John McEnroe

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John McEnroe
Country United States
Residence New York City
Date of birth February 16, 1959
Place of birth Wiesbaden, Germany (United States Military Base)
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg)
Turned Pro 1978, international debut in 1976
Plays Left; One-handed backhand
Career Prize Money US$12,547,797
Career record: 869-194
Career titles: 84 including 76 listed by the ATP
Highest ranking: 1 on March 3, 1980
Grand Slam results
Australian Open SF (1983)
French Open F (1984)
Wimbledon W (1981, 83, 84)
U.S. Open W (1979, 80, 81, 84)
Career record: 530-99
Career titles: 70
Highest ranking: 1 on January 3, 1983

Infobox last updated on: July 6, 2006.

John Patrick McEnroe, Jr. (born February 16, 1959 in Wiesbaden, Germany) is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from the United States. Scott Riley, writing for The Sports Network, recognized him as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. During his career, he won seven Grand Slam singles titles – three at Wimbledon and four at the U.S. 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 at San Jose.

Playing style

McEnroe's game combined shot-making artistry, deft volleys, and a fast, attacking style of play. His sharp reflexes enabled him to return the biggest serves and passing shots masterfully, and the variety, delicacy, and quickness of his play delighted crowds. But McEnroe also quickly became known for his competitive fire and volatile temper. Verbal outbursts seemed to be a key way in which he motivated himself to battle through tough situations during matches, but this frequently got him into trouble.

Early success

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 Sergio Tacchini 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).

Famous battles with Björn Borg (1980-81)

In 1980, McEnroe reached the men's singles final at Wimbledon for the first time, where he faced Björn Borg, who was gunning for his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title. At the start of the final, McEnroe was booed by the crowd as he entered Centre Court following heated exchanges with officials during his semifinal victory over Jimmy Connors. But the match itself was arguably the greatest Wimbledon final ever. In a long fourth-set tiebreaker that is often simply called "that tie-breaker," which lasted 20 minutes, McEnroe saved five match points and eventually won it 18-16. McEnroe, however, could not break Borg's serve in the fifth set, which the Swede won 8-6. This match was ranked as the best final in Wimbledon history by ESPN on their countdown show "Who's Number One?" ESPN Personality Mike Greenberg called the match "one of the three or four greatest sporting events in history."

Revenge for McEnroe came quickly. The pair met again in the final of the 1980 US Open two months later, and this time it was McEnroe who emerged the victor in another five set encounter.

Controversy dogged McEnroe from the start when he returned to Wimbledon in 1981. Following his second round match against Tom Gullikson, McEnroe was fined U.S. $1,500 and came close to being thrown out of the championships as a result of an infamous blow-up in which he called umpire Ted James "the pits of the world" and then swore at tournament referee Fred Hoyles. The phrase "you cannot be serious," which years later would become the title of McEnroe's autobiography, was also made famous during the 1981 Wimbledon campaign as a retort McEnroe frequently made in response to umpires' calls during his matches. This behaviour was in sharp contrast to that of Borg, who was painted by the tabloid press as an unflappable "ice man."

But despite the controversy and merciless criticism from the British press (who nicknamed him "SuperBrat"), McEnroe again made the Wimbledon men's singles final against Borg. And this time, McEnroe defeated Borg in four sets to end the Swede's run of 41 consecutive match victories at the All England Club.

The controversy, however, did not end there. In response to McEnroe's on-court outbursts during the championships, the All England Club did not accord McEnroe honorary club membership, an honour normally given to first time singles champions immediately after their victory. McEnroe responded by not attending the traditional champions dinner that evening. He told the press: "I wanted to spend (the evening) with my family and friends and the people who had supported me, not a bunch of stiffs who are 70-80 years old, telling you that you're acting like a jerk." The honour was eventually accorded to McEnroe after he won the championship again.

Borg and McEnroe had their final confrontation in the final of the 1981 US Open. McEnroe won in four sets, becoming the first male player since the 1920s to win three consecutive U.S. Open singles titles. Borg never played another Grand Slam event.

