Tennis Roundup : McEnroe Apologizes for Play After Loss to Cash
John McEnroe’s highly publicized return to singles play in Britain after a 17-month absence lasted just over two hours Wednesday as he tumbled out of the first round of the $375,000 Benson and Hedges indoor tennis championships at Wembley, England.
McEnroe, the fifth-seeded player, was defeated by Australia’s Pat Cash, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, in an error-ridden match at a packed Wembley Arena, then apologized for his play in the match.
“I expected more of myself, but I could not get going,” McEnroe said. “I was playing so badly that in the second set, I pulled him down to my level. I had no intensity. My game needs intensity. I could have played right-handed today and done better.”
In other upsets, Jakob Hlasek of Switzerland defeated top-seeded Stefan Edberg of Sweden 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, and Israeli army sergeant Amos Mansdorf beat second-seeded Henri Leconte of France, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3.
McEnroe, playing singles in front of a British crowd for the first time since losing in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last year, received a rapturous ovation from the 6,000 spectators, a record for the second evening of the annual Nabisco Grand Prix tournament which the American has won five times.
Martina Navratilova extended her winning streak to 46 matches, defeating Bettina Bunge of West Germany, 6-4 6-0, in the second round of a $150,000 women’s tennis tournament at Chicago.
Navratilova, the No. 1 women’s player in the world and top-seeded in the tournament, lost only four points on serve in the first set and cruised through the second to advance to the quarterfinals.
In an upset, unseeded Katerina Maleeva of Bulgaria defeated third-seeded Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia, 7-5, 6-1.
Mats Wilander, citing personal reasons, said he will not play the Davis Cup final for defending champion Sweden against Australia in Melbourne Dec. 26-28.
Wilander, who is ranked third in the world, is to marry Sonia Mulholland Jan. 3 on the estate Summerveld near Durban, South Africa.
“I think it’s best for me and the team,” said Wilander. “I know I wouldn’t be able to concentrate 100% on the match. I hope most people understand and accept my decision.”