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John McEnroe: Tennis Icon, Artist, and Entertainer

Full Name John Patrick McEnroe Jr.
Born February 16, 1959 in Wiesbaden, West Germany
Height 5‘ 11"
Turned Pro 1978
Career Titles 77 (Singles), 78 (Doubles)
Grand Slams 7 Singles, 9 Doubles
Highest Ranking World No. 1

The Brilliant Shot-Maker Who Dethroned Borg

In the late 1970s, John McEnroe burst onto the scene as a precocious shot-making genius. I vividly remember watching Johnny Mac‘s epic run at the 1979 US Open. His aggressive serve and volley game was a marvel. He could carve the court up with angled volleys and paint the lines from all corners.

Within a year, McEnroe had dethroned the stoic Swedish great Bjorn Borg as the world‘s #1 player. Their rivalry was legendary – the hot-tempered American versus the icy Swede. Every match felt like the Thrilla in Manila.

At his peak from 1979-1984, Johnny Mac was virtually unbeatable. He racked up three straight US Open titles and a singles crown at Wimbledon. With his net skills and deft hands, McEnroe made art with a racket. He captured the imagination of tennis fans worldwide.

The Superbrat Who Thrilled and Tested Fans

But there was another side to Johnny Mac. He gained infamy for his volcanic temper and tirades at officials. His shouting of "You cannot be serious!" during a 1981 Wimbledon match became a signature outburst.

McEnroe‘s antics – smashing rackets, berating umpires – often tested fans. His nickname "Superbrat" was well earned. Yet his raw emotion also made matches electric. Every point felt like McEnroe had his soul on the line.

Love him or hate him, McEnroe played with unrivaled passion. Underneath the brash exterior, one sensed vulnerability – a poet and artist who wore his heart on his sleeve.

Trading the Tennis Court for the Art Studio

After retiring in 1992 with 77 singles titles, McEnroe channeled his energy into art. He picked up a paintbrush for the first time at 37. Like his tennis game, McEnroe‘s style is aggressive andexpressionistic. His canvases explode with vigorous brush strokes and bold pops of color.

While unpolished, McEnroe‘s art captures the same competitive fire he displayed on court. His pieces have been shown in New York and London galleries to praise. For McEnroe, art provides an outlet for his creative spirit.

"Art has given me another place to be creative," he said. "It scratches an itch I don‘t get from tennis."

Staying Center-Stage as a Broadcaster and Entertainer

Even in retirement, Johnny Mac remains one of tennis‘ most popular draws. His candid commentary rings true. As Davis Cup captain, he guided the U.S. to victory in 2007.

McEnroe has also appeared in movies and TV shows, lampooning the tantrum-thrower image. Whether hosting SNL or trading barbs with Will Ferrell, his wit and comic timing shine.

This renaissance man still records music too, jamming with the likes of Keith Richards. Each year McEnroe combines his loves of rock-and-roll and tennis at a benefit concert.

At 63, John McEnroe has lived many lives. But his fiery passion burns as bright as ever. To fans, Johnny Mac will always be the brilliant, maddening, unforgettable heart of tennis. The sport just hasn‘t been the same without him.