email_us_left_rail_box_85x40 staff_directory_left_rail_box_85x40
contact_us_left_rail_box_85x40 top_jr_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40
join_jr_team_left_rail_box_85x40 join_adult_team_left_rail_box_85x40
ntrp_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40 age_level_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40
jr_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40 jr_rankings_left_rail_box_85x40
find_jtt_left_rail_box_85x40 adult_rankings_left_rail_box_85x40
usta_league_left_rail_box_85x40 adult_tournaments_left_rail_box_85x40


John McEnroe vs. Todd Martin at Azalea Festival Tennis Challenge

March 2, 2011 07:47 PM
APRIL 6-10, 2011
WILMINGTON, NC— The 64th North Carolina Azalea Festival is proud to present a first time event...the Azalea Festival Tennis Challenge on Sunday, April 10th at 2:00 pm in Trask Coliseum on the campus of UNC-W in Wilmington, NC. (listing of Events) The featured match will be between two World Class players, John McEnroe and Todd Martin.
"The NC Azalea Festival is honored to host the Azalea Festival Tennis Challenge. Joint efforts with the Greater Wilmington Tennis Association began last summer and have blossomed into a very exciting event the festival is proud to be a part of. This event will give all members of the community a chance to be involved and our goal is to help with the establishment of the Althea Gibson Tennis Center. " - Hank Estep, Festival President.
In addition to this exciting new event, the festival is pleased to announce that the coordinator of the tennis challenge, all-time great, tennis pro, Lenny Simpson will be joining the festival as a Celebrity/Special Guest.
John McEnroe embodies the American spirit. His relentless pursuit of perfection combined with a technical mastery honed through the years of competition, have made him a popular champion and a tennis legend.
He stands as perhaps the most skilled—and controversial—of all tennis players. Brilliant in singles and doubles, as well, he was distinguished by his strong serve, shot-making artistry and competitive fire.
John Patrick McEnroe, Jr. was born in Germany in 1959, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Air Force. He grew up in the Long Island suburb of Douglaston, NY, training with the legendary coach Harry Hopman and his right hand man, Tony Palafox, at Long Island’s Port Washington Tennis Academy.
As an 18 year old, in 1977, McEnroe won the mixed doubles at the French Open, teaming with Mary Carillo. McEnroe followed that up by becoming the youngest man to date to reach the semifinals (a feat subsequently bettered by Boris Becker, who won the championship at 17) at Wimbledon, losing to Jimmy Connors. He decided to remain an amateur and attended Stanford University in the Fall of 1977.
In 1978, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound left-hander won the NCAA singles title and led his Stanford team to an undefeated dual match record and the national title. Then, honoring a promise he made to his mother to play for his country, he led the United States team to their first Davis Cup victory in five years.
During the same year, McEnroe turned professional and in 1989 he won the first of his four U.S. Open singles championships, beating fellow New Yorker, and friend, Vitas Gerulaitis. He also won the Grand Prix Masters and World Championship Tennis finals.
In the 1980 Wimbledon singles final, he lost to Bjorn Borg in an epic battle still considered today to be the best Wimbledon Men’s Final ever and one of the greatest tennis matches of all time. McEnroe defeated Borg at Wimbledon in 1981, for his first of three Wimbledon singles titles. He also won the Grand Prix Masters and the WCT Finals that year and was named Associated Press male athlete of the year.
McEnroe won his second Wimbledon singles championship in 1983 and his third in 1984 where he beat Jimmy Connors in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Later that year, he won the last of his four U.S. Open Championships on the way to winning 13 of 15 singles tournaments for an 82-3 record for the year, which still stands as the best year long winning percentage on the ATP professional tour. During 1984, he set an open-era record with 27 overall tournament victories, 17 in doubles, winning a record total of 177 matches.
In his final year of playing majors, in 1992, McEnroe completely won over the Wimbledon crowd. Though unseeded, he won his way through to the semifinals, where he finally lost to Andre Agassi, the ultimate champion. Undaunted, he came back to win his fifth Wimbledon men’s doubles championship, teaming with Michael Stich.
John McEnroe was the top ranked singles player in the world from 1981 through 1984 and the top doubles player from 1979 through 1984 and again in 1989. He ranks third all time with 77 career singles victories and twelfth in winnings. He won more than 150 singles and doubles championships, and played for 12 Davis Cup teams, including five championship teams. In February 2006, John returned to play in the ATP Tour tournament in San Jose, California after an absence of twelve years. There he teamed with Jonas Bjorkman to win the tournament bringing his career doubles championships to 78.
Together with Peter Fleming and others, McEnroe dominated men’s doubles, too, winning nine Grand Slam Championships.
