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View Full Version : Did anyone see McEnroe's WTT match against Philippoussis??


AndrewD
07-15-2005, 10:14 PM
I just read that McEnroe beat Philippoussis 5-4 in a WTT match (NY Sportimes vs Hartford) and must say I was surprised. Not stunned, as McEnroe wouldn't be the first former great to still be competitive well into their 40's (Rosewall and a lot of the old Aussies were still winning pro matches in their mid to late 40's, not to mention Jimmy Connors efforts) but still surprised nonetheless.

Did anyone see the match, live or on television? Did it appear to be a genuine match or just a result cooked up for the fans (eg. a win keeping Macs marquee value)? If it was a proper match, how was McEnroe playing?

AJK1
07-15-2005, 10:51 PM
Hi Andrew D, i didn't see the match, but if it's true, McEnroe is truly amazing. I read his book recently and he said he is still confident he could give the current pros a run for their money. I personally would love to see him play doubles or mixed doubles at wimby, i reckon he'd go well, depending on the partner he picked. He's a true legend, like him or not. I also read he plays every day of his life, he must truly love the game.

Christopher
07-15-2005, 11:32 PM
I cant see it TBH.

I know hes still playing well etc. but anyone who watched his match against Ivanisvich around Wimbledon time (the one where Borg pulled out) would have known Mac cant hang it with them anymore.

Basically Goran was messing around the entire game and so the score was a bit closer than it should have been, whereas Mac was really competitve. He hit once ace and started fist pumping etc, so in response Goran hit 4 in a row in his next game without saying a word.

martin
07-15-2005, 11:57 PM
So Christopher. Have you seen superset tennis last year where mcenroe smoked Murray 6-1 and lost only 9-7 to Ancic. 1 million dollar was at stake and when Ancic won the tournament he was really happy i can tell you. Ancic tried everything against Mac. Afterwards Ancic told the press that Mac still has the best volleys of the tour and at least for one set he can beat any top player. It is nonsense to say that he was messing around. Nobody wants to lose against a 46 year old and nobody wants to lose with so much money at stake.

martin
07-15-2005, 11:59 PM
And it wasn't Borg who pulled out but Becker.

Deuce
07-16-2005, 12:38 AM
If it was a "proper match" - meaning if both players were genuinely trying their best - the venue would not have been that of Team Tennis.

Justine Fanatic
07-16-2005, 12:42 AM
So Christopher. Have you seen superset tennis last year where mcenroe smoked Murray 6-1 and lost only 9-7 to Ancic. 1 million dollar was at stake and when Ancic won the tournament he was really happy i can tell you. Ancic tried everything against Mac. Afterwards Ancic told the press that Mac still has the best volleys of the tour and at least for one set he can beat any top player. It is nonsense to say that he was messing around. Nobody wants to lose against a 46 year old and nobody wants to lose with so much money at stake.

It wasn't a million dollars it was 250,000 which is about $550,000 (maybe a bit less or a bit more according to the exchange rate), which is a tad less but nonetheless, JMac played very well (I know I was there) and Ancic did have to play very, very well.

obackvalobasha
07-16-2005, 04:48 PM
So Christopher. Have you seen superset tennis last year where mcenroe smoked Murray 6-1 and lost only 9-7 to Ancic. 1 million dollar was at stake and when Ancic won the tournament he was really happy i can tell you. Ancic tried everything against Mac. Afterwards Ancic told the press that Mac still has the best volleys of the tour and at least for one set he can beat any top player. It is nonsense to say that he was messing around. Nobody wants to lose against a 46 year old and nobody wants to lose with so much money at stake.


Roger will smoke Mcdaddy. You know, i bet that RAFA can beat mc on grass. Yes, even if it is a one set match. matter of fact any top 5 can beat the hell out of him.

gugafanatic
07-16-2005, 06:27 PM
I am responding purely to the pathetic comments from the previous poster. The whole purpose of the thread was to discuss whether McEnroe could be still be competitive on the ATP tour. No one is saying that he will be top 5 contending for grand slams you fool. I believe he could potentially do some damge on grass against todays ATP pros based on his performances in the superset challenge. In addition, McEnroe was thinking about asking for a WC for Wimbledon but thought it was unfair for upcoming players if they were denied entry into the main draw.

