-- Six years after playing his last match at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, three-time Wimbledon singles champion John McEnroe strode onto the storied venue's grass courts Tuesday as a competitor. And just to prove that time has not passed him by, McEnroe sported the game's hippest attire -- a pair of white clam-digger trousers just like those made famous by teenage sensation and French Open champion Rafael Nadal.
McEnroe was joined by his longtime doubles partner, Peter Fleming. Not surprisingly, they had little trouble against John Lloyd and John Feaver, sailing past the British duo, 6-3, 6-4, to win their first-round match in the men's 45-and-older invitational doubles.
A slew of former greats turned back the clock, as well, in taking to the doubles courts Tuesday. Wimbledon is staging competitions for over-35s, as well as over-45s, in both men's and women's doubles. Among the pairings: Romania's Ilie Nastase and Argentina's Guillermo Vilas (over-45s); twins Luke and Murphy Jenson (over-35s); and Tracy Austin and the Czech Republic's Jana Novota (over-35s).
At 48, Martina Navratilova is obviously qualified to compete in both the over-35s and over-45s. But Navratilova is entered in the main draw of women's doubles, teamed with Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld in pursuit of what would be a record 21st Wimbledon title.
Davenport to Remain No. 1
Regardless of how she finishes at Wimbledon, Lindsay Davenport is ensured of hanging on to her world's No. 1 ranking when the tournament concludes. Russia's Maria Sharapova, ranked second, could have overtaken her in the rankings only if Davenport failed to reach the quarterfinals and if Sharapova successfully defended her title. Davenport, 29, has repeatedly said she isn't motivated by chasing or maintaining the No. 1 ranking, but she would dearly love to win a fourth Grand Slam title before retiring.
While younger sister Serena has left town, Venus Williams is being supported in her pursuit of a third Wimbledon title by both parents -- Oracine Price and Richard Williams, who are divorced. While Williams's mother has maintained a fairly low profile, her father has been gregarious and outspoken, taking photographs during his daughters' matches, signing autographs for fans and granting interviews to the media.
On Tuesday the BBC aired an interview in which he spoke about taking his daughters to visit a hamburger salesman who had once been a professional tennis player to underscore the value of hard work. Asked to elaborate on the incident in her post-match interview, Venus Williams said: "I don't know that story."