Top-seeded John McEnroe twisted a knee today but beat Miloslav Mecir, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, to win the $54,000 prize in the U.S. Pro Indoor Tennis Championship.
Mecir, 20, got $27,000 for upsetting second-seeded Jimmy Connors in Saturday's semifinals. Last year he totaled $53,897.
McEnroe hurt his knee in the second game of the second set. He had a trainer apply ethyl chloride, then iced the knee during breaks between sets.
"I really don't know what happened," he said. "I just felt something. It seemed like a different area than anything I've hurt before. I didn't feel like the injury was serious. It was more annoying than serious. I just put it out of my mind. You play or you don't play. You don't go half-speed."
He said he altered his game and quit rushing the net, not immediately after the injury, but after falling behind, 1-5, in the set.
"If something is not working," he said, "you don't have to bang your head against the wall."
He said he felt Mecir was demoralized after losing the tie breaker. But Mecir disagreed.
"I was bothered by his protesting some calls," he said. "That lost my concentration."
He said that at 5-1 in the second set, "I lost my concentration. I missed some easy points. He played good shots. It was my fault he broke me twice."
"I expected at that stage to go four sets," McEnroe said. "I had to prepare myself that I'd have to keep playing. He came up with some good shots and I got a little careless."
"After the tie breaker, I knew it was two sets to love for him and that I'd have to win three straight sets to beat him," said Mecir, who defeated seeded players Joakim Nystrom and Ramesh Krishnan in addition to Connors during the week. "I knew it would be difficult. I tried, but he was better.
"I was ready to lose anyway yesterday (Saturday) so I can't be disappointed."
"He's real quick around the court," McEnroe said. "He comes up with good shots, and he returned my serve better than I thought he would. But he is not strong coming to the net. He needs to improve his volleys."