Discussion in 'Pro Match Results and Discussion' started by UpTheT, Feb 15, 2006.
MAC WON!!! with Bjork
Great news! What's the scoreline and did you see the match?
6-3 6-3 Never in doubt.
Anyone see this? How did they look? I have tickets to Saturday and Sunday and want to see the Mac in action.
Does anyone have a video clip of this by any chance?
W00T for Bjork and Mac!
Judging by this match, there's a very high chance that you'll see them come Saturday - they just took out the #2 seeds, so they should have winnable matches from now until the final... and looking at the draw, all the players they could face before the final are not of the same caliber as Arthurs/Huss.
Now, to be fair, it's not like the road is easy, but it seems possible and not improbable.
I was there. Mac was INCREDIBLE!!!! I'd say he carried Bjorkman, especially in the first set. I had expected the opposite to happen, that Jonas would have to carry Mac, but NO, Mac was the man! Mac was flawless!! Bjorkman was making lots of unforced errors. Mac still has the quickest hands at the net of anyone who's ever picked up a tennis racquet. He literally made his opponents look like fools and they had no idea which way Mac was going with his shots. He was hitting some incredible angles with his passing shots which made his opponents look lost. He also got to a lot of balls that I didn't expect him to get to at his age and he hit an absolutely perfect topspin lob on break point to get the break in the 2nd set.
The team that they played was no pushover team. They were the #2 seeds. Huss is the current Wimbledon doubles champ (he and Moodie beat the Bryan brothers in the final), and Arthurs is an established doubles player (I think he's the defending SAP Open doubles champ).
Just an amazing win for Johnny Mac and I'm glad I was there to witness history. Brings back so many memories of watching him play at the US Open in '79 and '80 and on the seniors tour in '98 and '00. The man has still GOT IT!!!
The match ended at 11:45pm (The day session didn't end until 9:00pm and Hewitt played before the Mac doubles), so they brought out a birthday cake (it's Mac's 47th B-day tomorrow) and everyone in the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to the one and only Johnny Mac!! Man, I am still in awe of seeing the master play tonight. Peter Fleming was right when he said that McEnroe and anybody is the best doubles team in the world! And I think that's still true today. I think if the Bryan brothers weren't around, Johhny Mac would be playing Davis Cup doubles for the USA!!!
Quite an exciting and emotional evening for the entire crowd there, especially for us 40-somethings that remember seeing Mac play in his prime. He proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that your best tennis does not have to end at 40.
Great going Johnny Mac!! I hope you guys win the whole thing!
(BTW, he actually behaved himself the entire match, only throwing his racquet once, and that was just for show and for fun.)
You gotta love Mac, still kicking a55 at what..46 yrs old?
(pic from tonights match)
Thanks for the match report, BP.
Glad to share it, Noelle. Watching Johnny Mac at his age play so well against real ATP competition literally brought tears to my eyes (tears of joy, that is). What a sentimental match for me!
Awesome. This guy I think is the most talented player of all time. He's probably stronger now so he should still be a great doubles player. He's lost a few steps but that doesn't matter in doubles. If he was as fast as he used to be he would probably be a threat to Federer, the guy's so good.
Yeah, if you ever read any articles by Brad Gilbert, he usually talks about how Connors was not a very good tennis player, and that he was amazed that he won as much as he did, that he was quite the over-achiever, and depended upon his dogged competitiveness to win. However, he praises McEnroe as being one of the most talented players ever. He would go on and on about what an incredible tennis player McEnore was/is. More talent in his little finger than Gilbert had in his entire body. He said he usually got crushed by McEnroe, but would beat or come close to beating Connors.
Connors had less talent to be sure. He's a great player simply because he rarely lost. Mats Wilander called him a street fighter. Wilander also said that McEnroe would be considered the greatest of all time, above his top 4 of Sampras, Federer, Borg and Agassi, if he had worked more on his fitness. Since the guy never misses at net, a bigger serve to come in on would have been lethal to anyone.
Thanks for the report on JMac. Wish I had seen it. I saw Mac play an exhibition last November. He played singles against Courier and mixed doubles partnered with Navratilova. (The other woman player was Hingis.) They all got very competitive about it. Mac really is amazing to watch. He's like some sort of human stealth technology - you watch him closely but sometimes still don't see how he got to a ball or pulled off an amazing touch shot. Looks like he's becoming one more player rewriting the book on older athletes' longevity in active play. Good for Mac!
how old this guy?
Turns 47 today. Born on Feb. 16, 1959.
Great report, Breakpoint.
I remember McEnroe playing mixed with Graf at Wimbledon and how he pretty much schooled everyone at net then. The biggest difference was how little his racket moved when he volleyed compared to the younger players. No swing, pinpoint placement, great look.
