I had been famous for a few years now, but Wimbledon in ’81 is where I became infamous.
Excerpts from McEnroe‘s autobiography, Serious:
“I was unbelievably tense at Wimbledon in 1981 because I knew, after beating Borg at the Open, that I could win it, should win it, would win it – unless disaster struck.
Well, disaster did strike, and kept striking, round after round, and somehow I kept getting through – endearing myself to nobody in the process.
It began at the beginning.
Although this was to become one of my famous matches, I’m positive almost nobody remembers who I played, and when I played it: Tom Gullikson, first round, Wimbledon 1981. Court One.
I had behaved badly at Wimbledon before. I was already Super Brat. Now I upped the ante. Tom could be a pretty tough opponent on grass, but i had a much tougher adversary out there that day. Even though I would eventually win in straight sets 7-6 7-5 6-3, I just couldn’t rest easy when I got ahead: the devils were crawling all over my brain that afternoon. When Gullikson went ahead 4-3 in the second set on a miserable line call, I smashed my Wilson Pro Staff racket, and James issued me a warning. And later, when a linesman called a serve deep that I had clearly seen throw up a spray of chalk, I threw my new racket and gave a scream that came straight from Queens – but that has traveled very far in the years since.”
Man, you cannot be serious!
[youtube width=”480″ height=”385″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQ_Ja02gTY[/youtube]
You guys are the absolute pits of the world.
The umpire understood “You guys are the piss of the world” and gave Mac a point penalty. McEnroe demanded to see the referee, and yelled:
We’re not going to have a point taken away because this guy is an incompetent fool!
After the match, McEnroe was fined $750 for the obscenity, $750 for an unsportsmanlike comment about the umpire, and threatened with an additional 10000 fine and suspension from the tournament.
And I want you to understand: I felt terrible. I’ve felt awful virtually every time I’ve had one of my on-court meldowns.
One was calm and collected.
One was fierce and furious.
Together, they changed tennis forever.
Four different skivvy styles will make up the collection, two of which are designed by Borg and two by McEnroe. The collection is inspired by the ’80s, better known as the golden age of tennis. Among the collection will be 100 pieces of extra limited edition underwear. Featuring the real signatures of Borg and McEnroe, they’ll be randomly sold at Bjorn Borg retailers around the world.
Pre-order on bjornborg.com
A nice way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their last Wimbledon clash.
Bjorn Borg – calm and collected
John McEnroe – fierce and furious
I was at Roland Garros today, not for the womens final because I didn’t manage to get tickets (by the way, congrats to Na Li for her historic victory) but for the Trophée des Légendes.
I was in Paris this week end for the Roland Garros charity day and the Sunday Start. Here’s a photo recap of Sunday’s matches on the court Philippe Chatrier.
Solid first match by Stosur, semifinalist in 2009 and finalist here last year. She beat Iveta Benesova, ranked 52, in straight sets 6-2 6-3. Next opponent for the Australian: Simona Halep.
This article is part of our Italian Week on Tennis Buzz.
Sergio Tacchini became a professional tennis player at age 17, by entering the Tennis Club of Milan in 1955. In 1960 he won the title of the Italian Champion over fellow countryman Nicola Pietrangeli. He was considered to be a talent on clay courts and also competed in the Davis Cup, counting five victories in singles and one in doubles in a total of fifteen games. He took another two Italian titles in doubles, with Pietrangeli as his partner in 1967 and 1968. In 1966, Sergio Tacchini founded Sandys S.p.A. which was to be renamed after him a few years later.
The brand immediately introduced a great innovation in style, using colours and stripes at a time when tennis players exclusively wore white.
In 1978, McEnroe signed one of the first professional endorsement deals in tennis: an 8-year clothing contract with Sergio Tacchini. This helped the italian brand acquire a worldwide recognition, and some tracksuits and shirts Tacchini designed for McEnroe acquired a cult status and have been re-released in the recent years, like the Young Line Polo shirt and the Davis Cup Ghibli track.