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Though today’s tennis players have reached levels of power and fitness that would have been unthinkable a generation ago, there’s no denying that there may never have been a player gifted with the almost supernatural touch of John McEnroe. Almost a quarter-century after he retired from the regular tour, there’s a reason why park players, after a particularly pretty shot, get called “McEnroe.”

John McEnroe’s career was full of great victories, finishing out with 17 Grand Slam titles, including seven singles titles, but his greatest moment was probably in a match that he famously lost. In the 1980 Wimbledon final, pitted against four-time defending champion Bjorn Borg, McEnroe played perhaps the most thrilling tiebreaker of all time.

Down two sets to one, McEnroe fought back against Borg to start a fourth set tiebreaker at 6-all. Each man played to the height of their abilities, with McEnroe beating back the implacable Swede to save four match points before finally taking the tiebreaker 18-16. Though Borg eventually took the final set 8-6 and, thus, the match is one that will never be forgotten.

Speaking of not forgotten, though John McEnroe might wish otherwise, the following year McEnroe returned to the All England Club and gained his revenge against Borg, taking the title and sending the Swede into early retirement. But what’s most remembered from that year’s tournament is McEnroe’s behavior which nearly got him thrown out of the tournament in the early rounds.

Following what he perceived as a bad call, McEnroe famously referred to umpire Ted James as being “the pits of the world.” But it was his questioning of a different call that created a catchphrase that would become so associated with him that he would choose it as the title of his autobiography in 2002: “You Cannot Be Serious”.

For all his issues through his career, even McEnroe’s harshest critics had to credit him for hs unwavering devotion to representing the United States in the Davis Cup. In 1982, he emerged bruised but victorious after a 6-hour, 22-minute marathon against Mats Wilander, clinching a win for the U.S. against Sweden.

In all, McEnroe was part of five winning Davis Cup teams, bringing the cup home in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1992. The win in 1992 was particularly emotional, coming just before his retirement from professional tennis at the end of the year. Paired in the doubles with the man who would succeed him for consideration as greatest of all time, Pete Sampras, McEnroe was able to end his Davis Cup career with a 5 set win, helping to clinch a 3-1 victory against a pre-Roger Federer Swiss team.