Yours!05
07-16-2005, 06:34 PM
The whole purpose of the thread was to discuss whether McEnroe could be still be competitive on the ATP tour.but I want to know how the Poo went

wildbill88AA
07-16-2005, 07:29 PM
i suppose mac might make it a round in a slam event, if he played his very best and got the right draw.

big ted
07-16-2005, 09:41 PM
macs serve is probly better then it was in his prime. with his extra service speed, unorthodox motion, disguise, left handed spins, i dont find it surprising he can hold serve consistently against players like philipousis not known for their return. he looks as good as anyone if he can get to the ball. when he played goran at queens he looked kinda slow tho but it may be partly due to the wet grass that day

AndrewD
07-17-2005, 03:25 AM
Guys,

the whole point of the thread was just to find out about the match and result -whether it was a serious one or not- plus a simple, very innocent query regarding how Mac's hitting the ball these days. That's all, nothing more.

gash-b
07-17-2005, 04:28 AM
Hi,

I saw McEnroe play when I went to see two senior tour events in 2000 and 2001. I saw matches with Borg and also Connors. I might be mistaken, but I recall that he won his matches.

I am not that sure about how he is playing currently, but 5 years ago, I was quite impressed about how much pace he actually could put on his shots.

Before the match, he went on the court and was practicing with some younger hitting partner. His ground strokes were a lot quicker than I was expecting. Different than during a match, both of the players were not trying to end the point, so I was able to get a nice view of his shots. Also, his ground strokes were consistently landing very close to the base line.

Another thing that was impressive was his serve. Initially I was expecting that he would tone down his motion slightly, but he still was able to go through his entire serve motion without any significant change in his form when compared to the mid eighties. He also appeared to have good control of the placement of his shots throughout the length of the set.

After the matches, I tried to compare what I saw with some older videos. In some ways, I think that he put a bit more physical effort in his shots in order to compensate for slower footwork, but he still was quick enough for a 40+ year old guy.

Anybody attend these matches more recently?

galain
07-17-2005, 04:53 AM
I wonder if this will result in any fallout for Flip back here, considering it was Davis Cup weekend and all?

bertrevert
07-17-2005, 05:16 AM
He's already done himself no favours with the Davis Cup crowd and I would expect that he couldn't care less.

But if this loss to McEnroe is true then this is a serious slump on his part, a saggy patch that has continued way too long.

At Wimbledon they showed a close-up of his weak right ankle and you could see that he was crushing it and that there was simply no way physically he was going to win. He really does have some bad physical problems that really cripple an athelete at his level. His ankle looked slouchy and weak. Split-stepping he was binding down on it.
Don't take my word for it, here's Newcombe:
Newcombe said Philippoussis's legs were incapable of adequately carrying his near-100-kilogram frame. (The Age, Australia -- Sport) May 2004

He really is pretty vulnerable to the stop-start game nature of this game. He's got a big frame and I could well imagine a hornet like McEnroe buzzing him right off the court.

Sorry, cannot confirmt he score...

bamboo
07-17-2005, 06:28 AM
Saw JMac play an exo against Ferreira in Davis, CA in the Spring. He looked slow and lost badly, Wayne even threw a couple of courtesy games his way to make the pro set score 8-5. JMac is really vulnerable if his touch is off since he totally lacks power. I guess the point of a post like this is that obviously he's still got some game, because Mark P even half-asleep is going to bagel a good country club player.

Rodzilla
07-17-2005, 07:35 AM
plus a simple, very innocent query regarding how Mac's hitting the ball these days. That's all, nothing more.

I saw Mac hitting at Roddick's charity event last year. I have to say I was impressed that he's still got it. Maybe that "modern" racquet he uses helps him. He could still keep up pretty well with Roddick, but I don't think he could still be competitive with these guys; the power, speed, and all the other things that make up today's game would not be good for Mac's old school game.

raftermania
07-17-2005, 08:36 AM
Does Mac still uses continental on his groundies? If so, that's incredible!

