Category Archives: John McEnroe

Rubin, Loeb Added To JMTP Benefit With Pros Djokovic, Safarova

Noah Rubin and Jamie Loeb, who have made big splashes in the tennis world in recent weeks, will have another big day in the spotlight on August 21, when they join Wimbledon men’s champion Novak Djokovic and women’s semifinalist Lucie Safarova in competing in the Johnny Mac Tennis Project Benefit at SPORTIME Randall’s Island.

John McEnroe, Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist, actor Edward Norton and others will participate in the massive Pre-US Open fundraiser.

“I want to personally thank Novak for donating his time in support of my foundation, Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said McEnroe. “This a tremendous opportunity for two of our brightest JMTA stars to show their skills against the best in tennis. All of us at JMTA are so proud of what Noah and Jamie have accomplished, and also excited that a player of Lucie’s caliber has added her support to this special night.”

Loeb will take on Safarova, currently ranked at No. 17 on the WTA Tour, at 6:30 p.m., followed by Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon men’s singles champion, against Rubin at 7:30.

Rubin, 18, of Long Island, advanced through qualifying, winning eight matches – six in the main draw – on the Wimbledon grass to claim the junior title. He defeated sixth-seeded Stefan Kozlov in the finals to cap a run that also included wins over the seventh and 12th seeds.

Loeb, 19, from Ossining, N.Y., had an incredible year at UNC, recording a 53-4 singles mark, including 19-1 in the fall, racking up the most single-season wins in UNC history, and helping the Tar Heels to the National championship match. The ITA All-American in singles and doubles is also the first UNC female player to be the top-ranked singles player in the country.

Safarova, 27, is a native of the Czech Republic. She has won five titles since turning pro in 2002, most recently in Quebec City last year. In addition to her semifinal run at Wimbledon, which included a win over 10th-ranked Dominika Cibulkova, Safarova reached the fourth round at Roland Garros. Her current ranking matches her career best.

The evening will also include pro-celebrity doubles action, featuring Djokovic, McEnroe and their guests, Lundqvist and Norton, both almost as serious about their tennis as they are about their day jobs, as well as other promising junior players from the JMTA, a lively auction and great hospitality, with all net proceeds to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area, as well as introducing the sport to hundreds of new junior players each year in the neighborhoods surrounding Academy locations. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011), Andre Agassi (2012) and Jim Courier (2013).  JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided over $1.5 million in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its communities.

McEnroe, Rubin Talk Tennis On ESPN Radio

Our friend Scoop Malinowski at Tennis-Prose has this nice recap of John McEnroe‘s interview with Noah Rubin yesterday when John hosted the afternoon drive show on ESPN Radio N.Y.

Maybe Noah’s best line: “Djokovic is a great matchup. I think I really have a chance (to win)…I hope he’s not listening to this.”

Check out Scoop’s piece for more from John and Noah.

NY Times: McEnroe Wants To Bounce Line Judges

If, as he asserted more than three decades ago, “Chalk flew up!” on a key point in his Wimbledon match against Tom Gullikson, John McEnroe would have preferred that his American opponent had been the one to decide the fate of the point, rather than a stone-faced linesperson.

He told the New York Times in a recent article by John Branch, that he’d prefer tournaments get rid of the linesmen and have players call their own points.

“Probably 95 percent of the balls, they know right away,” he told the Times. “You’re talking about a very small amount. Look at a set, the amount of shots that aren’t obvious to both players.”

Tennis Star Novak Djokovic To Compete At SPORTIME Randall’s Island In Support of Johnny Mac Tennis Project on August 21st

Current world No. 2 and six-time Grand Slam singles champion Novak Djokovic will join Hall of Famer John McEnroe, N.Y. Ranger superstar goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, actor Edward Norton and other tennis stars, legends and celebrities, on Thursday, August 21, for a gala evening of tennis to benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project. The benefit night will take place at SPORTIME Stadium on Randall’s Island. In the main event of the evening, Djokovic will compete against another top ATP professional to be announced. The evening will also include pro-celebrity doubles action, featuring Djokovic, McEnroe and their guests, promising junior players from the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, a lively auction and great hospitality, with all net proceeds to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project.

JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area, as well as introducing the sport to hundreds of new junior players each year in the neighborhoods surrounding Academy locations. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011), Andre Agassi (2012) and Jim Courier (2013).  JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided over $1.5 million in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its communities. Sportime Randall’s Island has been the flagship location of JMTA since 2010.

“This is an important night for a cause that has been close to my heart for a long time,” said McEnroe. “I have so much respect for Novak as a person and as a player, which makes me even more excited that he will be the first current top-ranked player to participate in a Johnny Mac Tennis Project benefit match. Fans can expect a night of fun and competition in a great atmosphere in New York, with the likes of Henrik Lundqvist and Edward Norton generously agreeing to be part of the festivities, and with more surprise guests to be announced between now and the event.”

Tickets start at $75. To purchase tickets, and for more information about special VIP packages, corporate packages, or to become a sponsor, please contact JMTP2014@sportimeny.com.