For those of us with the Tennis Channel, Mac/Bjorkmann's next match is supposed to be televised.
Thanks for the Report BP. It sure brought back great memories. Mac is my favorite all time player to watch. I saw Mac/Samprass play live in the 1992 Davis Cup Semifinal match against Sweden, Mac/Samprass def. Edberg/Jarryd 6-1, 6-7(2), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Certainly one of my best tennis memories. I also saw Mac play and exhibition with Borg in the '84/'85 timeframe. During this match, I took a walk around the stadium and watched Mac's serve from behind the baseline. The amount of slice on that "can-opener" serve is amazing. Certainly opens up the court for his amazing volleys. TTC is not available in my area, so I'd appreciate any updates on this forum.
John McEnroe's behavior was never as bad when he was playing doubles as he was playing singles. He's very aware on the court and he usually played the role of leader in doubles. In singles, I'm sure he was aware that he was losing it at times. But he's the type to get better after he blows his top. It's a fine line.
Glad to hear about John and Jonas' success.
I know that it is now the policy to keep all threads with match results in this section.
But, considering this match wasn't televised anywhere in the world, I'm not sure what harm it would do to place it in pro player discussion(since so many apparently don't come to this section)
I'm sure many would like to know about this result & discuss it.
The OP originally started three threads: one in Racquets, one here, and one in GPPD. I deleted it from GPPD because it was a spoiler thread, and TW admin deleted the one in Racquets.
Perhaps someone can start a general "Mac back in action?" thread in GPPD with a link to this thread?
EDITED TO ADD: Apparently people are already talking about it. http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=87045
I wonder if (or should i say when?) Mac starts spitting the dummy and disputing line calls , and throwing the racket, will people say that he is acting it up?
Can anyone make this or the exhibition match available for download or streaming?? Pleeeeeease!
That exhibition match in November2005 was in Baltimore and was televised by one of the local Baltimore networks (ABC, CBS, or NBC - sorry I can't remember which).
That was me. Sorry, I was excited.
I missed this one - hope to see Mac in action in the finals. Thanks for the great report, BreakPoint.
Is it possible for you to add "McEnroe/Bjorkman doubles result" or something like that to the title of this thread? Right now it just says "Spoiler", and I don't think people know this thread is about Mac just from seeing the title.
I'm asking you because I don't think it's possible for the OP to edit the title of their thread once it's been posted.
Here are some pics from the Mac match last night:
This is the one time that he threw his racquet for fun:
His 47th Birthday cake:
...and when we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him:
BP, nice pics! How good were your seats?
Also, was the stadium filled to capacity, or close to it?
Yes, he has the uncanny ability to hit perfect volleys with good pace that hit dead center on the strings with very little backswing or movement at all. I'm not sure if it's the loose tension that he uses that enables him to do that but he's like a magician at the net doing magic tricks. His passing shots also have incredible amounts of angle and spin so that they dip inside of the alley, making his opponents look really silly tripping over themselves trying to reach the ball.
Although his serves don't have a lot of pace (I'd say 105-110 mph on average on 1st serves), they have excellent placement and lots of spin, so that he had no trouble holding serve all night. In fact, he won most of his own service games at LOVE!!! It was Bjorkman that was struggling with his own service games.
Their opponents were confused all night long and were really lost as to what to do about this "Mac Attack". I'd be willing to bet that they had never played against anyone like Mac before in their lives. They kept having strategy huddles with each other before each point and tried different things but nothing worked for them. Yes, the two Aussies even tried playing....you guessed it....."Australian"!! But it didn't work as Mac was still able to hit clean service return winners no matter where his opponents were. It was as if Mac has played so much doubles in his life that he's seen it all and nothing his opponents can do can faze him at all. I mean, he's probably played more doubles matches in his life than both of his two opponents combined. Yup, experience and touch won out over power and youth last night.
I was right behind the baseline. BTW, I didn't take those pics, they're from the SAP Open website.
Except for the upper deck, the stadium was pretty full. Probably about as full as it gets for a tennis match that started after 10:30pm on a weeknight.
I remember when he came back from a self imposed layoff, he didn't like seeing the radar gun because he didn't break 100mph with his serve. I think he was intimidated at that time. He would have the referee turn the gun off.
Mac is an amazing doubles player. Wish I still lived in NoCal so I could have come down for this.
In fact with all the snow on the ground and the prospect of single digit temps next week, I think California would be nice no matter what !!
His highest last night was 119.
He's always volleyed like that. It was amazing with a wood racquet & is still amazing. I've never seen anyone volley like that, not Laver, Cash, Edberg, Newcombe, etc.
Truly amazing talent. It's like he just "stops" the ball in mid-air, not hitting it. It seemed like he could hold it forever on his racket.
From your description BreakPoint it sounds like McEnroe is going to win this thing, especially if Bjorkman amps up his level, which he can certainly do.