Rabbit
07-17-2005, 09:16 AM
Yes, I saw him here last year. His hand is on top of the grip, it's a very pronounced Continental. His strokes are simplistic and linear, a thing of beauty IMO. If he's lost anything physically with regard to speed, I couldn't tell it.

Rickson
07-17-2005, 09:19 AM
Yes, I saw him here last year. His hand is on top of the grip, it's a very pronounced Continental. His strokes are simplistic and linear, a thing of beauty IMO. If he's lost anything physicall with regard to speed, I couldnt' tell it.
Bunny! What up, old man? A thing of beauty? That was a good John McEnroe impression.

raftermania
07-17-2005, 11:56 AM
Yes, I saw him here last year. His hand is on top of the grip, it's a very pronounced Continental. His strokes are simplistic and linear, a thing of beauty IMO. If he's lost anything physicall with regard to speed, I couldnt' tell it.

Yeah, I remember him and Connors used continental on groundstrokes. I often imitated their grips in earlier years but I could "grasp" how they do it. The problem with those grips is that they can't generate much top on the ball, which is where my game has naturally progressed to!

I started with continental --> eastern --> semi-western --> full-blown western

I guess over time everthing changes in life, including your tennis game ;)

treo
07-17-2005, 12:39 PM
I think Mac can win a set from any pro but his age would keep him from winning a 3 or five setter from a top 20 player. I heard he once challenged the Williams sisters to a match. He would easily win in straight sets. I would pay to see that though.

Rabbit
07-17-2005, 01:16 PM
I think Mac can win a set from any pro but his age would keep him from winning a 3 or five setter from a top 20 player. I heard he once challenged the Williams sisters to a match. He would easily win in straight sets. I would pay to see that though.

I don't think he ever challenged them. He has always maintained that the outcome was a forgone conclusion. I thought I remember reading that Donald Trump offerred McEnroe $1 million to play a match against them and he declined. He has said before that tennis is the only sport where this question comes up.

Bunny! What up, old man?

Not much jerk-o! How's life in the world of the world's only veteran 2.5 player?

A thing of beauty?

Yes it was. You would know that if you knew what you were looking at and had ever seen McEnroe play live.


That was a good John McEnroe impression.

Thanks.

Rickson
07-17-2005, 01:18 PM
Thanks.
You're welcome, old man.

Yours!05
07-17-2005, 01:58 PM
I wonder if this will result in any fallout for Flip back here, considering it was Davis Cup weekend and all?So far, some from the commentators along the lines of "wonder how the (losing) team will feel towards Philippoussis now, knowing he's been playing in America".
bertrevert - He's already done himself no favours with the Davis Cup crowd and I would expect that he couldn't care less.
Bert, I was in Mildura when he refused to play, for nothing resembling a reason. He flew in with Jeff Kennett (which Kennett laughably thought was a good associate-with-a-sports-hero move), and then proceeded to talk (audibly) and mess around throughout, in the front row. It was the talking on the cellphone while Rafter was in trouble.... Sheesh.
I had come with my university tennis mates, for a weekend at The Grand, to the place where I learnt tennis. I had to be restrained ;) . And now, it's not too early for a brandy.;)

joe sch
07-17-2005, 04:21 PM
I been posting for years on these boards that Mac could beat anybody in a set of tennis. I would also love to see him school Serena in how hard it would be to cover the court and how hard to would be to return his serve. Even if she returned it, he would volley it away. Serena would have trouble winning points against Johny Mac. How are these statements for a little flame bait ?

simi
07-17-2005, 04:45 PM
Mr. McEnroe is still "competitive" as witnessed by his deep run as Steffi's doubles partner the other year. They might have gone all the way if Steffi didn't pull out to concentrate on her singles. Wasn't this Wimbledon about four, maybe five years ago. But, being competitive and winning are two different things. My guess is that he would be ranked just inside the top 50, maybe top 100 at the worst.

