SI Vault
Edited by Robert Sullivan
September 08, 1986
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September 08, 1986


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John McEnroe had a rotten week. On Tuesday he lost to Paul Annacone in the opening round of the U.S. Open. Then he and his doubles partner, Peter Fleming—who had turned down a place in the singles draw to concentrate on doubles—got caught in New York City traffic and had to default in the Open doubles because they showed up 21 minutes late for their first match. " McEnroe was very, very upset," said Grand Prix supervisor and master of understatement Ken Farrar. Well, it's not as if McEnroe, who was raised in the borough of Queens, site of the tournament, could claim he didn't know about holiday weekend traffic in the city.

McEnroe made $2,816.80 for his brief appearance at Flushing Meadow, but was fined $1,000 for being one of the Tardy Boys and $4,000 for what he really said to Farrar, so his net loss for the week was $2,183.20. Not counting tolls and gas.

Meanwhile, it was disclosed that McEnroe is under suspension from Davis Cup competition for the remainder of the year. This information came out because doubles specialist Robert Seguso, bothered by an inflamed left knee, was unable to defend his U.S. Open title. When Tom Gorman, the Davis Cup captain, learned of Seguso's default, he expressed concern that Seguso might not be ready to team with Ken Flach for the semifinal tie in Australia during the first week of October. So why not ask McEnroe to fill in? McEnroe, Gorman replied, had been banned from the 1986 team by U.S. Tennis Association president Randy Gregson for "past behavior." Gregson told SI's Barry McDermott that he hadn't previously announced the suspension, because " McEnroe was off on his own vacation and it just didn't come up." But others, who knew of Gorman's desire to have McEnroe play against Mexico this summer (SCORECARD, July 28), speculated that Gregson's ban was a retroactive one. "The fact is, Gregson told Gorman he would have complete control over picking the Davis Cup team," said McEnroe's father, John McEnroe Sr. "Afterward he told him John could not play." The McEnroes charged that Gregson is letting a personal vendetta—"I don't think he's John's best friend," said McEnroe's mother, Kay—dictate who will wear the country's colors.

If it's not one thing it's another. McEnroe's ballyhooed comeback is still off to a wheel-spinning start.

Former gymnastics champion Cathy Rigby recently completed a fly-by-night engagement as Peter Pan with the Long Beach ( Calif.) Civic Light Opera. But this wasn't your usual sports-star-takes-a-bow performance. Rigby wowed 'em. "Sometimes risky casting is inspired casting," wrote Los Angeles Times theater critic Robert Koehler. "Within seconds of her flight through the Darlings' bedroom window, Rigby punches out the cynical questions like so many Captain Hooks. She is spunky. She is spry. She is athletic, elastic, almost angelic at the same time.... Rigby is the spark plug that makes this production light up." Koehler praised Rigby's singing and acting, and gushed about her specialty: "Her flying, of course, is nonpareil." His only qualm was that the two-week booking of Peter Pan, which ended last week, was "patently absurd. Every kid should have a chance to see this show."

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