John McEnroe rolled his ankle while warming up for his Monday night exhibition match against Ivan Lendl and eventually had to retire to his long-time rival despite holding a convincing lead in their eight-game pro set. Though he played nine games and led 6-3, McEnroe teared up after ending the match, the disappointment of quitting in front of his hometown crowd at Madison Square Garden clearly on his face.
But McEnroe wasn't done giving the crowd a show yet. During a post-match interview with his brother, Patrick, the seven-time Grand Slam champion showed the 19,000 at the Garden what he had in store for them after the match: short shorts.
McEnroe wore his "1985 shorts" under his more-modern Nike shorts for the entire match and had planned to strip down to them after defeating Lendl. (And the way it looked on Monday, McEnroe could have defeated Lendl on two busted ankles.) Instead, he had to do so in the post-match interview.
Johnny Mac looks pretty good in the classic shorts. As his younger brother later joked on ESPN, he may look even better than he did in the '80s in them. McEnroe should have pulled out the headband to complete the ensemble, but that's nitpicking.
Lendl was amused by the antics:
Though he was getting worked by McEnroe (the byproduct of having stayed off the court for 16 years), Lendl suggested a rematch at the Garden next year. The equipment? Wooden racquets. The attire? Short shorts, of course.
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- Ivan Lendl
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