Tennis: McEnroe and Connors renew rivalry

JOHN McENROE and Jimmy Connors won their second matches of the ATP Seniors' Honda Challenge at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday to set up a fascinating head-to-head meeting today.

Connors' match with long-time rival McEnroe will be the first between the two Americans in Britain since McEnroe swept aside Connors in three sets to win the 1984 Wimbledon title.

McEnroe cruised past John Lloyd 6-3, 6-2, while Connors overcame Bjorn Borg 6-3, 4-6, with a deciding 10-8 tiebreaker, which is used in seniors' tennis instead of a third set. Although both have guaranteed places in tomorrow's semi-finals, there could still be fireworks even though McEnroe has so far not resorted to the tantrums that punctuated his career.

"I've got a few more days to go so there's plenty of time to work that out," he said, "but I don't feel like the crowd is clamouring for it quite yet." That might all change today."

"We know each other's game so well that we have to do something a little bit different to win now," Connors said after beating Borg. "He comes in smartly behind your shots and it makes you have to hit better passing shots. So it comes down to one point here and one point there and today I hit the one good point."

Commenting on the reaction British fans have given him this week after a seven-and-a-half year absence, he added: "I like this atmosphere and the fans seem to really like it as well.

"They've watched me play for a long time and because of that they really get into it. If we can produce tennis today like we did back then it makes the atmosphere a whole lot better for everyone.

"The people have missed me. They've seen Borg, they've seen McEnroe - Bjorn went away for eight years and I'm sure he had the same feeling. It's a very nice feeling and I think the fans like the kind of tennis that we play."

Connors' first game in the tournament on Wednesday was against Lloyd, the former British No 1.

"Once I get out there it's always fun and I always enjoy playing John," Connors said after winning 6-4, 7-5. "We've been friends for a long time, we play a lot of tennis and golf and to play him over here like this adds to it."

Lloyd, who was brought into the singles event to replace the Australian Pat Cash, said: "I was pleased with my game. It was a throw back to playing Jimmy in the old days and I always used to play well against him. I haven't got a big serve and he could always return it so we played some good points." Lloyd's next game is against Borg tonight.

Henri Leconte, neck and neck with McEnroe in the series' points standings going into the season-ending Honda tournament, beat his fellow Frenchman Yannick Noah 6-4, 6-4 to progress into the semi-finals. Leconte also beat Britain's Jeremy Bates in straight sets on Wednesday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory