Tennis - John McEnroe's father is not heard much about. But John McEnroe Senior, the father of one of the greatest tennis players of all time, recently opened up in an interview to IrishCentral.com and spoke at length about his famous son John.
"He was good right away. He just had it. Something in his genes. And he loved it. I was 31 and John was eight when he first started to play at the club. I beat him regularly – but only until he turned 10 and then he beat me.
“It was terrific, a very exciting time. Of course he was a little controversial. Like when he said, ‘You cannot be serious,’ to a ref at Wimbledon. That’s the title of his  autobiography. I didn’t like all the negative attention. How could I like it? But on the other hand, I thought if John wasn’t that way he wouldn’t be a winner. He had to let it out.”
On the classic 1980 Wimbledon final, he says, "That was some match. Borg served better in the fifth set than the first. But then John came back that summer and beat Borg at the U.S. Open. And then the next year John beat Borg in both the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals. So three out of four ain’t bad!”
On Connors, he says, "Their matches could be nasty. John lost to him a couple of times, and then he beat him at the Master’s in Madison Square Garden. Jimmy retired during their match, claiming an injury to his foot and that his doctor said he should stay off it. Then Jimmy was in another tournament the following week and won it. So much for staying off the foot. Jimmy was a phony of the first order.”
TENNIS WORLD MAGAZINE
Issue 23 - 2015
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