEnroe said of his work for the LTA. "The only time I played Murray was when I played him in London in the Super Set event when I actually played him in something. But it wasn't actually set up for me to play with him and that's sort of disappointing because I thought there'd be something more to that (working with the LTA or Murray). But I know (former British Davis Cup player) Mark Petchey (who is working with Murray) and he came to me at Wimbledon and we discussed the idea of maybe trying to hook up at times."
Conducting this interview with Tennis Week after his press conference in Grand Central Terminal on Tuesday, McEnroe was in constant motion, signing autographs for kids, winking at Michael J. Fox, waving to television show host Pat O'Brien as he passed by and surveying the the comings and goings of commuters while offering his thoughts on the future of the senior tour in the United States, the top contenders for next month's U.S. Open, how he would have fared against top-ranked Roger Federer in his prime and the prospects of producing a sequel to his best-selling book You Cannot Be Serious.
McEnroe fans can catch him in action tonight. In a dream doubles pairing of former top-ranked Grand Slam champions, McEnroe is expected to play mixed doubles with Martina Hingis when the undefeated New York Sportimes host Mark Philippoussis and the Hartford FoxForce at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday on the blue court of Mamaroneck's Harbor Island Park. For ticket information, please visit the Sportimes web site.
Tennis Week: John, you've been so important to senior tennis because you're such a popular presence and a big draw. Do you feel an obligation to continue playing since you are the player so many fans come to see?
John McEnroe: This is part of what I do for a living. Playing the senior tour, this is unbelievable on a lot of levels for me personally. I get to not work for a living and I get to keep playing tennis, which is in my blood. Because of the friendships that have formed over the years — not that I see all of the guys all of the time — are special and it's great to see guys you really grew up playing. I'm certainly not saying I'm tight, tight friends with him, but I've seen Michael J. a lot over the years, I consider him a friend and I see how gutsy he is and how deep he digs and to be able to raise a little money is great. And the level of play is good. To be involved in a senior tournament back in the States is very satisfying. To do what I do, which is try to build up interest so that this can be supported, is important. I figure I've only got another year or two to even play. When I go out there and compete against other guys in a tournament, that's still a thrill.
Tennis Week: How important was the fact that this event will help benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research?
John McEnroe: The Foundation is important. I live in New York City and I see Michael J. Fox around a lot and I know what a courageous guy he is and how committed he is to Parkinson's research so when they come to you with the 'What do you think?' kind of ideas he's always at the top of the list to me — probably at the top of everyone's list, really — so I don't think it's a big surprise that he's at the top of my list. Michael J. is a class act. He's taken an incredible negative and tried to work it into a positive. I have so much respect for that and for him as a person. In the time he's had this Foundation it's raised an incredible amount of money. Hopefully, we can add a little bit to that with this tournament.
Tennis Week: What are your thoughts on the USTA installing the blue courts for the U.S. Open and the other enhancements?
John McEnroe: To be honest with you, I don't think it makes a damn bit of difference — that's my opinion. I think we should be trying to do different things in tennis. I often mention NASCAR as an example of where they've done an incredible job making themselves accessible to the fans and the media. NASCAR has done an incredible job appealing to new fans of the sport while maintaining their fan base and trying to expand it. To me, tennis is similar in that it's a great sport, it's been around a long time, but we need to start trying to do different things to help expand our sport's fan base and try to create interest. I mean, you don't want to lose the die-hard tennis fans who support the sport, but you want to gain new fans too and you've gotta go after that audience and quite honestly I don't think changing a court from green to blue is going to do that.
Tennis Week: Looking ahead to the Open, who do you see challenging Federer for the title?
John McEnroe: It doesn't take a brain surgeon to predict that Federer is the best player in the world; he's got the best all around game. There's three different guys (Marat Safin, Rafael Nadal and Federer) who've won the three different majors this year so the number one ranking is at stake. The women's side will be more unpredictable for me. You know, who's going to be there and who's going to be healthy? Can Serena can get herself committed to getting healthy and fit? If she does, she can win it. Venus now has come back to win Wimbledon. Sharapova now has something to prove. She wins Wimbledon last year and now the pressure is on her to follow it up and there's more pressure when you're expected to win. Davenport had a match point in the Wimbledon final and let it slip away and she probably realizes she doesn't have a lot of chances left. Then you've got the two Belgian girls. I've always loved the way Henin-Hardenne plays, I love her game, and then Clijsters is there of course. To me, the women's draw is more unpredictable.