Djokovic has three titles to date in 2014, all in top-level Masters 1000 events in Rome, Miami and Indian Wells. He first reached the No. 1 ranking in April 2011 and has been the No. 1 or No. 2 ranked male player in the world ever since. His Grand Slam singles championships include the Australian Open (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013), Wimbledon (2011) and U.S. Open (2011). The Belgrade, Serbia, native is the top seed at Wimbledon this year and has opened his 2014 campaign with convincing wins over Andrey Golubev and Radek Stepanek.

Lundqvist is one of the National Hockey League’s great goalkeepers, winning the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12 and finishing second in 2012-13. He has 309 career regular-season victories in his nine-year career, plus 43 more in postseason play. This year he helped lead the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup finals appearance since 1993-94.

The prolific Norton is known for his roles in the films Fight Club, American History X, The Incredible Hulk, The Illusionist and many others. He is a two-time Academy Award nominee and a Golden Globes winner. He stars alongside Emma Stone in this fall’s Birdman.

Tennis Hot Spots Profiles JMTA

Fine feature today on JMTA by longtime tennis enthusiast and industry pro Randy Walker over at Tennis Hot Spots. It captures the Academy’s philosophy and goals nicely, with a shout-out to a few of the coaches who make it all possible.

Randy spoke with Johnny Mac as well as Noah Rubin, who summed up his experience at JMTA nicely:

It’s been a great experience to be with all of these unbelievable coaches and players and have been fortunate to have this staff. The people here are very kind and they are always supportive. They have everything you need in order to get what you want in life as a tennis player.

Johnny Mac Back On The Road This Week Preaching The Gospel Of Tennis

McEnroe-CharlotteWhile he has spent most days in and around the Academy at Randall’s Island, the demand to have John McEnroe on court is still high. Tonight John is in Nashville, Kentucky, and Thursday night he is in Charlotte, North Carolina, playing in The Champions Cup. McEnroe will headline the one-night tournaments, along with Jimmy Connors, Pat Cash and Ivan Lendl both nights.

Following “Play with the Pros” experiences with fans, they will compete in one-set semifinals followed immediately by finals both nights.

Here is a preview featuring McEnroe and Connors in the Nashville Tennessean.

And the Charlotte Observer had this story in advance of Thursday night’s action.

“Senior-Itis” Not Just For Our High School And College Kids

SeniorsThe warmer weather the last few days has turned the thoughts of many in and around the JMTA and Sportime to visions of the outside courts vs. our state-of-the-art bubbles. While that usually involves many of our young people that we often chronicle on our blog, it also includes people of all ages and backgrounds as tennis is a game for all. Recently we started getting an increasing number of seniors from our neighboring communities coming over to join us, get in shape and play the game we love.

The seniors are from the Union Settlement Association, located in East Harlem, and they have been turning out in increasing numbers when our Academy players are in school during the day. They even got a recent visit from John McEnroe, who gave them some tips on the game. Welcome seniors, and bring your kids and grandkids over as well!

McEnroe Opens New Indian Wells Stadium With ‘Challenge for Charity’

desert sunThe Indian Wells Tennis Garden opened its Stadium 2 on an chilly (well, for the Southern Calif. desert, anyway…) Saturday night, and who better than our own John McEnroe and fellow American Jim Courier to stage the inaugural match?

The 8,000-seat venue, which compliments the main IWTG stadium of nearly twice the capacity, much like Louis Armstrong Stadium does with Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open.

Courier won the McEnroe Challenge for Charity match in a Super Tie-Break after the two split two sets.

Read Leighton Ginn’s account of the match and the new stadium in the Desert Sun here.

Agassi Tops McEnroe In Portland

oregonianA huge crowd prone to huge ovations greeted John McEnroe and Andre Agassi in their PowerShares Series match Thursday in Portland, Ore., and while McEnroe ultimately fell, 7-5, in the semifinal match, the duo dazzled on a memorable evening in the Pacific Northwest.

McEnroe talked about the PowerShares Series prior to the match, saying that the circuit “gives me something to shoot for, to hold my own against these younger guys. I’m pushing myself harder, and so far it’s working out for me.”

The Oregonian’s Douglas Perry was duly impressed with McEnroe’s fitness level (working with kids at JMTA certainly hasn’t hurt that!), saying “He’s become a regular at the gym. He even does pilates, he said, and it showed on court Thursday night at Moda Center. Time and again he was up at the net in two quick hops.”

Read Perry’s recap here and a match summary here.

McEnroe Continues Champions Run In Sacramento

On Wednesday, for the second straight night in PowerShares Series play, John McEnroe advanced to the finals, again meeting 34-year-old James Blake for the title in Sacramento, Calif. Blake, who beat McEnroe in a tiebreak on Tuesday in Salt Lake City, claimed the 6-3 win.

Blake and McEnroe are now tied for first place in the 12-city series, each with 1200 points.

McEnroe defeated Jim Courier, 6-3, in a rematch of this past summer’s benefit match for the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP), held at SPORTIME Randall’s Island.

World Tennis Magazine offered up this recap of Wednesday’s action.