On The Line: John McEnroe

Jamie McCarthy/Getty ImagesJohn McEnroe, performing at an event in March, recently read a book about musician Bruce Springsteen [Born To Run].

It is no secret that John McEnroe is one of the best players in tennis history. The left-handed serve-and-volleyer reached the top of both the ATP Rankings and the ATP Doubles Rankings. He would win 77 tour-level titles during his career and record 877 wins (83 against the Top 10), and he is now a consistent force on the ATP Champions Tour.

But there is more to McEnroe than what you saw on the court — which the American described to ATPChampionsTour.com as, "the good, the bad and the ugly". Want to learn more about one of the ATP Champions Tour's most recognisable figures? We caught up with him to find out about his favourite memories, whom he admires and more. And don't forget, McEnroe will be competing at the BNP Paribas Fortis Champions in Brussels in May.

What was the last book you read?
Bruce Springsteen’s book.

What person outside of your family do you admire most?
It was [Nelson] Mandela, he passed away. I don’t know, that’s a tough call. Maybe in the sports world I admired what [Tom] Brady did for a while. As a guy that plays individual sports, seeing a guy make other people so much better, that’s pretty inspiring.

What was the last concert or show you saw?
The last concert I was was probably my wife [Patty Smyth] singing with Billie Joel.

What’s your favourite sport outside of tennis to watch?
I like basketball the most. I think it’s the most fun and you see the athleticism. It’s a good game for tennis, too, to work on your tennis. I liked playing basketball when I was young and I like watching it now.

Your favourite moment in your career was...
My favourite moment would probably be that Wimbledon ‘80 final even though I lost it. That’s the one that people talk about the most so that’s the one that sticks out.

Your tennis career was a success because...
I think because I gave a lot of effort and people remember the good, the bad and the ugly.

In the future, you want to...
I want to be able to take a step back and be able to appreciate everything that I’ve been able to get from this sport and try to do something where I can take this sport in my own little way to another level.


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