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Tennis: McEnroe teaches Davis a lesson

May 11, 2001

Richard Dunn

NEWPORT BEACH - About a decade ago, John McEnroe provided the

career highlight for Scott Davis, losing to him at the Association of

Tennis Professionals Championship in Cincinnati.

But there would be no such celebration Thursday night for Davis,

making his debut on the Success Magazine Champions Tour at Newport Beach

Tennis Club before 1,793 fans.

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As expected, McEnroe defeated the sentimental local favorite Davis,

who works at the club as director of tennis. After splitting sets,

McEnroe won the tie-breaker, 10-5, to cap the 119-minute match.

"I anticipated an awkward match," said McEnroe, who won the first set,

7-5, then dropped the second, 4-6, while providing the crowd with his

usual on-court antics, such as racket slamming and jawing with umpires,

fans and even Davis.

"I haven't practiced a lot on hardcourts, but I have no excuses,"

McEnroe added, "I just didn't play well. (Davis) plays with a very

awkward style. It's not a style you see a lot of on the senior tour. I

haven't played in two months (since winning at Naples, Fla.) and I just

wasn't on my game."To force a tie-breaker, Davis held serve after nine

deuces, finally finishing off McEnroe at the seventh set point.

"I did beat (McEnroe) the last time we played, but maybe I was lucky,"

Davis said. "He drilled me before that, so maybe this is back to normal."

Davis, who said beating McEnroe at the ATP Tour Championships was

"probably the best win" of his career, made his Champions Tour debut

Thursday night, and, at times, seemed to frustrate McEnroe.

"I should've made him work harder," said McEnroe, who scored several

winners on his return of Davis' serve. "I should've won five games that I

lost. (Davis) has an awkward style. It's different than most. We played a

number of times (in the past on the ATP Tour) and I did lose to him once.

But he's an awkward person to play."

McEnroe went up in the tie-breaker, 4-0, and never looked back. After

Davis pulled to within 5-4, McEnroe scored on a service winner, a hitting

error by Davis and a cross-court backhand winner for an 8-4 lead.

While Davis was the local boy, McEnroe, whose marquee tag carries the

worldwide men's senior tennis circuit, had plenty of fans on his side.

McEnroe has reached the finals on the Champions Tour in 10 of his last

11 events and is the only player ever to receive the tour's Player of the

Year honor.

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