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John McEnroe is a former professional tennis player who is often regarded as one of the sports’ all-time greats.
|Date of Birth:
|16 February 1959
|Wiesbaden, West Germany
|New York, NY, United States of America
|5'11" (180 cm)
|165 lbs (75 kg)
|Left-handed (one-handed backhand)
John McEnroe was born on February 16, 1959, in Wiesbaden, West Germany. His upbringing undoubtedly contributed to his tennis ability, as he grew up in a tennis-oriented family. His father, John Senior, keenly played during his free time while his mother, Katherine, was a medical secretary.
John’s brother Patrick was also a testament to the family’s tennis ability, with him also enjoying a successful career with a racquet. Their exposure to the sport was thanks to their father’s influence, who was their first coach. For McEnroe, his heaps of potential were noted during his teenage years.
In 1977, when he was 18 years of age, John McEnroe won the Wimbledon Junior Boys singles title, which paved the way for the success he was destined to enjoy for the rest of his playing career. After quickly making the transition to the senior tour, turning professional in 1978, it was clear he had found his place.
The American rapidly progressed through the ranks, reaching his career high of world number 1 just two years after reaching the senior tour in 1980. His aggressive playing style (mostly serve and volley) and occasional yet unashamed irate demeanor quickly turned him into the ‘Marmite’ of the ATP Tour – his most famous outburst coming at Wimbledon in 1981 when he yelled at the umpire ‘You cannot be serious!’
If anything, this show of character helped him gain fans, especially when faced with arch-rival Bjorn Borg – the polar opposite of McEnroe with his cool, calm, and collected personality. This rivalry pushed McEnroe on to greatness, with him ending his career with a total of seven Grand Slams – three Wimbledon crowns in 1981, 1983, and 1984, as well as four ‘home’ titles at the US Open in 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1984.
The versatility he offered on both grass and hard courts firmly cemented him as one of the sport’s all-time legends. Despite also winning an incredible total of 77 professional singles titles across his career, it was not just on the singles court where McEnroe shone.
The American was also a dab hand at doubles, claiming an impressive 78 tournament wins, predominantly with long-term partner Peter Fleming. Since the New Yorker hung up his racquets in the early 90s, he has enjoyed a starring career as a TV presenter and commentator for the main channels in English-speaking countries.
Despite having an occasionally controversial career, his new job has helped gain him popularity thanks to his expert knowledge, together with his humorous take on events.