McEnroe had engaged in all sorts of mind games and banter in a bid to try and throw the tennis power couple of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf off their game. The 64-year-old joined forces with five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova at the much-anticipated Pickleball Slam 2.
The event was staged at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, a week ago. For McEnroe, this was his second appearance at the Pickleball Slam, having lost the first edition while partnering Michael Chang.
This time, McEnroe and Sharapova combined to come up with a team name mocking former ATP No. 1 Andre Agassi. The duo featured in two separate doubles matches at the event. McEnroe partnered James Blake to take on Agassi and Jack Sock but lost 7-11, 11-9, 8-11 in the opening match.
In the second match, Sharapova and Blake united to face the pair of Graf and Sock but still finished second best by the score 11-9, 8-11, 5-17 and trailed 0-2 heading to the deciding match.
The protagonists of the team, McEnroe and Sharapova, teamed up for the last match of the day, which was worth two points, but were outplayed by Agassi and Graf, who clinched it 11-7, 13-11. The famous tennis couple walked away with the trophy and the $1 million prize money.
After the event, seven-time Grand Slam champion McEnroe was having second thoughts on pursuing pickleball and joked that he was not the right fit while adding that he is unlikely to get invites anymore after the dismal showing, seemingly "retiring" from the sport.
"I don't think that the pickleball thing's going to happen. I may be retiring but that's also because no one's going to ask me to play anything after watching this."