John McEnroe is a retired American tennis player, often considered among the greatest in the history of the sport.
Let’s see some fun facts about him!
1. John Patrick McEnroe Jr. was born February 16, 1959 in Wiesbaden, Hessen, West Germany.
2. His parents were John Patrick McEnroe Sr. and his wife Kay, née Tresham.
3. His father, who is of Irish descent, was at the time stationed with the United States Air Force.
4. In 1960, the family moved to the New York City area, where McEnroe’s father worked daytime as an advertising agent while attending Fordham Law School by night.
5. He has two younger brothers: Mark (born 1964) and former professional tennis player Patrick (born 1966).
6. McEnroe grew up in Douglaston, Queens, New York City.
7. He started playing tennis when he was eight, at the nearby Douglaston Club. When he was nine, his parents enrolled him in the Eastern Lawn Tennis Association, and he soon started playing regional tournaments.
8. He then began competing in national juniors tournaments, and at twelve—when he was ranked seven in his age group—he joined the Port Washington Tennis Academy, Long Island, New York.
9. McEnroe attended Trinity School and graduated in 1977.
10. He was known for his shot-making artistry and volleying skills, as well as his confrontational on-court behavior that frequently landed him in trouble with umpires and tennis authorities.
11. McEnroe attained the No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles, finishing his career with 77 singles and 78 doubles titles; this remains the highest men’s combined total of the Open Era.
12. At the majors he won seven singles titles (four US Open, three Wimbledon) and nine men’s doubles titles. He also excelled at the year-end tournaments, winning eight singles and seven doubles titles, both of which are records.
13. McEnroe contributed to five Davis Cup titles for the U.S. and later served as team captain. He has stayed active in retirement, often competing in senior events on the ATP Champions Tour.
14. For many years he has also worked as a television commentator during the majors.
15. In 1982, British impressionist Roger Kitter and Kaplan Kaye, under the name of “The Brat”, recorded the single “Chalk Dust: The Umpire Strikes Back” in which Kitter parodied McEnroe losing his temper during a match. The single reached the UK Top 20 and was a Top 10 hit in the Netherlands, Belgium and South Africa.
16. His bursts of rage were parodied in the satirical British program Spitting Image, on which he and wife Tatum frequently screamed and threw things at each other.
17. Another parody was in the satirical British program Not the Nine O’Clock News, portrayed by Griff Rhys Jones, showing him as a boy arguing with his parents over breakfast.
18. Punk band End of a Year references his famous temper in the song “McEnroe”.
19. He mocked himself in a PETA ad promoting spay and neuter, by launching into one of his famous tirades when challenged about his decision to have his dog fixed.
20. Sir Ian McKellen used McEnroe as a model when playing Coriolanus for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1984.
21. In preparation for some aspects of the title role of the film Amadeus, actor Tom Hulce studied footage of John McEnroe’s on-court tennis tantrums.
22. In 2006, McEnroe appeared in a television ad campaign for National Car Rental, expressing one of his outbursts, saying “Any Car? You cannot be serious!” The following year, McEnroe appeared in an advertisement for Telstra in Australia.
23. In late 2013, he starred in a television commercial campaign for the UK based gadget insurance company Protect Your Bubble. In the TV spot, he emulates his infamous on-court outbursts.
24. In 2014 he appeared as a guitarist on the solo debut album of Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of The Pretenders.