Tennis Week: You're a New Yorker, you've had so much great success playing in front of New York crowds. What does it mean to you to be back playing in New York in this senior tournament?
John McEnroe: It means a lot to be back in New York. Particularly since one of the last senior event scheduled in the States was supposed to be here in New York. We were supposed to play in Central Park right after 9-11 and when 9-11 happened obviously things changed. New Yorkers and the rest of the country saw how we were able to turn this unbelievable negative into a sort of a coming together as a family so to speak, rising together and handling an awful situation as best we possibly could. It's really taken this long in the States to regroup and get people aware and interested and get the sponsors and get the event on. So I'm very excited about it.
Tennis Week: What do you look for in young players? Can you see the qualities that make a player championship material when he is young?
John McEnroe: You can get a good sense of a player, but that doesn't mean it always pans out. When I had Roddick on the Davis Cup team as a practice player, you could tell right away the guy was going to be a top 10, top 5 player. (Donald) Young has a chance to be a great player, but he hasn't finished growing yet. He's still young. Let's see how tall he gets, how physically strong he gets. Nadal's a freak of nature. He's physically so strong at such a young age — Becker was another guy so strong as a teenager — and Nadal plays with such hunger and desire. You knew this guy would be top 5 — that's a given. He could very well be the number one player in the world if he continues to improve, but he's got Federer to deal with and Federer's not that old of a guy. So it doesn't make it a guarantee. Federer's another guy, you know people talked about him for years, but it didn't pan out initially. He took his lumps on the tour while learning to play. Andre (Agassi) is another guy who started out at 16. But these guys learn so fast now, they sort of soak up the information, they're fearless. Those are the guys who learn from their mistakes and come back strong the next time. Boris when he was 17, you know he had a baby face, but physically he was better than 95 percent of the players. And Nadal's that way, but Donald Young is not that way. He's a kid, so you've got to be careful. He's got a natural feel of how to play, but he's got to work on his serve, volleys, his toughness, but he's got plenty of time to work on that. He's still a kid.
Tennis Week: John, is this Champions Trophy tournament perhaps the start of re launching the senior circuit here in the States or is it a one-off event where you'll wait and see how it does before possible future senior events?
John McEnroe: My understanding is that there will be at least one more senior event this year (in the U.S.). Mattress Mac (Jim McIngvale) is a character who loves tennis and fortunately for us he's put a lot of money into it. He had the Masters in Houston. My understanding is there's going to be a seniors event at the end of the year in Houston. My understanding is that this event and that one on the horizon are hopefully a harbinger of things to come.
Tennis Week: Were there legal issues that contributed to the end of the tour in the States? Was it a case of the sponsor going bankrupt?
John McEnroe: Well there was a sponsor — I believe it was Nuveen was the sponsor at the time if I'm not mistaken — and I believe their contract was up.
Tennis Week: I thought Success Magazine was the sponsor that went bankrupt?
John McEnroe: Well Success, that was the sponsor before (Nuveen), I believe. But that obviously was a blow because they went bankrupt. But the big thing was 9-11 because people's priorities went out the window or actually maybe the priorities actually became much more clearer. So it wasn't like people were suddenly like 'Hey, we gotta get a new sponsor right away.' Next thing you know, time passes. And then it gets a lot tougher and you've got to go after it. There was a changing of the guard so to speak with Jimmy and Bjorn leaving the tour. So there's a credibility issue: are these guys going to step up and be credible and consistent and that has to be proven to people over time. So these things all put together contribute. And just the cost issue — you know it costs a lot more money to do an event in Central Park.
Tennis Week: What's the story with you and (Scottish sensation) Andrew Murray? I've read and heard you might work with him part-time, that you might coach him on occasion, that you might work with him before majors? What's the real story there?
John McEnroe: I don't know the answer to that. There was discussion over the last couple of years of me doing working coaching with the LTA — that hasn't panned out at all.
Tennis Week: I thought you did a little bit of work for the LTA?
John McEnroe: I did a couple of things. I went to some inner city places and when I was playing the senior event in London I went to a couple of places and hit with some kids. But to me, it didn't amount to a hill of beans, to be honest. The only time I played Murray was when I played him in London in the Super Set event when I actually played him in something. But it wasn't actually set up for me to play with him and that's sort of disappointing because I thought there'd be something more to that (working with the LTA or Murray). But I know (former British Davis Cup player) Mark Petchey (who is working with Murray) and he came to me at Wimbledon and we discussed the idea of maybe trying to hook up at times...
