A 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.
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.
John McEnroe competed Tuesday night at the PowerShares Series Tennis Champions Challenge in Salt Lake City, battling fellow American James Blake into a tiebreak, eventually won by Blake, 7-5, in the finals.
For full details on the event, see the Salt Lake Tribune’s fine recap here. And photo gallery here.
McEnroe topped Pete Sampras, 6-3, in the semis to advance to the meeting with Blake.
From the Tribune piece:
Long considered one of the best showmen and personalities of tennis, McEnroe was on point when he waved to the crowd and walked off the court briefly following a drop shot by Sampras on their semifinal matchup. It only took the 55-year-old McEnroe into the third set to take his patented stare at the umpire moments after he flexed his arm after an ace serve. Johnny Mac’s first bite at the umpire came in the first set of his final match against Blake, to which the crowd laughed.
After recovering from a serious knee injury, JMTA’s Elizabeth Tsvetkova is back training at JMTA. Like fellow JMTA player Julian Rozenstein, Liz underwent surgery to repair her knee. Though the surgery was successful, she has been sidelined for almost a year. Still, Liz stayed at JMTA interacting with friends and coaches and rehabilitating/ training with JMTA trainer, SportsLabs’ own Andrew Small.
This past Wednesday was Liz’s first day back on the court. Though only able to play mini-tennis with Academy Director Lawrence Kleger, she is feeling good. “One of the toughest parts of coming back from an injury like this is the risk of re-injury” says Liz. “If I plan on playing at the level I was before the injury, which I do, I have to learn to trust my knee and put my focus on getting my game back.” Liz will continue to train with both Andrew and Lawrence in the coming weeks and months. A return to tournament play has not be set yet, though her goal is to begin competition again in June.
Julian Rozenstein practicing at JMTA for the first time in months.
JMTA’er Julian Rozenstein hasn’t played tennis since early December when he made the round of 16s of Panama Bowl. Before, during, and after Panama bowl Julian felt a popping in his knee that ended up needing surgery. Since then, Julian has been rehabbing and strengthening his knee in an effort to get back on the ITF junior circuit as soon as possible. Today, Julian returned to the JMTA practice courts at Randall’s Island for the first time since his surgery.
Julian’s coach, JMTA Assistant Academy Director Felix Alvarado, is happy Julian has returned to the court, “It’s been a long wait, but worthwhile. His knee seems stronger than ever and the absence of discomfort will help his tennis game.” Julian plans to return to the ITF junior circuit this March with his comeback tournament being the Copa Universidad Galileo in Guatemala. “I’m definitely excited to be back!” says Julian. “The goal now is to train my hardest and take home the title in Guatemala.”