Coming out swinging

McEnroe is still taking big shots, a twittering Scot, and McIlroy sets his sites on No. 1

Coming out swinging

Getty Images; Photo Illustration by Taylor Shute

Big Mac attack

Last month, John McEnroe, the 51-year-old retiree famous for his brash directness and fiery temper, said tennis players should forego any sort of warm-up and “go out there like boxers, to huge applause and announcements, have a coin toss and then, boom, first serve.” Andy Roddick, who has a reputation for one of the biggest serves in the game, was nothing short of flabbergasted. “I have to sit around for 4½ hours, and he wants me to go serve 145. That’s irresponsible.” Roddick went on to tell the New York Times that it’s easy for someone to dismiss the necessity of warming up when they’ve been retired for nearly 20 years. But the champion-turned-pundit had some more advice for Roddick. After Roddick lost at Wimbledon this year, McEnroe quipped that he should “freshen up” his game now that he’s married to beautiful actress Brooklyn Decker, suggesting that his off-court happiness makes him vulnerable as a tennis player. And maybe he was on to something. A few weeks later, the two squared off in New York for a World Team Tennis match. McEnroe took Roddick—ranked No. 9—to a tiebreaker before being defeated. Evidently, McEnroe’s still got it, and he’ll be showing it off again at the Rogers Cup Legends series, alongside other old-timers, including Andre Agassi. No word yet on whether McEnroe will warm up.

Power couple

U.S. Open golf champ Rory McIlroy has a lot going for him these days. He’s a young, up-and-coming superstar who’s widely regarded as the next Tiger Woods—in a good way. Now, if the rumours are true, he also has a new girlfriend: Caroline Wozniacki, the top-ranked female tennis player on earth. After a tennis blogger saw them at a London restaurant, photos of the couple enjoying a meal and sharing a kiss circulated on the Internet. What’s more, the two stars have openly flirted on Twitter. McIlroy teased Wozniacki for getting older when she turned 21 on July 11. Her response: “At least now you can buy me a drink in the U.S.”

What rhymes with Djokovic?

Following in Wimbledon’s footsteps, the Rogers Cup introduced its first-ever poet-in-residence. York University professor Priscilla Uppal will serve up a daily poem that will be posted on the tournament website. She’ll also be on deck during the matches at the Tennis Canada booth, encouraging the public to submit tennis-related poems of their own (Uppal will choose her favourite and it will be published in the daily draw sheet on the final day of the tournament). Her biggest challenge? Coming up with a new poem about tennis every day, whether it be in the form of a sonnet, lyric or just plain free verse. Ever heard of poet’s elbow?

Tweetin’ Andy

Tennis players are known for their grunts and roars, but Scottish tennis star Andy Murray is becoming best known for his tweets. During the British Open last month, Murray took to Twitter to issue a subtle jab at his critics: “Enjoying listening to the golf commentary, calm positive, entertaining, insightful, and no big egos. Refreshing.” This, after a BBC commentator said Murray doesn’t have the same “demeanour” as the world’s top three players: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Murray also weighed in on the British version of The Apprentice, posting that the winner “seems like a great guy.” Then he expressed his dismay over the terrorist attacks in Norway. “Absolutely tragic, what is that meant to achieve, gets me so down :-(” That’s right: the world’s fourth-ranked tennis player uses emoticons.

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