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Mac attacks Breakers stadium

TENNIS: John McEnroe, a.k.a. Superbrat, touches on several topics, then leads Sportimes to victory over Newport Beach.

July 26, 2007|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

NEWPORT BEACH — The Superbrat waited for one tennis legend to stop her filibuster and a current star to remove herself from his seat.

John McEnroe was back at it, being his usual cranky self.

This time before Wednesday night's festivities even started at the Breakers Stadium at Newport Beach Country Club.

McEnroe interrupted the feisty Billie Jean King and then upstaged her. Tough to do. Then he unseated Maria Sharapova faster than her appearance at this year's Wimbledon.

Remember King, considered one of the best women's tennis players of all time, is most remembered for the "Battle of the Sexes" event, where she beat Bobby Riggs, a former Wimbledon champ, 34 years ago.

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"I didn't mean to knock you guys out or anything," McEnroe told King and Sharapova as the two ladies rose from their seats at an outdoor pre-event press conference.

"You're welcome to stay if you want."

King, 63, restrained herself and applauded the Hall of Famer's appearance at the final regular-season World Team Tennis event for both the Newport Beach Breakers and McEnroe's New York Sportimes.

McEnroe found a way to knock Sharapova off the court, too, helping the Sportimes win, 24-14, in front of 2,358 fans, a sellout and biggest turnout this year for the Breakers.

Sharapova, ranked No. 2 in the world by the World Tennis Association, almost stopped McEnroe in his tracks before meeting him on the court.

"I didn't let him in the parking lot today," said the 2004 Wimbledon champ. "Well, I tried. He said he was going to run me over."

McEnroe, winner of seven Grand Slam singles titles, found a way to chase away the Russian beauty without his car. The 48-year-old's shorts and T-shirt did the job.

"What's up with the two shades of blue?" Sharapova asked McEnroe, who obviously didn't match.

"I'm working on it," McEnroe responded. "I dress better than ever."

Once again, King gave McEnroe his due — even complimenting his wardrobe.

Throughout McEnroe's Wimbledon TV coverage earlier this month, King dug what was wrapped around his neck each day. Some back at the All England Club would've loved to have tightened those ties a little tighter after McEnroe's comments.

The three-time Wimbledon singles champ infuriated some after he accused the event's organizers of "bungling" their scheduling in order to wrap up the tournament on time due to the constant rain creating problems.

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