Another Deserving Hall of Fame Inductee

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The tennis world announced its Hall of Fame winners the other day, and Monica Seles was a no-brainer. I don’t know if anybody else on MLBlogs is into the sport, but I’m a big fan and former player and I enjoyed watching Seles over the years.
As everyone knows, she was riding high on the women’s tour, only to be stabbed in the back – literally – by a crazed fan of Steffi Graf.
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She made an attempt at a comeback, then sort of faded away, never really retiring (shades of Bernie Williams). Now she’s looking good, wouldn’t you say?
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While I’m on the subject of tennis, the Australian Open starts next week.
The story lines include:
Will Roger Federer be successful in his bid to tie Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles? I love the guy, so I hope he does it. Talk about talent. There’s isn’t a shot he can’t execute.
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At the other end of the draw is Rafael Nadal, the tournament’s top seed. Very dangerous player.
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I pick Federer to prevail on the fast surface in Melbourne. What’s amazing about these two is that they have a great rivalry and couldn’t be more opposite, and yet they like each other. What a concept. Not Yankees-Red Sox at all. Can you picture Youkilis and Joba posing together?
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On the women’s side, we have the Williams sisters. Will they face each other?
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Turns out they’re in the same half of the draw, so only one of them can win the hardware.
Standing in both their paths is the top-seeded Jelena Jankovic, who is nothing if not acrobatic on the court.
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Ouuuuwww.
Missing in action this year is every guy’s poster girl, Maria Sharapova.
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She’s been sidelined with – what else? – a shoulder injury. (See my last post about pitchers.)
I’ve been following tennis for a long time, as I said. It’s always fun to see new players make a name for themselves on the tour, but I can’t help missing this guy.
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He’s great in the television booth, but those tirades on the court? He could really shake things up.
Here’s a little trip down memory lane.
First, we have the “Please Tell Me” video.
And now, the “Answer the question” incident.
And my all-time fave, “You cannot be serious.”

Peace, Johnny Mac.

17 Comments

Oh my! Johnny Mac! I’ll have to say I followed tennis “in the day” when Chris Everet & Jimmy Connors were grabbing the headlines. Thanks for letting us know about the new stars of the game.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I don’t think at the time many people would have thought that McEnroe would have the steady post career life and that Borg would be involved in drug overdose and attempted suicide headlines.

http://arizonaviaslough.blogspot.com/

I don’t think too many people would’ve thought John McEnroe would ever be in commercials for fiber cereal. ‘Colon health’ is not the first thing that comes to mind when i think of Johnny Mac.

http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

I never thought Chrissie would marry Greg Norman so many years later, Julia. As the world turns….

You’re so right, Russell. The last role I expected McEnroe to be play was ambassador of the sport, but he’s done a great job. I love listening to him call the games. Borg seems to have pulled himself together. He looked great at the US Open in August.

LOL, Erin. He’s turned into quite the pitchman and solid citizen.

I love watching Venus and Serena go at it against each other. Riveting tennis. Too bad they won’t both be in the finals this time. Seems like Sampras just set his record, but Federer is already one of the all-time greats.

Steve T.
http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

What is this “tennis” you speak of?
http//metsmainman.mlblogs.com

Johnny Mac was in ‘Mr. Deeds’ with Adam Sandler, who is a huge Yankees fan and has even filmed movies at Yankee Stadium.

See, it all comes back to the Yankees!

I have to say that the tennis world is a bit shy and reserved now compared to the Connors and Evert romances and the Johnny Mac arguments of the past.

But they are also a well oiled machine now and can take it to the next level at a heartbeat, where in the past it seemed that emotion played a huge role in match changes in tempo and finesse.

I had a friend who went to the Nick B. Tennis Academy in Bradenton and he always told me of the hard work and sacrifice they drilled into him. He ened up as a corporate headhunter, but it a cutthroat guy and say he owes it to his tennis training. Who would have known tennis had bad boys without the 70 and 80′s guys?

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Federer’s one of the greats, Steve. But that match against Nadal at Wimbledon last year was one of the best I’ve seen – reminiscent of Borg-McEnroe. I liked the Sampras-Agassi matches too.

Metsmainman, you know you watch tennis. They play right next to Shea Stadium.

I did know Adam Sandler is a big Yankee fan, DMan, but I figured Mac for a Mets fan, given he’s a Queens native. And yes, everything comes back to the Yanks, hence by Bernie Williams reference!

That Nick B. Tennis Academy is all about hard work, Renegade. My problem with it is that it turns out one-dimensional players. They all have two-handed backhands, hit the ball hard and deep, never come to net, etc etc. In other words, the graduates all look like a version of Agassi. Hardly a bad thing, but I like more variety. How about some serve-and-volleying?

She-Fan,

I refuse to watch the rich man’s game of tennis. It’s a working class thing. I follow the Yankees in order to remain to my blue-collar roots. What are you going to do next? Post about Brazilian polo?

el duque

Duque, in the words of Johnny Mac, “You cannot be serious!”

Jane,
I’m not really into tennis, but I do know a few names. I can’t believe Seles got stabbed in the back! That’s crazy!! And nice comparison to Bernie Williams LOL.
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

The stabbing happened during a changeover during Seles’ match against Graf, Elizabeth. Some crazed German guy got her between the shoulder blades. One of the worst moments in sports.

Maria Sharapova has the body of a valkyrie and the personality of a cinder block. Great Athlete though.

And that chick with the full split. Ouch. Jean Claude Van Dam eat yer heart out.

From the photo your posted, Monica looks great….but she definately looks like a woman who was really affected by stress.

I am with Red Sox Girl-I don’t follow Tennis (except Ball of Fury).

Yo, Duke, Brutha…Baseball is NOT a “working man’s sport”! Basket ball and soccer, yes, but not baseball.

I do love your descriptions, mm. (“The personality of a cinder block.”) But for all we know, Maria is a scintillating conversationalist.

Have you ever seen her interviewed? She makes Anna Kournikova look like the most interesting person this side of Steve Urkel from Family matters.

i LOVE that camera commercial where everyone wants to take photos of her dog “I’m right here!!” Classic and Awesome.

But who on earth names their dog “Dolce”??? Um, Dolce de Leche? Isn’t that a spanish dessert?

Yeah, I love that Canon commercial too. But they all can’t be McEnroe. He has personality to burn. Agassi too.

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