Thursday, February 16, 2006

McEnroe Wins Again at 47

After a 12 year break, 47 year old John McEnroe returned to the ATP tour last night with a 6-3, 6-3 win over the #2 seeds Wayne Arthurs and Stephen Huss in the first round of the SAP Open. Unseeded McEnroe and partner Jonas Bjorkman defeated the #2 team in a little over an hour.

Although not nearly as powerful as the current generation of much younger players, McEnroe's trademark shotmaking was in full effect. McEnroe hit an array of perfect topspin lobs and slices and more than held his own.

Personally, I am glad to see McEnroe back in the game. He was my childhood sports idol and inspired me to play tennis. My grade school friends often reminded me that tennis was a "sissy" sport. No doubt they had stereotypical images of country clubs, all white outfits, and polite English people batting a ball back and forth. McEnroe changed all of that. He burst onto the scene as a foul mouthed, New York maniac who didn't take sh*t from anyone. He was one of tennis' first tough guys and along with Andre Agassi did a lot to make tennis "cool" and attract younger and more non-traditional fans.

Although McEnroe has many detractors, no one can accuse him of not promoting the game of tennis. As a child, I often remember McEnroe going to local shopping malls and signing autographs for hours while he was in town for the Cincinnati Masters Series. This was when he was #1 in the world! I can say with certainty that I have not seen any of today's top players signing autographs at Dillards...

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