Former Grand Slam Champs Put on Show at Randall’s Island
54-year-old John McEnroe hasn’t played on the professional tennis tour since 1992. However, the Hall of Famer proved last night in the World Team Tennis series that he still has the same fiery passion.
In front of a packed house at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy on Randall’s Island, Johnny Mac defeated 4x Grand slam champion Jim Courier in a charity matchup between the New York Sportimes and the Texas Wild. The New York native was in rare form, scolding the umpires after each call and jawing with the fans, who were unsure if his rants were schtick or serious.
Despite the 12 year age difference, McEnroe and Courier faced each other nearly 50 times throughout their professional careers. Although the Sportimes ultimately fell short, McEnroe demonstrated that his serve and volley technique is still effective.
Before the match, Billie Jean King came to support WTT and answered questions at a pre-game press conference. Not one to look back on the past, she took exception to acknowledge her historic and game-changing King-Riggs "Battle of the Sexes" match on its 40th anniversary this year as well as teaming up with strong WTT investors Venus Williams and Andy Roddick.
Listen below as Jake Kring-Schreifels and I spoke with Mac and Courier about their matchup, the future of American tennis, and the importance of charity work.
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