Max G.
07-17-2005, 04:58 PM
Mr. McEnroe is still "competitive" as witnessed by his deep run as Steffi's doubles partner the other year. They might have gone all the way if Steffi didn't pull out to concentrate on her singles. Wasn't this Wimbledon about four, maybe five years ago. But, being competitive and winning are two different things. My guess is that he would be ranked just inside the top 50, maybe top 100 at the worst.

Nah, I don't think that he'd be ranked anywhere near that high. Because being ranked that high doesn't just require winning - it requires winning many days in a row, many weeks in a year.

I can easily see Mac taking a set off of a top 100 pro.

With some difficulty, I can imagine Mac actually beating a top 100 pro in a tournament.

But I just cannot envision Mac recovering from that match and playing just as well on the next day, and the next. That's where the 40-some year old body would take a heavy, heavy toll on him.

While in an exhibition, Mac could give a great match to lots of pros, I totally don't think this would translate to a top 100 ranking on tour.

AndrewD
07-17-2005, 05:29 PM
Okay, that pretty much answers my question. He still hits a great ball. On grass I think he'd still win a few matches if his fitness was there. Of course, being McEnroe, it's very doubtful if he is genuinely fit.

bamboo, the point of the post was just to see how he's hitting them these days. Ive been lucky enough to see a lot of the older players - Rosewall, Laver, Newcombe, Stolle, Smith, Lutz etc- and they've never lost the ability to hit a beautiful ball or place it on a five cent piece. Of course, they can't move like they used to (although I dont think Kenny Rosewall would admit it LOL). Just wondered if that's how Mac was going these days and if those shots of his had lost anything (not counting power).

Has anyone had a chance to see Borg or Vilas play on the senior tour? Im curious to know how players who relied on heavy topspin have aged as opposed to those more classical shotmakers, like Mac or the other guys I mentioned.

simi
07-17-2005, 05:59 PM
Nah, I don't think that he'd be ranked anywhere near that high. Because being ranked that high doesn't just require winning - it requires winning many days in a row, many weeks in a year.....

Good points, especially about recovery time. Just for fun I looked up the ytd records of the 100, 150, and 200 ranked player (entry list).

At number 100 we have Albert Costa. Hmmm, where have we heard his name before? Didn't he win something big last year? Or was it the year before? Anyway, Albert has a ytd record of 11-12 and has $171k in ytd earnings. (A losing record. Guess his last year's record has kept him in the top 100.)

At number 150 we have beefcake Jaguar man, Jan-Michael Gambill. His ytd record is 3-7 with $71k in ytd earnings.

At number 200, and I checked 199, both fellows have not won this year at all. Maybe I didn't read the records correctly. They both won some money, but haven't won a match. How can that happen?

- - - - -

So . . . I'll conceed that JonnyMac wouldn't be in the top 100 (in singles), but he could definetly hold his own just outside the top 100. Now, in doubles, I'd bet he'd be top 50 for sure.

gash-b
07-17-2005, 06:05 PM
In regards to Borg's play, when I saw him in 2000, he was never really that competitive throughout the match. He made more errors (ground strokes and serves) than I was expecting, and his shots were mainly to stay in the point rather than decide it. His form and manner on the court was basically the same as before, but his shots in general seemed to be returned so easily. Compared to McEnroe's play, I would say that Borg's level has drop significantly since his prime, but he still was very impressive to watch.

I also saw a Connors match in 2001, at by that time, I think that he was just enjoying his time on the court rather than really trying to win. He had a number of good shots during the match, but just like Borg, the level of play was not really comparable to that of his prime.

From the times that I saw McEnroe on the seniors tour, I would say that he has surprisingly been able to keep the pace and accuracy of his play close to the level that it was during the late 80s/early 90s. In terms of fitness, the matches were ended very quickly, so it's hard to determine, but I wouldn't expect too much.

tykrum
07-17-2005, 08:55 PM
I saw McEnroe play about a year and a half ago in an exhibition and he destroyed Mardy Fish 6-2 when Mardy was top 20. This was just after losing in a tiebreaker to James Blake. I think this confirms that he can take sets, and possibly matches off of almost everyone, but not over the course of a tournament or week-in/week-out.

