John McEnroe was a winner and a whiner, a super
talent nicknamed Superbrat. A lefthander with all the strokes, he never felt a need to stroke anybody.A serve and volleyer, his shotmaking artistry
enabled him to dominate tennis from 1981-84. He dethroned Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon, winning three championships on the prestigious grass courts just
outside London. On this side of the Atlantic, he won four U.S. Open titles.
McEnroe finished with $12,539,622 in official earnings and 77 singles titles, third most behind Jimmy Connors' 109 and Ivan Lendl's 94. He won 17
Grand Slam championships, including nine in men's doubles (seven with Peter Fleming) and one in mixed doubles with Mary Carillo at the French Open.
His Davis Cup record was 41-8 in singles and 18-2 in doubles as he helped the U.S. win five Cups.
Born on February 16, 1959, in Wiesbaden,
Germany, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Air Force, he grew up in the Long Island suburb of Douglaston, NY. A 5-foot-11, 170-pound
left-hander, McEnroe stands as perhaps the most skilled and controversial of all players.Brilliant in doubles and singles, he was distinguished by
shotmaking artistry, competitive fire and a volatile temper. The last led to heavy fines, suspensions and, at the 1990 Australian Open, an
extraordinary disqualification for showering abusive language on court officials while leading Mikael Pernfors.A magnificent volleyer with a feathery
touch, he was an attacker whose fast court style netted four U.S. Open and three Wimbledon singles. But he had the baselining strength to have done
well on clay at the French, a title he might have won at his zenith in 1984. In the final he led Ivan Lendl, 2-0 in sets only to be distracted by
temperamental outbursts, and was beaten, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5.
He revived American interest in the Davis Cup
that had been shunned by Connors and other leading countrymen, saying, "My mother made me promise her I'd always play for my country if I was asked."
Right from the start, as a 19-year-old rookie in 1978, he gave Captain Tony Trabert's team a lift, and gave the U.S. the Cup that had belonged to
other countries since 1973. In the championship round against Britain at Rancho Mirage, CA, he evinced none of the jitters so common to many other
greats making debuts in the nationalistic setting. Mac was a miser, rationing John Lloyd (6-1, 6-2, 6-2) and Buster Mottram (6-2, 6-2, 6-1) to 10
games. Nobody had been stingier in a final. He was the most callow American to do so well in the Cup round, although Lew Hoad, a younger 19 by eight
months for victorious Australia, also took both his singles in 1953, and Michael Chang, 18, won one singles in the 1990 final. McEnroe continued as a
mainstay in helping the U.S. win four more Cups through 1992, and set numerous of his country's records: years played (12), ties (30), singles wins
(41), singles and doubles wins altogether (59). A workhorse, he played both singles and doubles in 13 series, and he and Peter Fleming won 14 of 15
Cup doubles together.
An epic performance was his 6-hour-32 minute,
five-set victory over Mats Wilander in St. Louis (9-7, 6-2, 15-17, 3-6, 8-6), clinching a 1982 quarterfinal 3-2 win over Sweden. Another thriller was
his five-set win over Jose-Luis Clerc of Argentina (7-5, 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3) to send the Cup to the U.S. in the 1981 final at Cincinnati. In 1982
France built a home-court advantage for the final, especially to counter McEnroe, installing clay indoors at Grenoble. But Mac beat Yannick Noah,
12-10, 1-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, at the outset to launch a 4-1 victory. He beat Henri Leconte, in singles, and paired with Fleming for the doubles win. A
decade later he was on another Cup winner as doubles partner of Pete Sampras in the triumph over Switzerland at Ft. Worth, TX. At 20 he won the U.S.
title for the first time over fellow New Yorker Vitas Gerulaitis, the youngest winner since Pancho Gonzalez, also 20, 31 years before. He repeated in
dramatic battles with Bjorn Borg in 1980, 7-6 (7-4) 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 5-7, 6-4, and 1981, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3, the latter seeming the straw that broke
the Swede's sensational career. Borg retired shortly thereafter. McEnroe won for the last time in 1984, over Lendl, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. But he was defeated
in the Flushing Meadow rematch 12 months later, relinquishing to Lendl the No. 1 ranking McEnroe had held for four years.