Tennis Week: At majors? Helping Murray out at majors?
John McEnroe: Not necessarily at majors. To me — and I'm not saying it's gonna happen — he needs to do that work two weeks from now. You know, a month before the major. Not actually at the major. Because at the major you've gotta be thinking of playing. It's not something that's gonna happen in a day or two, it's gotta be something you put into place before you get there. So you're not all worked up and tense and you're sort of in that working mode. Honestly, I'm working too much at the Open. I'm busy doing the commentary so I can't sit there and spend three hours working with a player because I'm really busy working during the Open.
Tennis Week: Given the fact you were such a tactically sound player, that you captained Davis Cup, that you've spoke in the past about wanting to work with juniors have any of the young Americans ever approached you and asked you to help them out or work with them part-time? Would you be interested in something like that?
John McEnroe: You've been around me long enough at my press conferences to know that one of the things I pushed for is the idea of a tennis academy at Flushing Meadows because I believe that's a no brainer. There's apparently a new facility that's going up there sometime in 2007. So I'm trying to link these two together and that would obviously working with younger kids.
Tennis Week: John, is that something you really want to do?
John McEnroe: I would like to do that. I haven't seen a professional player come out of New York in over 20 years since my brother Patrick came out. Blake spent a few years in Harlem, but he moved to Connecticut when he was a kid.
Tennis Week: Do you think the USTA would be willing to work with you?
John McEnroe: That remains to be seen. They were willing to work with me when they hired me to be the Davis Cup captain. I grew frustrated quickly about their lack of sort of direction, as far as I was concerned, about where they wanted Davis Cup to go and this tennis academy thing. And the difficulty to sort of get people on the same page where I thought we needed to be (was frustrating). My brother (Patrick) is probably better at handling that than I am. And I understand these things take time and I've been busy playing and doing the commentary and I've got my own kids. To me, this idea of 2007 would be a good one. That timing is about right for me to spend more time. Because in order to be successful with someone you've got to spend time with that person. You can't sort of just show up one week a year.
Tennis Week: Do you have any role in the senior tour — such as co-owner or investor — or is your role just playing the events?
John McEnroe: I have no involvement other than playing at this point and other than giving the tour credibility by being responsible and showing up at the events I say I am going to show up at. I try to support the events because I believe in it. I believe, for example, there should be senior singles events at the majors. That's something you've got to go around to work to be supportive. There's been discussions of that (of McEnroe taking a co-ownership role in the senior tour) with this tour in America because obviously there hasn't been any tournaments. But you know IMG for example owns 50 percent of the tour in America, but when you see someone not making a great effort for whatever reason — maybe it's because they think they're not going to make money — to do something then you feel that's a mighty tall obstacle to overcome if you see someone as big as that really not making an effort. So you know, it's not something that would be out of the question per say, but I feel like at this time I enjoy the playing aspect enough. And the time it takes to train for it, you know I'm busy enough with all my kids and all this other stuff.
Tennis Week: Would you ever consider doing another TV show?
John McEnroe: Under the right sort of circumstances, I would definitely be interested in doing something. I don't think I could handle doing something as often (as his CNBC show). Let's put it this way: I'd be more prepared the next time and I understand what it takes.
Tennis Week: Your book was so successful and there have been other books written about you recently, including Being John McEnroe. Would you consider writing another book?
John McEnroe: I believe there's only one autobiography you can do. Let's put it this way: I was proud of the effort I put into the book and of the success it had, but I'm in no hurry to do another book. People came to me after the book and said: 'Do this tennis book as a follow up. Or do the 10 Greatest Matches you saw...' There's something deeply satisfying when it succeeds, but I'm not going to do another book just to put my name on something and make some money if it's not something I deeply care about.
Tennis Week: There was a time when the general consensus among many pros I asked was that you were the most gifted player many of them ever saw. Now, many players say Federer is the most talented man to ever pick up a tennis racquet. How would you match up with Roger?
