"Mac Attack" describes John McEnroe's explosions of pique as well as his style of play, and, as usual, his manners were as bad as his Player of the Year form was good. At the French Open he addressed officials as "moron," "bleeping chicken bleep" and "you bleeping French frog fag," and assaulted a camera. "I hate this country," he said, and Mats Wilander put him out of his misery in the four-set quarters. At Wimbledon, McEnroe threw his racket, insulted an umpire, thumbed his nose at a ref—and won. He picked up $1,850 in fines at the U.S. Open, where he showered a spectator with sawdust. But after being upset in the fourth round, he said he couldn't understand why "people seem to enjoy" seeing him lose. His deportment was no better Down Under. "How many imaginary lets do you intend to call, you fat turd?" he asked of a judge in Australia. That question put him over the $7,500 limit in yearly fines and drew an automatic 21-day suspension. But at the season-ending Volvo Masters, he revealed his New Year's resolution to be good and be remembered for his ability, not his behavior. "Clap for me," he appealed at the awards presentation after mastering Lendl in straight sets. "Please clap for me."
A NICE BALANCE IN THE CZECH BOOKS
Athletes with Biblical-sounding names were much in the news in '83: Moses, for one—make that two—Sampson and, in tennis, of course, Noah. He became the first Frenchman to win the French Open in 37 years, and for that alone the name of a certain Parisian landmark should have been changed to Noah's Arc de Triomphe. The pressures brought by fame eventually became so great in France, however, that he moved to New York City. Grand Slam men's titles seemed to have been parceled out with the wisdom of Solomon (no, not Harold). While Noah won the French, Wimbledon went to McEnroe (his second), the U.S. Open to Connors (his fifth) and the Australian Open to Wilander (his first). The top moneymaker was Czechoslovakia's Lendl, who won seven lesser tournaments and $1.3 million. McEnroe confirmed his No. 1 ranking by winning the Volvo Masters.
Among the women, however, most of the parcels went to Navratilova. "When I win," she says, "it is routine. When I lose, life comes to an end." It was a lively year indeed for the Czechturned-U.S. citizen, who won 86 of 87 matches. Only at the French did Navratilova falter, losing to Kathy Horvath in the round of 16. Her exit helped make it possible for Chris Evert Lloyd to win a Grand Slam event for the 10th straight year, beating Mima Jausovec in the finals. Suffering from a stomach virus, Evert Lloyd lost to Kathy Jordan in the third round at Wimbledon. Never before in a Grand Slam tournament had she failed to make the semis. Hungary's Andrea Temesvari, with her father, Otto, as coach, won the U.S. Clay Courts. Andrea's relationship with her dominating father resembles their hometown: Otto's part Buddha, part pest.
February 8, 1984
Jimmy Connors' two-fisted forays overwhelmed Ivan Lendl in the U.S. Open.
Despite a painful foot injury and an emergency potty break, Connors closed the Open.
Lendl continued to fall short in the prestigious Grand Slam tournaments, losing in the finals of both the U.S. and Australian Opens.
McEnroe reached the Wimbledon finals for the fourth time and beat Chris Lewis.
Yannick Noah's excitement at winning the French was shared by his countrymen.
Martina Navratilova's net pay was a record $1.45 million.
Evert Lloyd continued to slump against Navratilova, going 0 for 5.