Dedans Penthouse
07-18-2005, 07:44 AM
At Harbor Island park, Mamaroneck, NY ( http://www.sportimetfm.com/facilities2.ihtml?fid=6 ) last Thursday, I saw McEnroe vs. Flipper and McEnroe has still "got the moves" especially given his age. His serve is still the real deal, his anticipation (that "x" ability of his) partially makes up for losing a step (still no slowpoke). Max G is right--he could "hang" against some of the top players (on a hard surface), but recovering the next day would be the problem. The guy however, is in shape.

Originally Boris Becker was to play McEnroe, but he was a scratch so Flipper took his place. You got your money's worth with Johnny Mac that night as McEnroe played singles, doubles and mixed doubles (with Martina Hingis). I never thought I'd say this, but the mixed doubles was the best match of the evening--THAT match was an eye-opener: as everyone knows, Hingis was a former #1 player who was a clean ball striker (great backhand, still) who used her wits to win (she didn't have the sheer power of a Davenport or Serena or Venus) and to watch those two (McEnroe and Hingis) was a pleasure and a revelation--they're a hell of a doubles team. Imho, those two would've been (imho) serious "mixed doubles" threat/contenders at Wimbledon. I wouldn't have been surprised to see them get into the semis...and from there, who knows? She still has got game (she IS young) and he, especially in doubles, is still the real deal. What hands!

raftermania
07-18-2005, 08:44 AM
Is it just me or has Boom Boom pulled out of a bunch of exhibitions with McEnroe?

simi
07-18-2005, 10:15 AM
Is it just me or has Boom Boom pulled out of a bunch of exhibitions with McEnroe?

Probably afraid to be embarassed by an old guy.

Kevin Patrick
07-25-2005, 01:38 PM
Did anyone see this on espn on saturday? i know WTT isn't a serious "competition" but I was impressed by some of the shotmaking. Mac didn't have that much difficulty returning the Flipper serve(unlike that Goran exo at queen's where he didn't have a clue where it was going)
Flipper has nothing on Mac's footspeed, he's quicker at 45 than Flipper was at any age(& made some great gets)
Also it was cool to see Mac & Hingis play mixed.

Kobble
07-25-2005, 03:58 PM
I saw the match a few days ago, and it was fairly competitive. McEnroe served great, flat out. He hit the corners and aced Philippoussis more than 5 times. Overall, he played very well. What I thought was suspect, was when Philippoussis was just slicing the ball back when he had plenty of time to come over the ball. When he did come over the backhand, it was usually the beginning of the end of the point. He just wasn't constructing points like he normally does, and looked to be holding back in that area. So, yes, I think Mark gave him some leadway.

wildbill88AA
07-25-2005, 04:05 PM
scud was pathetic. don't think he's been playing at all. mac held up play several times and "shotspot" proved him wrong on his disputed line calls.

now hingis really was amazing.

callitout
07-25-2005, 05:17 PM
Keep it in perspective. Roddick lost to Jaimie Delgado(who?) in WTT at St Louis. I know Roddick wasnt at his best in Indy, but you dont get a huge effort from everyone at WTT. Flipper lost second round of qualies at Mercedes Benz in LA, so this isnt the Flipper who was a Wimbledon finalist a few years ago. Finally, Safin was once asked about an up and coming junior--what did he think of him, he said often these guys can beat him in a practice set or match, but once a real tournament match begins things are quite different so you have to wait and see. Pretty hard to consider WTT real matches for anybody--except perhaps for Kournikova.
Mac is one of my favorites of all time, but he'd be no more than 200 in the world if he went back on the pro ciricuit at this point.

The tennis guy
07-25-2005, 06:09 PM
Mc still has the hand and eye. Mc got to 3-0 lead, but Flip tied it at 4 all, then lost 9-point tiebreaker. I have to say, it takes someone like Flip who had never played WTT, with no net cord, no ad score, a while to get used to it. Flip was thrown off several times. He even got aced by Mc netcord serve when he could have returned it - he stayed away intentionally. He also didn't know it was the receiver who chose side on deuce point. He stayed at ad court which gave lefty Mc big advantage.