Ah, but if I change the title of this thread, it might show that I edited it at the bottom. I'll see what I can do, but most everyone who's interested seems to be finding their way to this thread.
EDITED TO ADD: I can't change thread titles, but I can move all posts to a new thread with a better title. Unfortunately, that will break some links to this old thread.
Well, I wouldn't jump the gun just yet. That was the first match McEnroe and Bjorkman have ever played together so I think the jury is still out on how much synergy they have together. There are also a lot of good doubles teams out there. They also had a bit of luck last night in that they won ALL the no-ad game points. They play no-ad for ATP doubles now and they went to deuce like 6-7 times last night and I think Mac/Jonas won ALL those no-ad points.
Yes, I hope Bjorkman can only get better as he was really off last night. He claimed he was still jetlagged, but I don't buy it. He was in Argentina for the Davis Cup all last week and the time zone difference between Argentina and California is not that much (like 3 zones). So it's not like he came from Sweden or China. Besides, he's been in San Jose since at least Monday afternoon because I saw him practicing at 6:00pm on Monday. We'll see if he'll be able to play as well as McEnroe in their next match, mostly likely Friday night.
Perhaps you can just change those links to the new thread then. I don't think there are that many links anyway.
BP, This one really nice.
Mac has talked about wanting to spark more interest in doubles and he seems off to a good start. What's just as exciting, I think, is that he (along with the return of Hingis) may also ignite more interest in using touch/finesse and point-building to win matches. Could be a good year for the game.
Anyone know what time the match is tonight and if TTC is definitely going to televise? Don't care how late it is, bet TTC gets top ratings for it. May be the first time a doubles match gets better ratings than singles. TTC website just lists live tennis from San Jose 3:30PM-7:30PM (EST) and 10:00 PM-2:00AM(EST). My guess is the doubles will follow the last singles match of the night. Anyone know?
Breakpoint - McEnroe's extremely low tensions are a thing of the past. I have it on really good authority that he's stringing at 59 +/- 3 pounds now.
This might also spark some interest from some of the other older guys. As I mentioned previously, this type format may attract some 30-ish (40-ish) guys back to the tour. It has more visibility than the current Seniors tour and would give them a chance to compete. It's just a fact that when you get older you can't move as well as when you were younger. McEnroe is a notable exception to that.
Jimmy Arias gave probably the best assessment of why McEnroe is still able to compete with anyone in most any venue. He mentioned these points:
McEnroe is constantly pressing to get to net. The players of today, and even ten years ago just aren't used to this type of tactic.
McEnroe takes the ball early. This robs his opponents of time and court space.
McEnroe never hits the same ball twice. He constantly varies spin and pace so that it's nearly impossible to get into a rythym against him.
McEnroe's sheer athletic ability
McEnroe's net game
McEnroe is solid from every where on court
IMO, Arias showed a great respect for McEnroe's game. He said that McEnroe's game is so unique that you can't get a feel for it. I thought it was great analysis.
Checked the SAP Open website. Not before 7:00PM (PST) Andy Roddick v. Bjorn Phau followed by the Mcenroe doubles. Looks like a late night for those of us on the east coast.
I agree with everything Arias said about McEnroe. Good analysis and it's all true.
Yes, I guess if he was stringing his 65 sq. in. wood racquets at 45 lb., then moving up to the high 50's lb. range for a 98 sq. in. head make sense, especially since today's graphite racquets ae so much more powerful, he would need to tame that power somewhat by stringing a little tighter. But I tell you what, watching him on Wed. night, he still has this uncanny ability to seemingly "catch" the ball in the middle of his strings and "throw" instead of "hit" the ball over the net. Because he seems to be "catching and throwing" the ball over the net instead of hitting it over, like the rest of us mere mortals, he's able to massage and control the direction, pace, and spin of the ball so much better than anyone else. He hasn't lost that ability with age and he's still got it!!
Yes, they are going to try and squeeze in 3 matches tonight for the evening session (usually it's two). Roddick vs. Phau starts at 7:00pm, followed by two doubles matches. The McEnroe match is the 2nd match, right after the Roddick singles match.
They're can try and play three matches due to the new doubles format, playing no-ad, and a super tie-break instead of a full 3rd set. Thus, don't expect any doubles match to last too long now.
I couldn't agree more!
McEnroe coming back on the tour has already sparked tremendous interest in doubles. More people were there on Wed. night to see McEnroe's doubles match than to see Hewitt's singles match. I hope McEnroe enters many more events this year to really bring the spectators out to see the doubles.
He also uses the upper part of the loop very well. If you watch him take people wide with a flat volley- he uses the upper part of the loop to cup the ball,"throwing" it wide. The ball stays on the racket just a bit longer while also taking away some of the power so not to miss wide.
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