His most celebrated result may have been at the
1980 Wimbledon final called by many of all. Beaten, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (16-18), McEnroe nervelessly staved off five points during the monumental
fourth-set to fight Borg to the fifth-set wire. A later he cut down Borg on Centre Court, 4-6, (7-1), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, ending Bjorn's incredible year,
41-match Wimbledon run. McEnroe won again in 1983 and 1984, the pinnacle of his virtuosity in the latter, a virtually flawless wipeout of Connors,
6-1, 6-2, 6-2. There were so many ups and downs at Wimbledon, where he came close to being tossed to our prior to his initial championship, 1981, for
a second-round flareup while beating Tom Gullikson. It was the infamous scene of labeling the umpire Ted James, "pits of the world," and calling the
referee every name but Fred Hoyles (which was his name). He went out in grand manner in 1992. Unseeded at No. 30, 33-year-old Mac wound up where he'd
begun 15 years before: the semis, on a stirring knockout of ninth seeded Guy Forget, 6-2, 7-6 (11-9), 6-3, wiggling six set points from 3-6 in the
tiebreaker. He'd already beaten 16th-seeded David Wheaton and won a rousing 4-hour, 9-minute "battle of champions" over Pat Cash, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-7
(1-7), 6-3, 6-2. But champ-to-be Andre Agassi was too much in the goodbye singles, 6-4,6-2, 6-3.
Yet there was more, and Mac's fading presence
would be stretched triumphantly over two days and Wimbledon's longest closing act on the Monday: his fifth doubles title, this time without old
collaborator Peter Fleming, but with a stranger who did just fine: Michael Stich. Two points from defeat in the fourth-set tiebreaker, at darkness,
13-13, the German-American came through over Richey Renbeberg and Jim Grabb, 5-7, 7-6, (7-5), 3-6, 7-6, (7-5), 19-17, a record-length final, 5 hours,
1 minute. Eight years had passed since his last title. "It was a great atmosphere [Court 1 was packed with 6,500 Mac fans], a great way to go out, Mac
sai d. Three intense rivalries stand out during his career. He had the edge on Connors (31-20), but not Lendl 15-21), and was even with Borg (7-7).
Except for the French Open lapse against Lendl, he was virtually unbeatable in 1984, winning 13 of 15 singles tournaments on an 82-3 record. Other big
seasons were 1979 (10 titles on a 94-12 record), 1980 (10 titles on 88-18). In 1979 he set an open-era record with 27 overall tournament victories, 17
in doubles, winning a record total of 177 matches. He won the season-climaxing Masters singles thrice, 1978, 1983 and 1984, and is the all-time
overall professional leader with 154 tournament victories: a 77-77 singles-doubles split. His is third in singles titles behind Connor's 109 and
Lendl's 92, second in doubles behind Tom Okker's 78. His career singles match record is 849-184.
Ten years he ranked in the World Top Ten, and 16
in the U.S. (No. 1 there seven times), and went out with a No. 20 world ranking. His brother, Patrick McEnroe, younger by seven years, followed him as
a standout pro, winning the French doubles (with Grabb) in 1989. In 1991 they met in the Chicago final, the second such clash of brothers (Emilio
Sanchez defeated Javier Sanchez, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, in the 1987 Madrid final). John won, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. John's prize money for 15 years as a pro was
$12,539,827 He has three children by ex-wife Tatum O'Neal. His knowledge of the game, honest analysis and magnetic personality have made him an
instant hit as a television commentator for CBS,NBC and USA, to name just a few. A man with many interests outside of tennis, he oversees The John
McEnroe Gallery in New York City and is also an accomplished guitarist. The father of five, McEnroe has also won another title - the 1996 National
Father of the Year Award.McEnroe also recently released his autobiography, You Cannot Be Serious, and it has hit bestseller lists in the US and
abroad. The memoir offers a no-holds-barred examination of contemporary tennis,McEnroe's championship seasons, his roles as a devoted father and
husband, colorful television commentator, and much more.For over 20 years, John McEnroe has shown what it takes to be a success both on and off the
court. His amazing life is proof positive that being passionate about your every endeavor will guarantee success.
Born: February 16, 1959, Wiesbaden, Germany
Citizenship: United States
GRAND SLAM RECORD
French Singles finalist 1984
Wimbledon Singles 1981, 1983, 84
Singles finalist 1980, 82
Doubles 1979, 81, 83, 84, 92
Mixed finalist 1999
U.S. Singles 1979, 80, 81, 84
Singles finalist 1985
Doubles 1979, 81, 83, 89
TOURNAMENT RECORD (ex: Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympics)
Davis Cup Team Member 1978-84, 87-89, 91, 92
[Edited on 26/4/04 by TRD]
[Edited on 18/7/04 by TRD]