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John McEnroe Completes ATP Tour Comeback with Jonas Bjorkman


SAN JOSE, Calif. -- John McEnroe completed his daunting ATP Tour comeback in familiar winning form, teaming with Jonas Bjorkman on Sunday to beat a couple of former Stanford All-Americans 7-6 (2), 4-6, 10-7 in the final of the SAP Open.

The match ended with a vintage piercing McEnroe backhand volley up the middle between Paul Goldstein and Jim Thomas. He was light on his feet all match long, smashing overheads, slicing serves and poaching for volleys.

When his volley ended the match, the 47-year-old McEnroe’s face lit up and he embraced Bjorkman. A standing ovation from the crowd rained down on them and the crafty lefty, considered by many to be the finest doubles player in tour history, basked in victory yet again.

"I’m surprised that it went to the final tiebreaker, but the right team won," McEnroe said.

McEnroe has stayed in decent playing shape and his hands remain sharp as he plays often on the senior pro tennis circuit.

”I felt like I had it in me, but I didn’t know quite what was going to happen,” said McEnroe, the oldest player to win an ATP title -- singles or doubles -- in the last 30 years. It was McEnroe’s 78th career doubles victory, and first ATP final since winning a doubles tournament in Paris with his brother Patrick in 1992.

Under new ATP Tour doubles rules, a match knotted at one set apiece is decided by a tiebreaker, with the first team to 10 points by a margin of two winning.

McEnroe jokingly said he would take a few months off before deciding if his comeback would continue any further. He took the wild card from the tournament director to put a spotlight on the game of doubles, which is undergoing changes that shorten the matches and threaten to further marginalize its importance .

Bjorkman added "carefully choose your playing surface to make your career last longer".