Tennis News Wire -
John McEnroe capped an astonishing week by winning the Stockholm ATP Champions Tennis at the age of 53.
McEnroe defeated Magnus Larsson, a man nine years his junior, 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 (Champions' Tie Break), to hold the inaugural Kings of Tennis by Index International trophy aloft and move alongside Carlos Moya at the top of the South African Airways Rankings.
The American won four matches in four days, beating Pat Cash, Mikael Pernfors, Thomas Muster and Larsson for his 21st ATP Champions Tour title.
McEnroe was ecstatic. “I’ve had a great week. Stockholm is a beautiful city, it brings back a lot of memories and this was a good way to end the week. “Magnus is obviously playing well because he already beat Goran (Ivanisevic) and Stefan (Edberg) this week, so I knew it would be tough. But when it comes down to breakers you always have a good shot, and luckily I didn’t make any errors in the decider. The final went down to the wire but it helps me out that it’s just a tie breaker for the third set and I was able to produce some of my best tennis when it mattered.”
It was particularly pleasing for the American after a year of injuries, and he enjoyed reminding Swedish tennis fans, who might have remembered his on-court temper, about the quality of his tennis.
“At the end of a match I think they think ‘Oh, this guy can still really play’ so in a way it’s ok," said McEnroe, who was also watched by old rival Bjorn Borg throughout the week. “Me and Bjorn have a great relationship. We obviously go way back and in a way I think we’re more friendly than ever. We don’t have to play against one another in Wimbledon Finals anymore so it makes it easier. I’ve seen a lot of him this week which has been nice. I can’t come to Stockholm without seeing Bjorn, that’s against the rules.”
Finally, McEnroe paid tribute to Thomas Enqivst, who was a Tournament Director for the first time.
"Thomas has been the best tournament director ever," he said. "He took great care of us all week and I want to thank him for not playing!”
The 3rd/4th place play-off was won by Goran Ivanisevic, who dismissed Thomas Muster 6-4, 6-2.
RESULTS - Friday 16th March
John McEnroe d. Magnus Larsson 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 (Champions' Tie Break)
Goran Ivanisevic d. Thomas Muster 6-4, 6-2
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
Matches won/lost (sets)
Magnus Larsson 3-0 (6-2)
Goran Ivanisevic 2-1 (5-2)
Stefan Edberg 1-2 (3-4)
Wayne Ferreira 0-3 (0-6)
John McEnroe 3-0 (6-0)
Thomas Muster 2-1 (4-3)
Pat Cash 0-3 (1-6)
Mikael Pernfors 0-2 (0-4)