John McEnroe: Biography highlights

Being one of the most talented and passionate players in tennis history.

Known for:

Sports Personalities

Languages spoken:

English, French

Full biography of John McEnroe

John McEnroe’s background

John McEnroe is one of the most well-known tennis players of all time, fabled for his style and for his emotional investment in his matches. Ranked 20th in the world when he retired from professional tennis in 1992, this left-handed player was known for his unique style of serve and for his sheer dedication to his sport. An inspiration not only to those in tennis, but for anyone with passion and drive, he is now a sought after and successful speaker.

  • Former World Number 1 professional tennis player
  • Renowned for his skill and fiery temper
  • Winner at Wimbledon, the US Open and the French Open
  • Former Davis Cup team captain

McEnroe is famous for his perfectionism and passion for tennis as much as for his playing ability. He can inspire and advise sportspeople of all ages and skill levels and can apply sporting lessons such as motivation and teamwork to workplace issues in order to assist clients from all sectors.

McEnroe was successful at the 1979 US Open, rising to prominence by winning the Grand Slam singles title and becoming the youngest male to do so for over 30 years. The rest of that year was a highly successful one, with McEnroe going on to win the World Championship Tennis (WCT) Finals. With a mixed doubles win from the French Open already under his belt from 1977, McEnroe continued to reach the heights of tennis success for over a decade, becoming both singles and doubles champion at competitions including Wimbledon and the US Open, winning a total of seventeen Grand Slam titles between 1977 and 1992. A member of the Davis Cup team for many years, he went on to captain them in 1999.

During his career, McEnroe was known not only for his tennis ability, but also for his passionate and fiery temperament. He was fined and suspended several times for his displays of annoyance during games but over the years his emotional involvement in his game and his perfectionism have defined his career almost as much as his exceptional skill. Now a popular speaker, McEnroe’s knowledge and charisma have also seen him become a popular TV sports commentator for broadcasters including the BBC, CBS and NBC.

It was whilst growing up in Queens, New York that McEnroe began playing tennis. He started to visit the Douglaston Club with his brothers at the age of about eight years, becoming so proficient that a year later his parents registered him with the Eastern Lawn Tennis Association. He became increasingly successful at local tournaments and soon began to take part in national tournaments for junior players. At the age of twelve, he was ranked seventh in his age group and was able to join the Port Washington Tennis Academy, which is renowned for assisting young players achieve their best. McEnroe was also capable academically, graduating from the prestigious Trinity School in 1977.


Achievements Wimbledon
1979, 1981, 1983/1984, 1992 Doubles Champion
1981, 1983/1984 Singles Champion
French Open
1977 – Mixed Doubles Champion
US Open
1979, 1981, 1983/1984 – Doubles Champion
1979, 1980, 1981, 1984 – Singles Champion
Davis Cup
1978-84, 1987-89, 1991-92 Team Member
1999 – Davis Cup Team Captain
Grand Slam Titles
17 between 1977 and 1992

Positions and Honours

Former World Number One Male Player
Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island (1999)
World Champion International Tennis Federation (1981, 1983, 1984)
Player of the Year – Association of Tennis Professionals (1981, 1983, 1984)
Most Improved Player- Association of Tennis Professionals (1978)
Founder – John McEnroe Gallery, New York City (1993)
Founder – The John McEnroe Foundation



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Watch John in action

1/3 videos
John McEnroe Highlights at the Australian Open 2019 | The Commissioner of Tennis | Eurosport
John McEnroe Highlights at the Australian Open 2019 | The Commissioner of Tennis | Eurosport
John McEnroe Respects Serena Williams But Stands By His Opinion
John McEnroe Respects Serena Williams But Stands By His Opinion
John McEnroe visits the Live @ Wimbledon studio
John McEnroe visits the Live @ Wimbledon studio
Washington Post

Testimonial for 'You Cannot Be Serious': ...eminently readable, because it is, like him, reflexively honest.

Pages Magazine

Testimonial for 'You Cannot Be Serious': Often controversial and always colourful, the seven-time Grand Slam winner serves an ace with You Cannot Be Serious.

Irish Voice

Testimonial for 'You Cannot Be Serious': ...offers a riveting look into the mind of McEnroe.

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