Continued success (1982-85)

McEnroe lost to Jimmy Connors in the 1982 Wimbledon final. McEnroe had not lost a set going into the final; however, Connors won the fourth set tiebreak and the fifth set to win the championship.

In 1983, McEnroe reached his fourth consecutive Wimbledon final and swept aside the unheralded New Zealander Chris Lewis in straight-sets. He also played at the Australian Open for the first time, making it to the semifinals before being defeated in four sets by Mats Wilander.

At the 1984 French Open, McEnroe lost a close final match to Ivan Lendl. McEnroe was on the verge of beating Lendl after winning the first two sets. But fatigue and temperamental outbursts got the better of McEnroe, allowing Lendl to win a dramatic five-setter. The loss ended a 39-match winning streak and was the closest McEnroe ever came to winning the French Open.

In the 1984 Wimbledon final, McEnroe played a virtually flawless match to defeat Connors in just 80 minutes, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. That was McEnroe's third and final Wimbledon singles title.

McEnroe won his fourth U.S. Open title in 1984 by defeating Lendl in straight sets in the final.

1984 was arguably McEnroe's best year on the tennis tour, as he compiled an 82-3 record and won a career-high 13 singles tournaments, including Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He also was on the U.S.' winning World Team Cup and runner-up Davis Cup teams. The only male who has come close to matching McEnroe's 1984 win-loss record since then was Roger Federer in 2005. Federer was 81-3 before losing his last match of the year to David Nalbandian.

McEnroe's 1984 season did not end without controversy. While playing and winning the tournament in Stockholm, McEnroe had an on-court outburst that became notorious in sports highlight reels. After questioning a call made by the chair umpire, McEnroe demanded, "Answer my question, jerk!" McEnroe then slammed his racquet into a juice cart beside the court.

In 1985, McEnroe reached his last Grand Slam singles final at the U.S. Open. This time, he was beaten in straight sets by Lendl.

Taking time out

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.

Association of Tennis Professionals World No. 1 ranking

According to the ranking system maintained by the Association of Tennis Professionals, McEnroe first became the top ranked singles player in March 1980. He was the top ranked player on 14 separate occasions between 1980 and 1985 and finished the year ranked World No. 1 four straight years from 1981 through 1984. He spent a total of 170 weeks at the top of the rankings.

Success in doubles

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.

Representing his country

More than any other player in his era, McEnroe was responsible for reviving U.S. interest in the Davis Cup, which had been shunned by Jimmy Connors and other leading U.S. players. In 1978, McEnroe won two singles rubbers in the final as the U.S. captured the cup for the first time since 1972, beating the United Kingdom in the final. McEnroe continued to be a mainstay of U.S. Davis Cup teams for the next 14 years and was part of U.S. winning teams in 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1992. He set numerous U.S. Davis Cup records, including years played (12), ties (30), singles wins (41), and total wins in singles and doubles (59). He played both singles and doubles in 13 series, and he and Peter Fleming won 14 of 15 Davis Cup doubles matches together.

An epic performance was McEnroe's 6-hour, 22-minute victory over Mats Wilander in the deciding rubber of the 3-2 quarterfinal win over Sweden in 1982, played in St. Louis, Missouri. McEnroe won the match, at the time the longest in Davis Cup history, 9-7, 6-2, 15-17, 3-6, 8-6.

McEnroe nearly broke that record in a 6-hour, 20-minute loss to Boris Becker five years later. Becker won their match, the second rubber in a 3-2 loss to West Germany in World Group Relegation play, 4-6, 15-13, 8-10, 6-2, 6-2.

McEnroe also helped the U.S. win the World Team Cup in 1984 and 1985.

Final years on the tour

McEnroe struggled to regain his form after his 1986 sabbatical. He lost, for example, three times in Grand Slam tournaments to Ivan Lendl, losing straight-set quarterfinals at both the 1987 U.S. Open and the 1989 Australian Open and a long four-set match, played over two days, in the fourth round of the 1988 French Open.

