John McEnroe, one of the most popular tennis players in the world, will play in Pam Shriver's BCF Tennis Challenge on Dec. 9 at 1st Mariner Arena.
McEnroe is known as much for his attitude as for his volleys and shot-making. Who will forget his 1981 Wimbledon meltdown, when he screamed, "You can't be serious!" at an umpire, or his rivalries with Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl?
During his playing career, which lasted from 1978 to 1992, he earned No. 1 world rankings in both singles and doubles, and he holds seven Grand Slam singles titles, as well as nine Grand Slam doubles titles and one Grand Slam mixed doubles title.
In 2006 he returned to the pro tour and became the oldest male player in 30 years to win an ATP title.
Now a television analyst on Grand Slam events, McEnroe, 50, still plays regularly on the senior tour.
He will join Mike and Bob Bryan, who just reclaimed the world No. 1 doubles ranking at the Barclays ATP World Final; former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport; and U.S. Open giant-killers Melanie Oudin, 18, who upset three seeded players - including No. 4 Elena Dementieva and No. 29 and former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova - at this year's U.S. Open, and John Isner, who beat No. 5 Andy Roddick in five sets in the Open's third round to establish himself as a true contender.
"With Lindsay signing on last week and John this week, it gives us one current Hall of Famer and one future Hall of Famer," Shriver said on her cell phone from Los Angeles. "Both have played here in their primes, and I think this will be the last visit for both of them.
"Johnny and Lindsay are both doing me a big favor, just like Martina [Navratilova] and Chrissy [Evert] used to do, bailing me out when I need them. And I think it is a great mix - the current and future in Oudin, Isner and the Bryans combined with two of the great players of the past 15 years."
Tickets, from $25 to $110, are available beginning today at the 1st Mariner Arena box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. They can also be purchased online at tennischallenge.org or ticketmaster.com.
The name of the tennis event was misstated in a previous version of this article. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.