You Cannot Be Serious
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
John McEnroe was just an eighteen-year-old amateur from Queens when he stunned the tennis world by making it to the Wimbledon semifinals in 1977. He turned pro the following year after winning the NCAA singles title; three years later, he was ranked number one in the world. McEnroe dominated tennis in the eighties, winning three Wimbledon and four U.S. Open titles. His 1980 Wimbledon final match with Bjorn Borg is considered by many tennis experts to be the best match ever.
You Cannot Be Serious is McEnroe at his most personal, a no-holds-barred examination of contemporary tennis, his championship seasons, his cantankerous on-court behavior, his marriage to Tatum O'Neal, his current roles as a devoted father, husband to pop star Patty Smyth, senior tennis tour player, and controversial television commentator, and much more.
Funny, biting, close to the bone, this is exactly the book you'd expect-and want-from one of the most colorful figures of our time.
semis of the main draw, I wouldn’t have time to enter the juniors. This was my mind-set: If I lost to Dent, I’d lost in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon—a great result for an eighteen-year-old qualifier. But if then I went over and lost to somebody in the third round of the juniors—that result was stained. Meanwhile, it had turned into a really exciting match. The crowd seemed to get more vocal with each passing minute. They went from their second-set bemusement—“Who the hell is this guy?”—to a
it, we found out that Kerzner wanted us to play the match on Bophutatswana’s “independence” day, but that the state, which the South African government had established in the 1960s (and which the outside world didn’t recognize politically), was very far from independent—it was, in fact, a desperately poor tribal enclave. Kerzner’s idea—to create some kind of neo-Vegas in the South African desert—was brilliant in its way, but the more I talked to trusted friends and advisers, the more I felt I
me, “I’m two people.” And he is. He’s the world’s greatest guy, and then he’s completely out of his mind. I’m crazy to begin with—somewhat crazy and somewhat normal. Bjorn goes way to the extremes. After he made the rash decision to say, “Forget it, I don’t need this anymore,” I think he found he’d dug himself into a hole and he couldn’t get out of it. He’s got so much pride, it would simply have been too hard for him to admit he was wrong and come back. The only thing I can even begin to compare
Stacy and I had broken up, not out of a lack of affection or physical attraction, but because of distance and my need to sow my oats. There were a lot of pluses to being involved with a tennis player—another player understood perfectly that you had to practice and rest, and that you didn’t always want someone around when you were doing either—but there were minuses, too. A natural competitiveness can crop up between any couple, for instance, and it’s only aggravated when you’re both playing the
second in his class. “See, if you had worked harder, you could have been first,” she said. (The next year, he was.) We were still in Flushing when my brother Mark was born in February of 1962, but then, shortly before Dad’s graduation, we made the big move to the suburbs, way out east to Douglaston, Queens—first to another apartment, and then to a two-story saltbox house at 241–10 Rushmore Avenue. Douglaston was a typical New York–area bedroom suburb: nice, safe, clean; nothing fancy. The houses