Agree with other posters, Hingis is still amazing. I watched her played twice during WTT, still has best hands and touch, and has no problem with hard hitting balls from guys if the balls are within her reach.

friedalo1
07-25-2005, 08:46 PM
McEnrow can still win a atp tournament with a good doubles partner. McEnrow still has the best volley in the game. Edberg, Rafter, Sampras can all still win a doubles tournament.

muellerhp
07-26-2005, 12:11 AM
Johnny Mac won't win a single set in serious ATP Competition in singles. His serve isn't hard enough, he's two steps slow coming to the net, he'd simply be overpowered by any ATP Pro inside the Top 200. I watched some Senior Tour matches, the play is so much slower compared to the "real" tour. Scores in exhibition matches like WTT are meaningless.

Mac plays incredibly well for his age, and he could be dangerous in doubles on fast surfaces from time to time, but in singles he has got zero chance of being competitive.

D. Nelson
07-26-2005, 03:12 AM
.....Mac came out of the blocks ready to TAKE every chance/advantage he could get....whereas Flipper came out SLOW...and made a BUNCH of errors right off the bat... Add to that, Mac's serving....and he got a big lead...quick !!

scotus
07-26-2005, 06:54 AM
Mac is often asked by his fellow commentators about how he would fare against today's top players. Over the course of last several tournaments, I have heard him say that he could be very competitive but only for a couple of sets. With regard to Federer, however, Mac said that Fed would pretty much have his way with him.

I'm not surprised that Mac is playing high-quality tennis at such old age and playing considerably better than his peers, such as Borg and Connors. Mac's game was built more on sheer talent than on training and discipline. So for matches that require less preparation, Mac would shine even more. If, for example, Lendl decides to play Team Tennis or exhibition matches without getting back to his ultra-strict training regiment, Mac would most likely destroy him.

Now, to the poster who said Sampras could still win a doubles tournament: if Sampras ever decided to return to the game and get back to training, he can still win a number of singles tournaments. The same is true, though to a much much lesser extent, for Jim Courier, who said that on his better days he still likes his chances against today's top pros with the exception of a full-fledging Federer.

atatu
07-26-2005, 07:24 AM
Yeah, well Rosewall was still playing Tour events when he was 44 or 45....

The tennis guy
07-26-2005, 08:04 AM
Now, to the poster who said Sampras could still win a doubles tournament: if Sampras ever decided to return to the game and get back to training, he can still win a number of singles tournaments. The same is true, though to a much much lesser extent, for Jim Courier, who said that on his better days he still likes his chances against today's top pros with the exception of a full-fledging Federer.

I have no doubt Sampras can still compete here and there against most players today on super fast court. He would be just less consistent.

Jim Courier? In his dream. He hasn't played that much for a long time. He played terrible in team tennis. His game was based on his power and fitness. His power in today's standard is average at best, and at his old age, fitness is not his advantage either. What else he has left agaist today's top pros?

ucd_ace
07-26-2005, 02:06 PM
I love Mac, but it's hard to believe considering I saw Wayne Ferrera dominate him at my school a few months ago but it was just a exhibition match. Mac seemed pretty off that day though, but his antics were still on and it was very entertaining.

From the WTT matches I've seen the players and although they're playing mostly for fun, they take the matches seriously; they're all professional athletes (more or less) and are competitive and don't want to lose.

serveBig
07-26-2005, 04:45 PM
i didnt see the match, but mark did say he'd only just started to hit on a tennis court a couple days before the call up, due to his ankle injury from wimbledon.. im guessing mark was playing cautious and looked very rusty.

wildbill88AA
07-26-2005, 07:01 PM
I'm not surprised that Mac is playing high-quality tennis at such old age and playing considerably better than his peers, such as Borg and Connors. Mac's game was built more on sheer talent than on training and discipline. So for matches that require less preparation, Mac would shine even more. If, for example, Lendl decides to play Team Tennis or exhibition matches without getting back to his ultra-strict training regiment, Mac would most likely destroy him.

connors is 7 years older than mac, borg 3 or 4(and retired 24 years ago). mac just simply has the desire to play. he'd be lucky to win an atp singles match.