Nevertheless McEnroe had several notable victories in the final years of his career.

In 1989, McEnroe won a record fifth title at the World Championship Tennis Finals (the championship tournament of the WCT tour, which was being staged for the last time), defeating top-ranked Lendl in the semifinals. At Wimbledon, he defeated Mats Wilander in a four-set quarterfinal before losing to Stefan Edberg in a semifinal. He won the RCA Championships in Indianapolis and reached the final of the Canadian Open, where he lost to Lendl. He also won both of his singles rubbers in the quarterfinal Davis Cup tie with Sweden.

Controversy was never far from McEnroe, however. In his fourth round match against Mikael Pernfors at the 1990 Australian Open, McEnroe was disqualified for swearing at the umpire, supervisor, and referee. He was warned by the umpire for intimidating a lineswoman and then docked a point for smashing a racket. McEnroe was apparently unaware that a new Code of Conduct, which had been introduced just before the tournament, meant that a third code violation would not lead to the deduction of a game but instead would result in immediate disqualification. So when McEnroe unleashed a volley of abuse at umpire Gerry Armstrong, he was defaulted.

Later that year, McEnroe reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open, losing to the eventual champion, Pete Sampras. He also won the Davidoff Swiss Indoors in Basel, defeating Goran Ivanišević in a five-set final. The last time McEnroe was ranked in the world top ten was on October 22, 1990, when he was ranked 9th. His end-of-year singles ranking was 13th.

In 1991, McEnroe won the last edition of the Volvo Tennis-Chicago tournament by defeating his brother Patrick in the final. He won both of his singles rubbers in the quarterfinal Davis Cup tie with Spain. And he reached the fourth round at Wimbledon (losing to Edberg) and the third round at the U.S. Open (losing to Michael Chang in a five-set night match). His end-of-year singles ranking was 28th in the world.

In 1992, McEnroe defeated third-ranked Boris Becker in the third round of the Australian Open 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 before a sell-out crowd. In the fourth round, McEnroe needed 4 hours 42 minutes to defeat ninth ranked Emilio Sanchez 8-6 in the fifth set. He lost to Wayne Ferreira in the quarterfinals. At Wimbledon, McEnroe reached the semifinals where he lost in straight sets to the eventual champion Andre Agassi. McEnroe teamed with Michael Stich to win his fifth Wimbledon men’s doubles title in a record-length 5 hour 1 minute final, which the pair won 5-7, 7-6, 3-6, 7-6, 19-17. At the end of the year, he teamed with Sampras to win the doubles rubber in the Davis Cup final, where the U.S. defeated Switzerland 3-1.

McEnroe retired from the professional tour at the end of 1992. He ended his singles career ranked 20th in the world.

Career statistics

McEnroe won a total of 155 top-level titles (a record for a male professional) during his career — 84 in singles (including 76 listed on the website maintained by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP)), 70 in men's doubles, and 1 in mixed doubles. His career singles match record was 864-194 (82%). He won seven Grand Slam singles titles and the season-ending Masters championships three times ( 1978, 1983, and 1984). He won the World Championship Tennis (WCT) Finals, the championship tournament of the WCT tour, a record five times ( 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, and 1989).

According to the ATP website, McEnroe had the edge in career matches on Jimmy Connors (20-14), Stefan Edberg (7-6), Mats Wilander (7-6), Michael Chang (4-1), Ilie Nastase (4-2), and Pat Cash (3-1). McEnroe was even with Björn Borg (7-7), Andre Agassi (2-2), and Michael Stich (1-1). He trailed against Pete Sampras (0-3), Goran Ivanišević (2-4), Boris Becker (2-8), Guillermo Vilas (5-6), Jim Courier (1-2), and Ivan Lendl (15-21). McEnroe won 12 of the last 14 matches with Connors, beginning with the 1983 Cincinnati tournament. Edberg won the last 5 matches with McEnroe, beginning with the 1989 tournament in Tokyo. McEnroe won 4 of the last 5 matches with Vilas, beginning with the 1981 tournament in Boca Raton, Florida. And Lendl won 11 of the last 12 matches with McEnroe, beginning with the 1985 U.S. Open.

