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John McEnroe

John Patrick McEnroe, Jr. (born February 16, 1959 in Wiesbaden, Germany) is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from the United States. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time. During his career, he won seven Grand Slam singles titles – three at Wimbledon and four at the US Open. He also won nine Grand Slam men's doubles titles and one Grand Slam mixed doubles title. He is remembered for his shot-making artistry and supreme volleying; for his matches against Björn Borg; for his fiery on-court temperament, which frequently landed him in trouble with umpires and tennis authorities; and for the catchphrase "You cannot be serious!" directed toward an umpire during a match at Wimbledon in 1981. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999. After a 12-year absence from the professional tour, McEnroe returned to top-level doubles competition in 2006 and became the oldest male player to win a top-level title in 30 years
McEnroe was born in the U.S military base at Wiesbaden, where his father was stationed with the United States Air Force. He is of Irish descent. When he was less than a year old, his family moved to New York City. He grew up in Douglaston, Queens and learned tennis at the nearby Port Washington Tennis Academy, in Port Washington, on Long Island, NY. McEnroe took the tennis world by storm as an 18-year-old in 1977, when he made it through the qualifying tournament into the main draw at Wimbledon, where he lost in four sets to Jimmy Connors in the semifinals. It was the best performance by a qualifier at a Grand Slam tournament and a record performance for an amateur in the open era. Shortly after, McEnroe entered Stanford University and won the NCAA singles and team titles in 1978. After that, he joined the professional tour.
McEnroe signed one of the first professional endorsement deals in tennis with Nike in 1978. McEnroe won his first Grand Slam singles title at the 1979 US Open. He defeated his good friend Vitas Gerulaitis in straight sets in the final to become the youngest winner of the championships since Pancho Gonzales, who was also 20, in 1948. (Pete Sampras eventually became the youngest US Open Champion at 19 years old.) McEnroe won 10 singles and 17 doubles titles that year (for a total of 27 titles, which marked an open-era record). By 1986, the pressures of playing at the top had become too much for McEnroe to handle and he took a six-month break from the tour. It was during this sabbatical that he married the actress Tatum O'Neal with whom he would eventually have 3 children (Kevin, Sean, and Emily). When he returned to the tour later in the year, he won three titles. However McEnroe never seemed to be able to recapture his very best form again. In 1987, McEnroe failed to win a title for the first time since turning pro. He took a seven-month break from the game following the US Open, where he was suspended for two months and fined US$17,500 for misconduct and verbal abuse.
McEnroe first reached the World No. 1 singles ranking in March 1980. He would be ranked World No. 1 on 14 separate occasions between 1980 and 1985, and finished the year ranked World No. 1 for four straight years from 1981-84. He spent a total of 170 weeks as World No. 1 singles player.
McEnroe was also ranked the World No. 1 in doubles for a record 257 weeks. He formed a powerful partnership with Peter Fleming, with whom he won 57 men's doubles titles including four at Wimbledon and three at the US Open. (Fleming was always very modest about his own contribution to the partnership—he once said "the best doubles partnership in the world is John McEnroe and anybody else.") McEnroe won a fourth US Open men's doubles title in 1989 with Mark Woodforde, and a fifth Wimbledon men's doubles title in 1992 with Michael Stich. He also won the 1977 French Open mixed doubles title with childhood pal Mary Carillo.

Grand Slam singles finals

Year Championship Position Opponent Score
1979 U.S. Open Champion Vitas Gerulaitis 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
1980 U.S. Open Champion Björn Borg 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4
1981 Wimbledon Champion Björn Borg 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4
1981 U.S. Open Champion Björn Borg 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3
1983 Wimbledon Champion Chris Lewis 6-2, 6-2, 6-2
1984 Wimbledon Champion Jimmy Connors 6-1, 6-1, 6-2
1984 U.S. Open Champion Ivan Lendl 6-3, 6-4, 6-1
1980 Wimbledon Runner-Up Björn Borg 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6
1982 Wimbledon Runner-Up Jimmy Connors 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4
1984 French Open Runner-Up Ivan Lendl 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5
1985 U.S. Open Runner-Up Ivan Lendl 7-6, 6-3, 6-4

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