Posted February 14, 2012 on AP on Fox
You-cannot-serious
John McEnroe made a brief return to play an exhibition doubles match Monday on the opening night of the SAP Open, teaming with young American Jack Sock to beat Gael Monfils and Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4 in a lighthearted match. McEnroe, who will turn 53 on Feb. 16, showed the deft skill at the net that made him one of the game's best doubles players ever in a match that included three players young enough to be his children. ''If you know some of the tricks of the trade, I don't care,'' he said. ''I'm covering half the court. This is beautiful for me. I'm not saying I could go out and win things but I'd be comfortable going against anybody right now playing doubles.'' McEnroe was originally scheduled to play with defending champion Milos Raonic, who pulled out with a knee injury. Sock ended up teaming with McEnroe, and Johnson, the reigning US college champion, played with Monfils. Tobias Kamke of Germany defeated South Africa's Izak Van der Merwe 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the second round in singles. Sixth-seeded Kevin Anderson took on Grigor Dimitrov later in the only other singles match of the day. Raonic is still expected to compete in the singles draw, starting with his second-round match Wednesday against Kamke. McEnroe hit crisp volleys all match long, bringing back memories of his touring days when he won seven Grand Slam singles titles and 10 major doubles titles from 1977-92. Even though he lacks the power of the younger, modern players, McEnroe was able to get his serve up as high as 125 mph -- a feat he credited to a friendly radar gun operator rather than some newfound strength. ''I hit one 125 (mph),'' he said. ''I've never hit it that hard in my life. I owe that guy a dinner.'' Perhaps the biggest difference besides the gray hair was the lack of temper tantrums that were such a regular part of his matches when he was on the tour. With the Hawk-Eye replay system in place, McEnroe had little to argue with the umpire or linespeople. He challenged three calls in the match, winning one of them, and even got down on his belly to closely inspect a mark before challenging a call in the second set that he eventually lost. His only argument came when Monfils won a challenge on a shot that just clipped the back line. ''It's a conspiracy,'' McEnroe shouted after losing the point. McEnroe said he would have loved to have had the replay system during his playing career, when he was known perhaps as much for his demonstrative arguments as his sterling play. ''I would have won a lot more majors -- in my opinion,'' McEnroe said. ''Forty percent of the energy I wasted in losing it would have allowed me to sort of focus on playing.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

McEnroe wins doubles exhibition at SAP Open

Tobias Kamke of Germany defeated South Africa's Izak Van der Merwe 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the second round of the SAP Open on Monday. John McEnroe teamed up with Jack Sock later on the opening night to win a doubles exhibition against Gael Monfils and Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4. McEnroe showed off the sharp volleying skill that made him a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion...

John McEnroe SAP Press Conference (Video)

John McEnroe talks with the media after his exhibition at the SAP Open. Enjoy!

McEnroe, Hingis To Return To Sportimes Via World Team Tennis Draft

On Tuesday the New York Sportimes retained two legendary former world No. 1 players in the 2012 World TeamTennis Marquee Player Draft, by protecting its rights to John McEnroe and Martina Hingis in rounds one and three, respectively.  McEnroe will return to the Sportimes for his 11th year as the team’s captain and Hingis will be back for her fourth and second consecutive year...

San Jose: McEnroe/Sock Prevail Over Monfils/Johnson; Anderson Wins

The weather in San Jose may have been unusually cold and wet today – even for February, but that didn’t stop things from proceeding exactly as planned at the HP Pavilion, where the first day of the SAP Open finished up at ten minutes before midnight, when big-serving Kevin Anderson prevailed over Grigor Dimitrov in a third set tiebreak. Dimitrov had come out on fire, but once...

SAP OPEN – DAY 1

My first day at SAP started with a little doubles exo action, delivered by what amounts to 3 – count ‘em, 3 – generations of men’s tennis: John McEnroe, Gael Monfils, Steve Johnson and Jack Sock. The boys put on a lively show for 5,000+ fans in HP Pavilion, with Mac giving everybody a lesson in net presence – how to use it effectively and apparently effortlessly. The...

McEnroe wins doubles exhibition at SAP Open

John McEnroe teamed up with Jack Sock to win a doubles exhibition against Gael Monfils and Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4 on Monday on the opening night of the SAP Open.

M. Tennis. Steve Johnson Steps Up For More ATP Action

USC senior Steve Johnson is in San Jose, Calif., this week for some high-quality tennis action at the SAP Open. Johnson will be playing in his fourth ATP event this week as a wildcard into the singles competition starting tomorrow (Feb. 14). But first, Johnson takes center court for exhibition doubles play tonight at 7 p.m. Johnson is paired with Frenchman Gael Monfils to take on...

Venus, Serena back to TeamTennis' D.C. outfit

Sisters Venus and Serena Williams will return to the reigning champion Washington Kastles, while John McEnroe and Martina Hingis are staying with the New York Sportimes after the World TeamTennis marquee draft.
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.