McEnroe, however, played in numerous events, including invitational tournaments, that are not covered by the ATP website. McEnroe won eight of those events and had wins and losses against the players listed in the preceding paragraph that are not reflected on the ATP website.

After retirement from the tour

McEnroe divorced Tatum O'Neal in 1992 and married musician Patty Smyth in 1997. He has six children (three with O'Neal, two with Smyth, and one from Smyth's previous marriage to rock star Richard Hell). While he was originally awarded full custody of their children, they now have joint custody.

McEnroe was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.

McEnroe became the U.S. Davis Cup captain in September 1999. His team barely escaped defeat in their first two outings in 2000, beating Zimbabwe and the Czech Republic in tight 3-2 encounters. They were then defeated 5-0 by Spain in the semifinals. McEnroe resigned in November 2000 after 14 months as captain, citing frustration with the Davis Cup schedule and format as two of his primary reasons. His brother Patrick McEnroe took over the job.

Never at a loss for words, in 2002 McEnroe wrote a book (along with co-author James Kaplan) entitled You Cannot Be Serious, an autobiographical account of his life during and after tennis. It was published as Serious: The Autobiography in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the book, McEnroe shared many stories about the realities of the tennis tour, the role of corporations in professional tennis, and his off-court, drug-induced escapades.

In July 2004, McEnroe began a CNBC talk show entitled " McEnroe." The show, however, was unsuccessful, twice earning a 0.0 Nielsen rating, and was cancelled within five months. He also hosted The Chair quiz show in both the U.K. and the U.S., but this venture also was unsuccessful. McEnroe played himself in the 2004 movie Wimbledon.

McEnroe is active in philanthropy and tennis development. McEnroe currently owns an art gallery in Manhattan.

McEnroe now fills his time by playing on two senior tours, the Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions and the Outback Champions Series, and by being a TV commentator at major tournaments. Many players and tennis experts agree that McEnroe's level of play is still high enough for him to compete on the professional level. In charity events and World Team Tennis, he has beaten many top players, including Mardy Fish and Mark Philippoussis. He defeated Andy Roddick in a doubles charity match, and was even able to volley back some of Roddick's powerful shots.

In 2007, McEnroe appeared on the the NBC comedy 30 Rock as the host of a game show called "Gold Case" in which he uttered his famous line "You cannot be serious !" when a taping went awry.

Return to the tour

McEnroe returned to the ATP Tour in 2006 to play two doubles tournaments.

In his first tournament, he teamed with Jonas Björkman to win the title at the SAP Open in San Jose, which was McEnroe's first title since capturing the Paris Indoor doubles title in November 1992 with his brother Patrick. At age 47 years and 3 days, he was the oldest player to win a top-level title, either in singles or doubles, in thirty years. The win meant that McEnroe had won doubles titles in four different decades and is tied with Tom Okker for the second highest number (78) of doubles titles in history (trailing Todd Woodbridge).

In his second tournament, McEnroe and Bjorkman lost in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Stockholm.


When asked to name the top 5 greatest tennis players of all time, Mats Wilander put Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and Björn Borg in the top 4 with Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, and McEnroe tying at 5th. On McEnroe he said: "He had the maximum potential among everyone I’m talking about, but couldn’t fulfill it. I’m sure he must have kicked himself quite a few times for not developing into the greatest of all time. He believed in improving by playing matches, that’s why he played a lot of doubles along with singles, but he ignored practice. Had he worked on his game and fitness like normal top pros, sky was the limit."

