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Wednesday, 28 June, 2000, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Mac is back and the fans just love it
John McEnroe
McEnroe - serving up a treat from the commentary box
John McEnroe is a tennis legend.

His fiery appearances as a player at Wimbledon during the 1970s and 80s were as entertaining as they were successful and yet the crowds always relished the chance to get behind his opponents.

Since retiring from professional tennis, 'Mac' has combined a thriving career playing on the Senior Tour and his responsibility as the US Davis Cup captain with a flourishing broadcasting role.



The good news for Sugiyama is that she doesn't need to stay low - she's pretty low to begin with

John McEnroe
He has brought a touch of the infamous "you cannot be serious" personality to the microphone and his experience and knowledge of the game have been an inspiration for the tennis-loving audience.

Youngest player

McEnroe was 18 when he first qualified for Wimbledon and went on to become the youngest player to reach the semi-finals in 1977.

A few years later he ended Bjorn Borg's reign at the All England Club, winning the singles title for the first time in 1981 and repeating the feat in 1983 and 1984 to add to his five doubles titles at Wimbledon.

As McEnroe rampaged through the Grand Slam tournaments, winning four US Open singles and doubles titles, so his profile grew in stature.

Controversial side

Undeniably talented, the controversial side of the Irish American's character attracted both fans and critics on and off the court and this factor was what appealed most to the media world.

After Jimmy Connors fell out with American television network CBS over payment for his contributions, the broadcaster offered McEnroe his first real chance in front of the cameras.

His straight talking won more contracts with other networks, before the BBC stepped up.



Is 'aggravatingly' a word? I think I read it in one of Shakespeare's old books

John McEnroe in mid-flow
This year he has become a regular fixture in the BBC studios on Centre Court.

Mixed response

His lively and informative commentaries have been well received by British audiences, although he continues to draw a mixed response to his subjective views on the game.

This has been evident from the many emails filling BBC Sport Online's inbox, though the overwhelming majority seem to be in his favour.

But, as ever, McEnroe does not seem to have let whatever anybody else feels affect him in any way.

So far he has stopped short of calling anybody "the pits of the world"... but the tournament has only just begun.

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See also:

11 Jun 00 | The BBC Team
John McEnroe
27 Jun 00 | The BBC Team
Ask the experts
27 Jun 00 | Wimbledon2000
Sue Barker's golden moments - No.2
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