John McEnroe: He's already better than I was. I had seven (majors). I'd like to think I could have and should have won more, but that's not the point. And I was at the point where I was playing great tennis in the mid 80s — the type of tennis people hadn't seen before — and I was very proud of that. If Roger stopped right now and never won another match, to me he'd already be one of the greatest players to ever play the game. To me, he's the greatest all around talent that I've ever seen. Now, I didn't say he was going to break Pete Sampras' record (of 14 majors), I said he's the greatest all-around talent I've ever seen. It's going to be difficult to beat seven Wimbledons, but he's got three now. Something tells me he's going to win a few more. And he's going to win another (U.S.) Open and he's probably going to win another Australian and it's conceivable he could win the French Open, obviously if he stays healthy. But that's already like nine or 10 (majors) that would put him at worst behind Sampras and Borg and Laver. I think when I played it was a great time to be in tennis, but Roger could definitely figure out a way (to compete and beat players of any era).
Tennis Week: I appreciate your time, John, thanks for taking the time to talk.
John McEnroe: OK, no problem.
11-03-2005, 04:03 PM
2005 Delta Tour of Champions
Oct. 31, 2005
Goran Ivanisevic beat John McEnroe to win the Deichmann Champions Trophy in Essen and ensure he finished top of the 2005 rankings.
Ivanisevic claimed his third title of the year with a 6-3 6-4 victory.
He will not play at the season-ending Champions Masters at the Royal Albert Hall because he has been called into Croatia's Davis Cup final squad.
Anders Jarryd, Richard Krajicek and Paul Haarhuis secured their places in London with their efforts in Essen.
The 10 confirmed qualifiers for the Albert Hall event, from 29 November to 4 December, are McEnroe, Thomas Muster, Cedric Pioline, Pat Cash, Jim Courier, Sergi Bruguera, Anders Jarryd, Krajicek, Haarhuis and Mikael Pernfors.
Two wild cards will be added to complete the 12-man field.
Ivanisevic was delighted with his form and believes he could play a role in the Davis Cup final against Slovakia.
"I am playing much better tennis now than when I reached the third round at Wimbledon last year," said Ivanisevic.
"I'm much more relaxed, my shoulder doesn't hurt, my serving rhythm is better and I'm practicing hard.
"If they pick me to play I will be ready. It's very tough to beat me when I play like this, even for guys on the regular tour."
Photos from CBS
John McEnroe reacts during the final of the Deichmann Champions Trophy at the Grugahalle on October 30, 2005 in Essen, Germany.
John McEnroe of U.S.A. in action during the final of the Deichmann Champions Trophy against Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia at the Grugahalle on October 30, 2005 in Essen, Germany.
John McEnroe of U.S.A. in action during the final of the Deichmann Champions Trophy against Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia at the Grugahalle on October 30, 2005 in Essen, Germany.
John McEnroe looks on during the final of the Deichmann Champions Trophy at the Grugahalle on October 30, 2005 in Essen, Germany.
11-06-2005, 12:06 AM
Vamos Johnny-Mac! :bowdown:
11-10-2005, 08:09 PM
Hi jole, thanks for the pics :D
New article today:
McEnroe is a blast from the tennis past
Roger Federer can finish 2005 with 82 wins in 85 matches, but a feisty player accomplished the feat in '84 and went him one better
By DALE ROBERTSON
10 Nov 05
EIGHTY-FIVE matches. Eighty-two victories. That's a .965 winning percentage and that will be Roger Federer's final tally for 2005 if he goes unbeaten next week in Shanghai's Masters Cup, which he did for two years running in Houston's.
It would be a phenomenal feat — but not an unprecedented one. There's a guy playing tonight in the Stanford Financial Champions Cup at Westside Tennis Club who went 82-3 first. And, for John McEnroe, the 1984 Masters Cup in Madison Square Garden was his 13th title of the season. Federer can only win 12.
"Well," McEnroe said, "I've seen a lot of people play. I've seen them all, from the modern era, anyway. I loved (Rod) Laver. He was my idol. He could do everything. Pete (Sampras) was an unbelievable talent. But this guy ... Roger has taken it to another level. I love the way Roger plays, and he's a class act.
"If I'm in the same company as Roger Federer, I can feel pretty good about that. He's the best player I've ever seen play."
In '84, though, McEnroe was arguably the best player anybody then had yet seen play. His phenomenal hands, his genius grasp of court geometry and, of course, that fire burning inside — outside, too, frequently — had lifted his game to a practically unbeatable level while ensuring he would be remembered for more than his petulance.
In the Wimbledon final that year, Jimmy Connors took all of four games off him. McEnroe later won the U.S. Open, too, and he should have won the French Open where he had Ivan Lendl in a two-sets-and-a-break vise in the final.
"Most disappointing loss of my life," McEnroe said.
