John McEnroe's Masterclass: Conquering Wimbledon 1983 in Spectacular Fashion

​​​​​​​John McEnroe claimed his second Wimbledon title in 1983

by Jovica Ilic
John McEnroe's Masterclass: Conquering Wimbledon 1983 in Spectacular Fashion

John McEnroe played his fourth consecutive Wimbledon final in 1983, storming over Chris Lewis and lifting his second trophy in the cathedral of tennis! McEnroe embraced his first Wimbledon campaign in 1977 and turned it into an instant success, reaching the semi-final at 18 and losing to Jimmy Connors in four sets.

The results could have been better in the next two years, and that all changed in 1980, with John rattling off five straight finals at The All England Club and lifting three titles. The first came in 1981 and the second two years later, dropping only one set during the 1983 campaign to conquer the most significant tennis tournament in style.

Jimmy Connors defeated John in the final at Queen's, but no one stopped the New York native at Wimbledon, facing four American rivals and an unexpected finalist. Ben Testerman fought well in the opening two sets in the first round before McEnroe moved on with a 6-4, 7-6, 6-2 victory.

In the next encounter, Florin Segarceanu grabbed the opening set and ran out of steam after that, with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win for McEnroe, who had six foot faults and all kinds of tantrums en route to the third round. Changing the serve position against Brad Gilbert, John lost only 13 points in 12 service games in a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 triumph that propelled him into the last 16, where he faced a stern test in Bill Scanlon.

After a great battle, McEnroe prevailed 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 to set the quarter-final meeting with Sandy Mayer. John produced a 6-3, 7-5, 6-0 win for a place in the semi-final, delivering his tenth straight victory against Mayer.

Again, the crowd could witness verbal exchanges and scary moments on the brink of a more significant incident. However, McEnroe held everything in his hands after a tight finish of the second set to arrange an anticipated clash with Ivan Lendl.

The American delivered a fantastic serving performance against the Czech, fending off break points at 4-4 and 5-5 in the opening set and stealing the rival's serve once in sets two and three to move into the final. Lendl served well in the first set, only to lose it 7-5 in the tie break.

John McEnroe claimed his second Wimbledon title in 1983 over Chris Lewis.

John broke Ivan in the second set's seventh game after the Czech's costly double fault and again in the third game of set number three. The American served well and sealed the deal with a hold at 5-4 to book a place in the title match.

The unseeded Chris Lewis stood on the other side of the net on July 3. McEnroe would never miss such a chance, toppling world no. 91 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 to earn his second Wimbledon title in big style. The 26-year-old New Zealander had scored 21 Major wins before Wimbledon.

He changed that over a fortnight to become the finalist and a Major contender. Lewis passed three five-setter obstacles, including the giant server Kevin Curren in the semi-final. It saw 150 service winners and a crazy battle that ended after three hours and 45 minutes, with Curren wasting a 3-0 lead in the fifth set!

The title match was an anticlimax of that thrilling clash, with John dropping six games in a one-sided encounter that lasted an hour and 25 minutes. Lewis had nothing in his arsenal to confront the favorite, taking only nine points on the return and never looking like a serious contender.

Dictating the action with booming serves, crafty volleys and measured smashes, John barely sprayed an unforced error. He stayed on a high level from start to finish and reduced his rival to under ten winners! The American had a clear advantage in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, imposing his strokes and firing from all cylinders to bring the match home quickly.

McEnroe broke at love in the encounter's third game to start the engines and raced toward a 5-2 lead with another break in game seven thanks to a return winner. The American secured the opener with a forehand winner for 6-2 after 27 minutes.

Lewis stayed in touch in the second set's first four games before McEnroe placed another bullet from his forehand to move in front. A smash winner sent the American 4-2 up, and he grabbed another break when Lewis sent a volley long in the next one.

John locked the set with another good hold at 5-2 to forge two sets to love lead in under an hour! Chris could not do anything to change the course of the encounter. He got broken in the third set's third game after McEnroe's backhand winner, and the American forged a 4-1 lead with another backhand winner.

A service winner in game six sent John closer to the finish line, and he wrapped up the triumph with a backhand volley winner at 5-2 that carried him toward his second Wimbledon crown.

John Mcenroe Wimbledon