McEnroe Tops Wilander in Final
May. 18, 1999
WASHINGTON (AP) _ John McEnroe, winning his first title in the nation's capital, saved two match points in a passionate tiebreaker Monday to beat Mats Wilander in the Sprint PCS Champions senior tournament.
McEnroe threw his racket once, complained about two calls and was issued a warning for a code violation in the tiebreaker that takes the place of the third set on the senior tour. Having split the first two sets 6-4, 4-6, McEnroe rallied from 9-7 down in the tiebreaker to win 11-9 when Wilander hit a forehand into the net.
``I never won anything in Washington,'' said McEnroe, who used to play in the Legg Mason ATP event at the same stadium. ``I never thought I would get a chance to do it. Thank God the senior tour came along.''
It was McEnroe's 16th seniors title and his first this year. He was routed by Jimmy Connors 6-1, 6-2 in the final at Richmond, Va., two weeks ago. Connors pulled out of this tournament in the quarterfinals when he tore an abdominal muscle.
McEnroe lost only four points on his serve in the first set before Wilander found a rhythm on his returns and then started hustling down McEnroe's corner shots.
``I actually felt a few years younger out there today,'' the 34-year-old Swede said. ``It was a good match because I played well. I realized that John plays well pretty much all the time.''