He didn't enter the Australian Open, which came at the end of the season in those days, because he said he was "over-tennis-ed," the same reason he gave for an aberrant first-round loss to Vijay Amritraj in Cincinnati. His only other defeat occurred in the Davis Cup final against Sweden, courtesy of Henrik Sundstrom and caused, he said, by disastrous team chemistry.
Bad team chemistry
"I'd been beating Jimmy pretty much every time we played (nine of 10 previous meetings), and he wasn't happy about it," McEnroe said. "He chose to alienate himself from the team. He wasn't speaking to anybody, and we weren't even staying at the same hotel. It was a very unpleasant and distracting experience, so I ended up losing one of those matches.
"Looking back, I wish I'd gone on to Australia and been able to win there, but the tournament wasn't in the same league with Wimbledon and the (U.S.) Open back then. I gave up a number of Australian Opens because I chose to focus on the Davis Cup. Maybe I don't have as many Grand Slam titles as I'd like, but I wouldn't trade my five Davis Cup championships for anything."
No Yanks have. So McEnroe is, and figures to remain, the United States' greatest Davis Cup player.
With a 47th birthday looming in February, the trademark frizzy 'do and the tight headband are long gone. But McEnroe continues to be a remarkable tennis talent. On the senior Delta Tour, only Goran Ivanisevic has had a better season, and Johnny Mack is spotting him a dozen years.
"The way Goran is playing," McEnroe said, "he'd beat 80 percent of the guys on the main tour. I'm in as good a shape as I've been in in 10 years. The hands are still there, and I can serve hard enough, although I don't place it as well as I used to. The biggest difference is the body doesn't bounce back as quickly. At these four-day events, you try to save as much as you can for the end and hope you're still around."
His return to Houston for the inaugural Champions Cup is a rare treat. The Delta Tour, which the Westside event isn't officially a part of, has no American presence, so McEnroe doesn't get to play tournament tennis in his home country anymore.
A planned Senior Masters in New York was canceled by the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001 and never resurfaced. Now, McEnroe hopes the Houston event will succeed sufficiently to spur American promoters elsewhere into action.
He commends Jim Courier for taking the brave step forward. Courier is the major force behind the tournament through his company, InsideOut Sports & Entertainment.
Running out of time
"It doesn't seem to be on the horizon," McEnroe said of the prospects for a full-blown stateside seniors circuit. "That's unfortunate for me because I'm running out of time. It's up to the younger guys to make things happen, so I applaud Jim for what he's doing. I understand the difficulties and I want to do what I can to support him.
"I'm an American. I want to play here. I'm not opposed to going to Europe, but I've got six kids to look after and those overnight flights get harder."
Count McEnroe a huge fan of Jim and Linda McIngvale, the Westside owners. He said he's appalled the ATP abandoned Houston to chase Masters Cup money in China instead of giving the McIngvales a longer run to recoup their investment.
"I grew up going to the Garden to watch the Masters," he said. "I thought moving it to Frankfort (Germany) was a huge mistake, and it's unbelievable (the ATP) has let it slip away again. As an American, it's hard to accept and somewhat sad. You embrace promoters like Lamar Hunt (who founded the modern tour's precursor, World Championship Tennis, in the early 1970s), and the McIngvales. You don't push them away."
Approaching 50, McEnroe readily admits he's not a worthy straight-up replacement on the Gallery Furniture Stadium Court for Federer. But he said he's not yet too old to remember how Federer must feel today, because he knows how he felt 21 autumns ago.
"I knew I was a level above, and I thought I could beat anybody, even if I wasn't at my best," McEnroe said. "You can't let down, but you do feel like you have a little something extra in your back pocket. That's what Roger's got right now, the same confidence I had."
John McEnroe works out Wednesday at Westside Tennis Club in preparation for today's start of the Champions Cup event.
11-30-2005, 03:09 PM
As we all know, McEnroe is relieved that Roger did not equal his winning percentage record...
McEnroe: It is still sort of cool that I still have one record
Nov. 25, 2005
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
LONDON -- John McEnroe is happy to keep his record of highest winning percentage from Roger Federer.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion had been waiting for Federer to take over his win-loss record of 82-3 and finish the calendar year with a higher winning percentage than McEnroe's .965 from 1984.
However, an injury to Federer's right ankle kept him out of action for six weeks and meant he only had a chance to equal the record at the Tennis Masters Cup. Federer then lost to David Nalbandian in the final on Sunday.
