• BNP Paribas Open

McEnroe fire still burns with win over Lendl

ESPN staff
March 4, 2013
John McEnroe's volleys are still as good as ever © Getty Images

John McEnroe got the better of his old rival with victory over Ivan Lendl at the World Tennis Day.

On what is a day of celebration that will also see Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro play in New York, the crowd were treated to an exhibition from the two greats of the 1980s and they served up some special tennis.

There was vintage play from both players, a running backhand down the line from Lendl in the seventh game of the set rolling back the years.

McEnroe is as fiercely competitive as ever and he showed the fire still burns with some superb play around the net.

There was, though, the odd bit of play that suggested the tools of the trade are not as sharp as days of old - particularly a drop shot from McEnroe that barely got halfway up the net.

Lendl is keeping his game sharp as the coach of Andy Murray. The Brit has a penchant for a drop shot and Lendl pulled it out on more than one occasion, suggesting master may have learned something from pupil.

The pivotal moment in the match came in the 10th game when a brilliant lob from McEnroe saved game point. Lendl double faulted one point later and a superb backhand that caught the line secured the break for McEnroe.

A couple of clenched fists were made by McEnroe as he moved to within a couple of points of victory and he wrapped up an 8-5 win with a trademark wide serve followed up by a crisp backhand volley.

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