Tennis Hall of Famer John McEnroe joined ESPN in 2009 for its first-ever coverage of the US Open.
McEnroe was the top ranked singles player in the world from 1981 through 1984 and the top doubles player from 1979 through 1984 and again in 1989. He won 77 singles titles in his legendary career, highlighted by seven Grand Slam singles titles, including the US Open four times. He also won 10 more major championships in doubles or mixed doubles. An avid Davis Cup participant (he holds the record for the most U.S. Davis Cup wins in singles with 41 and in singles and doubles combined, 59), he led the U.S. to five championships and later served as the team’s captain. He also won the NCAA singles and team titles while attending Stanford.
In the 1980 Wimbledon singles final, he lost to Bjorn Borg in an epic battle still considered today to be one of the greatest tennis matches of all time. McEnroe defeated Borg at Wimbledon in 1981, for his first of three Wimbledon singles titles. He also won the Grand Prix Masters and the WCT Finals that year and was named AP male athlete of the year.
In February 2006, John returned to play in the ATP Tour tournament in San Jose, California, after an absence of twelve years. There he teamed with Jonas Bjorkman to win the tournament bringing his career doubles championships to 78.
For many years, McEnroe has worked as an analyst for CBS, NBC and USA, and he continues his CBS duties during the US Open. Infamous for his brash on-court behavior and outburts, he has earned a reputation for insightful and outspoken commentary on television. He worked for ESPN once previously – the U.S. vs. Croatia in Davis Cup action in March 2005 from Carson, Calif.
Although new to ESPN, John McEnroe has many connections to ESPN and its tennis team:
–John played in ESPN’s first tennis telecast, just one week after the network debuted almost 30 years ago on September 7, 1979. It was a Davis Cup tie against Argentina in Memphis on September 14. ESPN’s Cliff Drysdale was on the call.
–John played in two memorable Davis Cup marathons on ESPN – the decisive quarterfinal victory over Sweden’s Mats Wilander in 1982 in St. Louis and a loss to Germany’s Boris Becker in 1987 in Hartford, Conn. Each match lasted over six hours.
–John teamed with former ESPN commentator Mary Carillo to win the 1977 French Open mixed doubles title.
–John’s younger brother Patrick has worked for ESPN since 1995. John defeated Patrick in the finals for his 77th and final singles title in Chicago in 1991 – 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Born John Patrick McEnroe Jr. in Germany in 1959 (his father was stationed with the U.S. Air Force), he grew up in the Long Island suburb of Douglaston, N.Y. While his exploits have made “Mac” an international celebrity, to Kevin, Sean, Emily, Anna, Ava and Ruby he’s still just “Dad”. A concerned and loving parent and role model, John was the recipient of the 1996 National Father of the Year Award from the National Fathers Day Council. In 2010, John founded the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in his hometown of New York City, where he is now working daily to develop the next great group of American tennis players.