"It was nice to see how hard he was trying to beat my record because perhaps now people will realize that it's not easy as it looks to go 82-3," McEnroe said Thursday. "Roger has had a phenomenal year, he came up one short, but while it would have been nice to be tied with him, it is still sort of cool that I still have one record."
Federer finished 2005 with a 81-4 record, winning 11 titles, including his third straight Wimbledon and his second consecutive U.S. Open title. His loss to Nalbandian ended a 35-match winning streak.
In 1984, McEnroe won 14 titles, including Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
"It puts into perspective how good my year was in '84, that he put in that sort of effort when he probably shouldn't have played," McEnroe said. "People are now going to start believing Roger is human."
McEnroe is in London to compete in the Champions Masters, the final event on the seniors tour, which starts Tuesday at Royal Albert Hall.
The Associated Press News Service
02-17-2006, 03:03 AM
02-17-2006, 03:54 AM
Mac was awesome in the doubles at the SAP Open, I heard. :)
02-17-2006, 04:07 AM
02-17-2006, 04:15 AM
That's so HAWT, it's almost PMac HAWT. Almost.
While John is clearly the better tennis player, no one can rival Patrick's HAWTness.
02-17-2006, 03:11 PM
Patrick is definitely HAWT. :hearts: Maybe we should start a new thread dedicated to him? :p
McEnroe at the double to show off old tricks
From Simon Cambers in San Jose, California
Times Online UK
IT WAS as if he had never been away. At just before 10.30pm on Wednesday, on the eve of his 47th birthday, John McEnroe, the former world No 1 and three-time Wimbledon champion, took to the court here in an ATP Tour event for the first time since 1994. His right fist raised in acknowledgement and his ears ringing with the cheers from the crowd, McEnroe was back.
As the leading light on the senior circuit, McEnroe has kept himself in good shape and often warms up with top players at grand-slam events, when his commitments as a television commentator allow. His competitiveness and desire have never been in doubt but few believed he could still cut it against the new generation.
On Wednesday, though, he showed everyone just why he is considered by many to have been the best doubles player in the history of the game, teaming up with Jonas Bjorkman, of Sweden, to beat the Australian No 2 seeds, Wayne Arthurs and Stephen Huss, 6-3 6-3. “The old dog wants to try to teach the young ones a few new tricks,” McEnroe said.
You had to feel a bit sorry for the Australian pair. Huss won the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon last summer, but he and Arthurs were the fall guys. This night was about McEnroe.
Wielding his racquet in that unique style, all his old idiosyncrasies were on show. His trademark sideways-on serve still had power — one was timed at 119mph — his volleys were sublime and his ability to take the ball that bit earlier than the rest made him stand out.
If anything, Bjorkman was the weak link in the first set as McEnroe treated the crowd to some stunning shot-making. One impossibly angled forehand pass in the sixth game left Arthurs stranded and the crowd — included several leading players — gasping in admiration. McEnroe and Bjorkman play Ashley Fisher, of Australia and Tripp Phillips, of the United States, in the quarter-finals tonight.
Some of the crowd were perhaps hoping for another of McEnroe’s trademarks, the explosive temper, but in that sense alone, they were disappointed. A couple of tight line calls early on were greeted with a stare, a quizzical glance at the umpire and, as the crowd suggested he take up the argument, a gesture to stay calm, all with just a hint of a smile.
McEnroe was keen to emphasise that this was not the start of a full-blown comeback, but he would not rule out playing more doubles at a later date. “I’m not going to say I won’t consider it but at the moment my schedule is pretty full up,” he said. “I do feel like I’d like to play some more.”
The other reason he is playing here this week is to raise the debate about the future of doubles, which, as television companies seek to maximise revenues, has been sidelined and seen its scoring system changed to shorten matches.
“I think we’ve made a horrible job of promoting the sport,” he said. “There are a lot of guys that people just dismiss as doubles players, but many of them, like Jonas, who’s been as high as No 4, have had great success in singles. People need to know that. It’s not going to change the world that I played a doubles match but hopefully it will help.”
Martina Navratilova, the former women’s world No 1 who continues to compete on the women’s tour at the age of 49, will return to the country of her birth for the first time in 20 years when she plays doubles in the Prague Open in May.
TENNIS WHAT HE SAID THEN . . . AND NOW?
John McEnroe was a foul-mouthed brat who threw tantrums and rackets when he didn’t get his own way, but more than 20 years since his greatest tirades, the 47-year-old’s venom might now be more refined
“Man, you cannot be serious. That ball was on the line.” — Excuse me, but the ball appeared to bounce inside the court.
