Originally Posted by Rabbit
I was at the match that night. This was no act. McEnroe lost it repeatedly during the match. He was as bad the next night against Wilander. When he hit himself in the face with the ball, trust me it was no accident. I'll post about my whole Memphis experience, and it was cooler than cool, in another thread, but Mats told me that he was as close to quitting for the first time ever in his match against McEnroe as he's ever been. He was actually doing well in the 2nd set when McEnroe went off again...and again. Wilander told me that he (Wilander) got mad at the chair ump for making McEnroe mad. Why? Because McEnroe is the only guy in the world who actually plays better when he's mad.
I never thought it was 100% an act. Other posters have said before that he does this now to please the crowd and they quote him saying "It is almost in my contract". I don't think it is that simple. He may start out thinking the crowd wants to see him lose it - then get caught in it himself and really lose it. Human psychology is strange.