Grand Slam singles finals

Wins (7)

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
1979 U.S. Open Vitas Gerulaitis 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
1980 U.S. Open (2) Björn Borg 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4
1981 Wimbledon Björn Borg 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4
1981 U.S. Open (3) Björn Borg 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3
1983 Wimbledon (2) Chris Lewis 6-2, 6-2, 6-2
1984 Wimbledon (3) Jimmy Connors 6-1, 6-1, 6-2
1984 U.S. Open (4) Ivan Lendl 6-3, 6-4, 6-1

Runner-ups (4)

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
1980 Wimbledon Björn Borg 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6
1982 Wimbledon Jimmy Connors 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4
1984 French Open Ivan Lendl 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5
1985 U.S. Open Ivan Lendl 7-6, 6-3, 6-4

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Tournament 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 Career SR Career Win-Loss
Australian Open A A A A A A SF A QF NH A A QF 4R A QF 0 / 5 18-5
French Open 2R A A 3R QF A QF F SF A 1R 4R A A 1R 1R 0 / 10 25-10
Wimbledon SF 1R 4R F W F W W QF A A 2R SF 1R 4R SF 3 / 14 58-11
U.S. Open 4R SF W W W SF 4R W F 1R QF 2R 2R SF 3R 4R 4 / 16 66-12
SR 0 / 3 0 / 2 1 / 2 1 / 3 2 / 3 0 / 2 1 / 4 2 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 1 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 4 7 / 45 N/A
Annual Win-Loss 9-3 5-2 9-1 15-2 18-1 11-2 18-3 20-1 18-4 0-1 4-2 5-3 10-3 8-3 5-3 12-4 N/A 167-38

NH = tournament not held.

A = did not participate in the tournament.

SR = the ratio of the number of singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

Career titles and runner-ups

Singles titles listed by the Association of Tennis Professionals (76)

  • 1978: Masters, Hartford, San Francisco, Stockholm, London (Wembley)
  • 1979: U.S. Open, Dallas World Championship Tennis (WCT), London/Queen's Club, Milan, New Orleans, San Francisco, San Jose, South Orange, Stockholm, Wembley
  • 1980: U.S. Open, Brisbane, London/Queen's Club, Memphis, Milan, Richmond WCT, Sydney Indoor, Wembley
  • 1981: Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Cincinnati, Dallas WCT, Frankfurt, London/Queen's Club, Los Angeles, Milan, Pepsi Grand Slam, Sydney Indoor
  • 1982: Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney Indoor, Tokyo Indoor, Wembley
  • 1983: Wimbledon, Masters, Dallas WCT, Forest Hills WCT, Philadelphia, Sydney Indoor, Wembley
  • 1984: Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Masters, Toronto, Brussels, Dallas WCT, Forest Hills WCT, London/Queen's Club, Madrid, Philadelphia, Richmond WCT, San Francisco, Stockholm
  • 1985: Montréal, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Milan, Philadelphia, Stockholm, Stratton Mountain
  • 1986: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Scottsdale
  • 1988: Detroit, Tokyo Outdoor
  • 1989: Dallas WCT, Indianapolis, Lyon
  • 1990: Basel
  • 1991: Chicago

Other singles titles (8)

Here are McEnroe's tournament titles that are not included in the statistics on the Association of Tennis Professionals website. The website has some omissions for tournaments held since 1968.

  • 1980: Montréal World Championship Tennis (WCT)
  • 1981: Chicago Challenge of Champions (invitational tournament)
  • 1982: Manchester, Perth (invitational tournament)
  • 1983: Antwerp ECC
  • 1986: Antwerp ECC
  • 1988: Antwerp ECC
  • 1989: Beckenham

Singles runner-ups (31)

  • 1978: Basel, London/Queen's Club
  • 1979: Montreal/Toronto, Los Angeles, Rotterdam
  • 1980: Wimbledon, Dallas World Championship Tennis (WCT), Forest Hills WCT, Philadelphia, South Orange, Stockholm
  • 1981: Wembley
  • 1982: Wimbledon, Masters, Dallas WCT, London/Queen's Club, Memphis
  • 1983: Montreal/Toronto, London/Queen's Club, San Francisco
  • 1984: French Open
  • 1985: Forest Hills, U.S. Open
  • 1987: Brussels, Dallas WCT, Philadelphia, Rotterdam
  • 1988: Indianapolis
  • 1989: Montreal/Toronto, Toulouse
  • 1991: Basel

