So what if the name McEnroe has lived in infamy at the Australian Open since John was tossed last year after he directed a slew of obscenities at an official? Upstart younger brother Patrick is the story of this year's tournament, having breezed into the semifinal round, having made a name for himself, having the time of his life.
Patrick McEnroe, 24, already has supplied the longstanding image of the tournament, with his scintillating five-set victory over another unseeded player, Cristiano Caratti of Italy, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-2. The crowd's loud ovation is now but a memory for him, his pulled back muscle a lingering reality, as Patrick met the test of his career, second-seeded Boris Becker.
No. 3 seed (and defending champion) Ivan Lendl defeated top-seeded Stefan Edberg in the other semifinal match.
Becker, for one, had not caved into the temptation of underestimating the player with the No. 114 ranking.
"It could be a tight encounter," Becker told the Associated Press in Australia. "When you get to the semifinal stage, the top three or four players start to play a class better than they have before."
McEnroe, who started the tournament with an upset of No. 12 Jay Berger, reached the quarterfinals by stunning Australian Mark Woodforde, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.
He also has qualified for this year's men's doubles finals in Melbourne, where he and David Wheaton, seeded 13th, will face Scott Davis and David Pate. To reach the finals, the pair defeated -- you guessed it -- a pair of Australians, Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge, 7-5, 6-4, 6-1.
McEnroe's current ranking is the highest of his six-year professional career -- it has fluctuated with regularity, reaching a nadir of No. 621 in 1985. His highest ranking has been 108th, late in 1986.
McEnroe's forte has been in doubles competition, where he won the 1989 French Open title with fellow American Jim Grabb. The pair also reached the U.S. Open semifinals in 1990.
His ranking among singles players skyrocketed in 1990, though, on the basis of quarterfinal appearances in Hong Kong, Singapore and an indoor tournament in London. He rose from 360th in 1989 to 120th last year.
In this, his first Australian Open appearance, Patrick was to have competed alongside John, 32, before the No. 14 player in the world was forced to withdraw because of a shoulder strain.
Patrick McEnroe emerged on the tennis scene while a student at Stanford, when he and John paired to win a Grand Prix tournament in Richmond. He helped lead Stanford to an NCAA championship in 1988, teaming with current professionals Wheaton, Grabb, Dan Goldie and Derrick Rostagno.