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‘I’m Not Talking To Him, He’s an A**Hole’ – When John McEnroe’s Wife Recounted Destiny’s Twisted Role in Their Love Life

Published 02/20/2023, 4:44 PM EST

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American tennis legend John McEnroe has always had a controversial personality. Be it his on-court meltdown or statements, he always makes headlines. However, it won’t be wrong to say that the former world number one has changed himself a lot. The McEnroe we see and know today is a chilled-out version of his past self.

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Because of his flamboyant and aggressive on-court behavior, he had the tag of ‘Superbrat’ with him. One instance from his book reveals how his wife Patty Smyth perceived the American’s personality when they met for the first time.

Patty Smyth’s initial reaction to John McEnroe


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American tennis legend John McEnroe was a class player from the start of his career. While he made headlines with his charismatic display of tennis, he attracted negative publicity owing to his on-court behavior. Even his wife Patty Smyth has a similar perception of the legendary tennis star when she met him for the first time. In his memoir “But Seriously,” McEnroe mentioned how his wife felt when she saw him for the first time. Here’s what she said.

“I had seen John once in a club in 1984, right before my album The Warrior came out. Tina Turner was playing and a lot of people were there, so I didn’t speak to him.” She further added, ” That’s the only time I remember seeing him. Which was weird in itself. Because we both live in New York, we are both into music and comedy, and we know a lot of people in common.”


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Revealing her impression of McEnroe back then, Patty said, “If we had bumped into each other too soon I would probably have been like I’m not talking to him. He’s an a**hole. I need to get my ass kicked a little for us to be ready for each other, and so did he.”

‘Ask Australia’s Channel 9 If..’ – ‘Superbrat’ John McEnroe Responds in His Own Way When Asked About Retired Legends Roger Federer and Serena Williams


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It eventually worked out for both stars, as McEnroe and Smyth married in 1997 after having their daughter in 1995.

How parenthood helped McEnroe become a better person

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Unlike many people, John McEnroe admits that his past was not perfect. After having all those meltdowns and arguments with umpires and opponents, he is a changed man now. McEnroe uses his sarcasm and humor to explain the nuances of tennis as a broadcaster today.


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WATCH THIS STORY: Hilarious Meaning of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Serena Williams on Urban Dictionary! 

It is a vast change in personality, and McEnroe gives full credit to parenthood. After becoming a father, the added responsibilities have made him a better person with a perspective in life. If you love listening to McEnroe, you owe it to his kids to give us the McEnroe 2.0.



Gaurav Verma

1113 articles

Gaurav Verma is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. He has post graduate diploma in management from IILM Graduate School of Management and a BBA degree from Bangalore University. He has 1-year of experience in the banking sector.

Edited By: Akash Pandhare