“You are the pits of the world” — Pardon me, you are a jolly deplorable fellow.
“Do you have any problems other than that you’re unemployed and a moron and a dork?” — Do you have a job, simpleton?
McEnroe wins in doubles in return to ATP Tour
SAN JOSE, Calif. — John McEnroe made a triumphant return to the ATP Tour, teaming with Jonas Bjorkman to win his first match in 12 years, 6-3, 6-3 over Wayne Arthurs and Stephen Huss on Wednesday night in a match that ended 19 minutes before McEnroe's 47th birthday.
"The old dog wanted to teach the young guys new tricks," McEnroe told the crowd before a birthday cake was wheeled out and the fans sang "Happy Birthday."
"Hopefully you're able to show that you have something left in the tank, and I think I did that," he said.
McEnroe says he's in better shape now than he was when he won seven Grand Slam singles titles from 1979-84. He credits an improved work ethic and the example he has gotten by watching other athletes in their 40s succeed.
"When I watch (George) Foreman become heavyweight champion at 45, and see guys like Roger Clemens and my buddy Chris Chelios, who is the captain of the Olympic hockey team and is 44 and looks like he is cut with granite. He's unbelievable. ... I'm, like, way behind these guys. I'm trying to motivate myself to work even harder."
His hair grayer, his temper tamer and his opponents more powerful, McEnroe still showed off some of the skills that helped him win 77 career doubles titles as one of the game's greatest players.
He hit a forehand lob winner on break point to take a 2-1 lead in the second set and then held his serve at love. He held at love again at 4-3 before he and Bjorkman broke Arthurs' serve
McEnroe got a standing ovation and waved to the crowd of 7,158 as he was introduced at a tournament he won five times in singles and eight in doubles in his career.
He hit a volley winner on the first point of the match and held his serve all four times despite having less power than the other three players. He did serve up a 107 mph hour ace in the third game and poached a return by Huss for another volley winner to make it 3-2. His fastest serve of the match was 119 mph.
McEnroe and Bjorkman advanced to the quarterfinals where they will play Ashley Fisher and Tripp Phillips on Friday.
"One day, hopefully three to go," McEnroe said.
McEnroe became the first 46-year-old to win an ATP doubles match since Mansour Bahrami teamed with Cedric Pioline to do it in October 2002 in Basel, Switzerland.
McEnroe, who now plays on the Champions Tour for players 35 and older, has not played an ATP event since February 1994, when he and Boris Becker lost to Bjorkman and Jeremy Bates in the semifinals of an event at Rotterdam.
McEnroe, who won 10 of his 17 Grand Slam titles in doubles, is playing this event to try to give a boost to the declining state of doubles. It worked for one night because thousands of fans stayed almost until midnight to watch a first-round doubles match — something that's usually unheard of.
"I'm hopeful that this will wake people up," McEnroe said. "Not that it will change the world that I played a doubles tournament. But hopefully people will start to wake up to the fact that we have to reach out to fans instead of just expecting them to be there."
The ATP has adopted a new doubles scoring system to help generate interest. There are no ad-games in the first two sets and if a match is tied at one set apiece, the teams will play a tiebreaker to decide the match. The first pair to get 10 points, with a two-point advantage, will win.
It took a while for McEnroe to get on court. The day session lasted 11 hours, four minutes and third-seeded Lleyton Hewitt didn't start the featured singles match of the night session until 9:20 p.m.
Find this article at:
And from TennisReporters.net:
Mad McEnroe curses, wins again
By Matthew Cronin, TennisReporters.net
John McEnroe is up to his old trick – cursing lines persons and throwing rackets.
FROM THE SAP OPEN IN SAN JOSE – Lleyton Hewitt is on cruise control and it showed in his 7-6 6-2 victory over fellow Aussie Wayne Arthurs. The former SAP champ is a near lock to reach the semis, unless Vince Spadea plays the far better tennis than he's showed in the past year. The Florida rapper took care of Belgian Kristof Vliegen 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.
John McEnroe, 47, and Jonas Bjorkman, 33, are on cruise control, too, out-classing Ashley Fisher and Trey Philips 6-1, 7-5 to advance to the semis.
Mac last reached an ATP doubles in 1994, the last time he played a tournament before this week. "I told Jonas to pick up me up because I was bound to drop down after my birthday," said McEnroe, who turned 47 just two days ago.
