John McEnroe will leave England more than a few pounds and pence lighter. He was fined $10,000 Wednesday for doing what he has done for so many years and keeps claiming he won't do anymore--berate a linesman.
His offense came late in his match Tuesday against Stefan Edberg, and McEnroe got off his barrage of expletives so fast that few in the media were aware of what he had done.
He had had some trouble with a linesman on the wide line in the forehand court, and near the end of the match, when it really didn't matter because Edberg was beating him badly, McEnroe let out his stream of obscenities. Nothing was said at the time, but Wimbledon officials later reviewed a videotape and released a transcript to the media of what was said.
For those keeping score, there were four F-words in a two-sentence string of 21 words. The two-sentence barrage also included a threat if the linesman reported him. The official report said that the linesman was so intimidated that no report was made immediately to the chair.
The $10,000 fine was believed to be the largest at Wimbledon, but is not enough to keep McEnroe from any tournaments because he hasn't been hit with a fine in a while. Nor is it a record for McEnroe, who once rang up a $17,500 tab at the U.S. Open.
They played a mixed doubles match for the ages Wednesday. Michiel Schapers and Brenda Schultz beat Tom Nijssen and Andrea Temesvari, 6-3, 5-7, 29-27. Yes, 29-27.
It set a record for the longest set (56 games) and longest match (77 games) in mixed doubles in Wimbledon history. The final set was the second-longest in Wimbledon history in any category, second to the 62 games played by Alex Olmedo and Pancho Segura when they defeated Gordon Forbes and Abe Segal in a 1968 men's doubles match, 32-30, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. Olmedo is head pro at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
In those days, Wimbledon played no tiebreakers. Now, matches are played out in the final set only.
Odds and ends: In her post-loss news conference, Martina Navratilova talked about how pressure is tougher as athletes get older. She said she had spoken with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and he had admitted that. In the news notes of her conference, her reference to Abdul-Jabbar came out "Abdul El-Jabbah." . . . A key statistic in Jennifer Capriati's victory Wednesday: Navratilova won only six of 20 points, or 30%, on her second serve. . . . Capriati, when asked if she had memories of watching on television as Navratilova won one Wimbledon title after another, replied: "I remember seeing her at different stages, like when she wore a ponytail and when she had her hair down."