It was an exciting evening inside the tennis event center at the Turning Stone Casino on May 2. For the first time since the event center opened a year ago, two tennis legends - John McEnroe and Jim Courier - took center stage.
McEnroe had reached the number one ranking three times in his 14-year professional career and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999. He won most of the most prestigious tournaments - Wimbledon three times, the U.S. Open four times, the Davis Cup six times, not to mention nine Grand Slam Doubles titles.
Of what accomplishment he was most proud, McEnroe said "it was a very difficult question to answer, but probably the Davis Cup because it represented th whole country."
Courier reached the Hall of Fame in 2005. He won two French Open and two Australian Open titles, and also reached the Wimbledon and U.S. Open final, plus helped the United States win the Davis Cup on three occasions. Courier's career wins loses record in singles Gran Slams match play stands at 118-37.
Courier defeated McEnroe during the 1994 U.S. Open in a dramatic five-set-match. What was significant about McEnroe's loss was that it resulted in John's retirement from the sport, which he said he loved as much as life. Ironically, his departure was graceful, far opposed to the way he had played the game.
Even though it was an exhibition rematch 15 years later, both participants took the battle very seriously. Both players are in excellent condition, but McEnroe's grey hair was the only sign of his age of 50.
McEnroe had flashes of brilliance in the first set, showing signs of never leaving the game. He kept pace with Courier's powerful ground strokes and overcame Courier's 100-plus miles per hour serves.