Mac says he's matured, but he's much the same man, ripping into chair umpire Norm Chryst after a questionable call in the second set. Then, a game later after a changeover, going to the lines woman who made the call and dropping F-bombs.* "Do you always fuck up calls like that?" Mac yelled. "Are you going to fuck up this match too?"
Nice blasts from the one-time dad of the year.
On court protocol aside, Mac is still a brilliant player and should he decide to play dubs the rest of the year with an excellent partner like Bjorkman, could end the year in the Top 10. His serve, volley and instincts are still top notch. His return isn't what it once was and he's not threatening if he's pinned near the baseline, but he plays the angles as well as anyone.
Mac/Bjorkman's two matches showed something else rarely discussed during the doubles controversy: There are a lot of inferior players masquerading as doubles specialists. At 47, Mac could take down both Fisher and Phillips in singles. The tops dubs team aside, many of the guys couldn't make it on the singles tours because of serious technical and mental deficiencies. They are lucky to have jobs and their tennis is not very entertaining.
BTW: What is Chryst doing in the chair if he can't protect his own lines people from verbal assaults? He should have at least warned Mac.
08-23-2006, 04:46 PM
Heads up! John McEnroe will be a guest on David Letterman (http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/show_info/index.shtml) tonight (11:30pm EST). :D
McEnroe To Receive Eugene L. Scott Award At Newport In New York Gala
By Tennis Week
Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe and Tennis Week founder Eugene L. Scott were friends and former doubles partners. Fittingly, the International Tennis Hall of Fame will honor the New York natives at the 26th annual Newport in New York Gala at the Waldorf-Astoria on Friday, September 8 when it presents McEnroe with the inaugural Eugene L. Scott Award named after the tennis visionary, who died on March 20.
The International Tennis Hall of fame dinner will honor the 2006 induction class of Patrick Rafter, Gabriela Sabatini and Gianni Clerici. The Newport In New York Gala begins at 6:30 p.m.
Hall of Famers Tracy Austin, Jim Courier and Tony Trabert, plus contemporary players, celebrities and dignitaries will be among those attending the premier social event of the U.S. Open.
The Eugene L. Scott Award honors an individual who embodies Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. Scott founded Tennis Week magazine and wrote the most widely read and well-respected column about the sport, "Vantage Point".
A high point of the evening will be the live auction where dozens of unique items and experiences will be offered including:
-A hitting session with 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras
-Tickets to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Party
-Tickets to a taping of Fox’s American Idol and 24
-Tickets to a Wimbledon finals weekend
-Tickets to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
-A one-week stay in a four-bedroom villa in Karma Bay Jamaica
-A VIP weekend at The Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas
-Player autographed items and much more.
For tickets to the Newport in New York Gala, please call (212) 843-1740 or e-mail NewportInNewYork@hgnyc.com.
The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, based in Newport, RI, is to preserve the history of tennis, inspire and encourage junior tennis development, enshrine tennis heroes and heroines and provide a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. For more information, please visit the official International Tennis Hall Of Fame web site.
10-06-2006, 03:54 PM
:lol: This is what people paid money to see.
McEnroe Meltdown in Memphis
OCTOBER 5, 2006
John McEnroe, one of the greatest tennis players in history, had an on-court meltdown in Memphis that nearly cost him an eye.
Playing Wayne Ferriera in the Stanford Championships, a seniors event at the Racquet Club, McEnroe bent over and smashed a ball on the court in anger during the tiebreaker after the players had split the first two sets. The ball bounced up and hit McEnroe in the face, either on or near his eye. He remained bent over for about a minute holding his eye as the crowd hushed and Ferriera walked around to McEnroe’s side of the court to see if he was all right.
McEnroe resumed play but lost his temper a few moments later in the middle of the tiebreaker. He berated a linesman over a call, then turned his anger on the chair umpire, yelling “shut up” at him. The umpire promptly penalized McEnroe a point, which caused McEnroe to continue abusing the official as he walked to the side of the court. McEnroe sat down in a chair and put his racquet in his bag. It appeared as if he was going to quit, but a tournament official walked over to talk to him for several minutes and play eventually resumed.
McEnroe lost the match, refused to shake the umpire’s hand, and left the court. He is scheduled to play at least two more times in the round-robin tournament which features former touring pros over 35. The event mixes socializing with competition, and most of the other seven players generally smiled and joked with the crowd during play. McEnroe, however, was all business from start to finish, showing flashes of the brilliance that made him the number-one player in the world for part of the 1980s.