Doubles titles (70)

  • 1978: Basel, Bologna, Cologne, London, San Francisco, South Orange, Hartford
  • 1979: Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Montreal/Toronto, Bologna, Milan, New Orleans, Rotterdam, San Francisco, San Jose, South Orange, Stockholm, Wembley, World Doubles World Championship Tennis (WCT), Richmond WCT, Indianapolis
  • 1980: Forest Hills WCT, Maui, Milan, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney Indoor, Wembley, Memphis, Brisbane, South Orange;
  • 1981: Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Cincinnati, Forest Hills WCT, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Sydney Indoor
  • 1982: Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Wembley, London/Queen's Club, Sydney Indoor
  • 1983: Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Los Angeles, Wembley
  • 1984: Wimbledon, Masters, Montreal/Toronto, Madrid, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Richmond WCT
  • 1985: Dallas, Houston
  • 1986: Pairs Indoor, San Francisco, Stratton Mountain, Wembley
  • 1988: Los Angeles, San Francisco
  • 1989: U.S. Open, Milan, Wembley
  • 1992: Wimbledon, Pairs Indoor, Brussels
  • 2006: San Jose

Doubles runner-ups (22)

  • 1978: Wimbledon, Washington Indoor, Maui
  • 1979: Philadelphia
  • 1980: U.S. Open, Monte Carlo
  • 1981: Montreal/Toronto, Wembley, Frankfurt, Milan, Los Angeles
  • 1982: Wimbledon, Montreal/Toronto, Memphis, Tokyo Indoor
  • 1983: Philadelphia, Sydney Indoor
  • 1986: Los Angeles
  • 1989: Lyon
  • 1991: Basel
  • 1992: Montreal/Toronto, Rosmalen

Pop-culture appearances

McEnroe's fiery temper has got him featured in fields other than tennis on more than one occasion. In 1982, on the tail of his final victory against Borg, British impressionist Roger Kitter made a record called Chalk Dust: The Umpire Strikes Back in which he played a parody of McEnroe losing his temper with an umpire during a match. The record was made under the nomenclature "The Brat" and reached the UK Top 20; by this time the British tabloids had dubbed him "SuperBrat". He is also sampled and referenced on Dionysos' album Western Sous La Neige which features multiple tracks that talk about writing in the blood of bad referees. His random bursts of rage were also parodied in the satirical British programme ' Spitting Image', where he and wife Tatum frequently screamed and threw things at each other.

In the House of Pain's 1992 hit single "Jump Around," lead rapper Everlast mentions John McEnroe in the second verse: I'll serve your ass like John McEnroe, if your girl steps up I'm smackin' the ho.

In the 2003 Halloween cartoon for Homestar Runner, 3 Times Halloween Funjob, Homestar dresses as John McEnroe. An Easter egg at the end of the cartoon shows a puppet version of Homestar doing an impresson of one of McEnroe's infamous displays of bad temper.

McEnroe has also been given roles in TV and film where he playfully acknowledges his well-known belligerence such as in his appearance in a 2005 car commercial for the SEAT Altea where he angrily shouts his trademark "Clearly inside the line" line at an officer who has ticketed him for parking incorrectly. He also portrays himself in the 2002 film Mr. Deeds where he lauds the title character for getting angry and assaulting an antagonist, and has a scene in the film Anger Management starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, most of which was cut- leaving only a short shot of him sleeping on the floor of the psychiatrist's office. The full scene is in the DVD special features.

McEnroe also has appeared in Nike's recent tennis commercials with his brother Patrick and tennis star Maria Sharapova. He appeared in another commercial where he taught Pete Sampras how to throw temper tantrums on the court.

McEnroe appeared on the December 16, 2006, episode of the UK talk show Parkinson.

McEnroe is also a guitar player.

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