John McEnroe: Go Bleep Yourself

A Performance Piece


1.  Speak the words in bold directly to another human being.
2.  Imagine you are McEnroe playing the four consecutive points described below from his legendary 18-16 Wimbledon tiebreaker against Borg. Hold the racquet like a toothpick, a wand, a paint brush . . . 

Mac serving at 5-6 (third championship point for Borg) slices a second serve out wide Borg runs around his backhand hits an inside out topspin forehand dipping at Mac’s feet Mac stretching way out low feathers a soft forehand volley into the open court “Go fuck yourself”  Mac serving at 6-6 hits a hard slice first serve Borg hits a solid backhand inside-out and low at Mac’s feet Mac guides a volley back deep but not deep enough Borg moves to it deftly rips a two-hander sharply angled crosscourt pass Mac lunges at but cannot reach “You’re a disgrace to mankind” “You cannot be serious”  Borg serving at 7-6 (fourth championship point) Borg serves down the middle Mac hits a loopy backhand return just low enough so that Borg must volley up Borg volleys it back down the middle and moderately deep Mac hits a well-struck backhand passing shot back down the line Borg desperate to end the match barely gets a racquet on it and tumbles to the ground “You completely fucked that whole thing up7-7 Borg serves down the middle Mac rolls a forehand return low at Borg’s feet Borg scoops a low forehand volley into the open court down the line and moves closer in to crowd the net Mac on the run throws up a topspin lob deep enough so that Borg can’t end the point with a smash Borg hits a tough overhead back down the middle now he’s back at the base line the point back to neutral Mac hits a solid topspin backhand to Borg’s backhand Borg hits a soft crosscourt backhand angled near both the sideline and service line Mac moving hard to get there on the run rips a crosscourt forehand deep pinning Borg to the baseline Borg with his two-hander half-punches half- slices it down the line then sprints into net Mac races to cover Borg’s slice on the dead run hits a brilliant running crosscourt backhand pass “Get your fucking head out of your fucking ass” speak this line sotto voce so that only the person you address can hear. 

Here’s a link to a video of the Borg-McEnroe tiebreaker at Wimbledon: Borg-McEnroe Tiebreaker

Artist Bio: Leonardo Luque, a retired Colombian naval officer, earned his fine arts degree in 2012 from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Bogota, Colombia. A highly ranked Colombian player in the ITF world rankings for men’s 60 singles, Leo has drawn all his life and is especially interested in the beauty and motion of the human body. After traveling through China and Panama, he settled down with his family in 2014 in Boca Raton, Florida.

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