With more than 150 singles and doubles titles to date, John has compiled an unparalleled record of achievement and raised the level of the game itself. One of his proudest achievements was leading the U.S.A. to five Davis Cup titles. In fact, he holds the record for the most U.S. Davis Cup wins in singles (41) and in singles and doubles combined (59). But, if competing on the court is John’s passion, it is by no means his only interest. John’s knowledge of the game and magnetic personality has made him a huge hit as a network television commentator. He now offers his insights and unique style for a variety of television networks, including CBS, NBC, USA, ESPN, EuroSport, Australia’s Channel 7, The Tennis Channel and the BBC.
While his outstanding contributions to the sport of tennis are known internationally, to whatever extent formal validation was needed, it was put in place during the summer of 1999. In August, John was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, taking his place among the immortals of the sport. In September, during the United States Open in Flushing Meadows, New York, the United States Tennis Association announced John’s selection as the thirty-seventh Captain of the United States Davis Cup Team for the 2000 campaign.
His busy schedule includes overseeing The John McEnroe Gallery in the Soho area of New York City, where he collects and trades art as well as showcases the work of contemporary artists. John founded and is actively involved in The John McEnroe Foundation, an organization established to distribute grants and pledges to a wide variety of charitable organizations. An accomplished guitarist, John has led The Johnny Smyth Band in a series of concerts throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. For the past two decades, John has served as a spokesperson for some of the world’s most recognizable brand names.
Still playing with his trademark intensity, John competes in the ATP Tour of Champions as well as tournaments, special events, and exhibitions in North American, Europe, Asia and Australia. Since his 1995 Champions Tour debut, he has won more than 50 singles titles.
Most recently, "Johnny Mac" has ventured into the world of television entertainment hosting an ABC and BBC Prime Time show, "The Chair", and his own variety talk show "McEnroe" on CNBC.
As if all this were not enough, John, with the assistance of James Kaplan, authored in 2003 his autobiography, "You Cannot Be Serious" in the U. S. and its territories, and "Serious" in the United Kingdom. The U.S. version and the UK version each reached number one in the best seller lists of the NY Times and The London Times, respectively.
While his exploits have made "Mac" an international celebrity, to Kevin, Sean, Emily, Anna, Ava and Ruby he’s still just "Dad". A concerned and loving parent and role model, John was the recipient of the 1996 National Father of the Year Award from the National Fathers Day Council.
For close to three decades, John McEnroe has set the standard for excellence both on and off the court.
List of Achievements:
• 7 Grand Slam Singles Championships
• 3 Wimbledon Singles Championships
• 4 U.S. Open Singles Championships
• 5 U.S. Davis Cup Championships
• 10 Grand Slam Doubles Championships
• 5 Wimbledon Doubles Championships
• 4 U.S. Open Doubles Championships
• 1 French Open Mixed Doubles Championships
• 7 Masters Doubles Championships
• 77 ATP Tour Singles Titles
• 78 ATP Tour Doubles Titles
• More than 50 Champions Tour Titles
• NCAA Singles Champion at Stanford University
• 1999 Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame
• 2000 U.S. Davis Cup Captain
Todd Martin was born in 1970 in Hinsdale, Illinois and now resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida with his wife Amy; sons, Jack and Cash; and daughter, Gwen.
Todd retired following his participation at the 2004 U. S. Open, his fifteenth consecutive U. S. Open. He is two-time Grand Slam finalist at the 1999 U. S. Open and the 1994 Australian Open as well as a four-time Grand Slam semifinalist. Todd holds eight career singles titles and five doubles titles. He was a member of the US Davis Cup Team (1994-2002) including the Champion Team in 1995.
Todd was the ATP Player Council President during eight of fourteen years on the Tour and holds the Career High ATP World #4. He finished #1 on the Outback Champions Series in 2007.
His Hall of Fame memberships include....Intercollegiate Tennis Association (2007), Northwestern University (2000), USTA/Midwest Section Hall of Fame (2008) and the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1999 Todd was named the Male Comeback Player of the Year by Tennis Magazine. He is a two-time recipient of the Adidas/ATP Tour Sportsmanship Award in 1993 and 1994. Todd is one of five recipients of the Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Award, which he received in 2002.
Todd serves as a Board Member of the Winston Family YMCA of Ponte Vedra. He is a Professional Play Advisory Council Representative for the USTA Foundation and on the Board of Advisors for Northwestern University Men's Tennis.
Following his retirement, Todd coached ATP tour professionals Novak Djokovic and Mardy Fish as well as assisting in the development of several top junior players. He currently does junior tennis consulting, public speaking and other special events.
Todd Martin believes in "giving back". In 1994 he founded The Todd Martin Development Fund which provides tennis and leadership programs to at-risk youth so the can grow to be productive and successful adults.
In the September 27, 2004 issue, Sports Illustrated said "...Martin brought to tennis the perfect ratio of professionalism and perspective and, in his own way, made a mark on the sport every bit as meaningful as his more accomplished contemporaries."
Lenny Simpson is a native of Wilmington, born in New Hanover Hospital and attended Gregory Elementary and Williston Junior High. He went on to attend a private prep school, The Hill School in Pottstown, PA; Cheshire Academy, Cheshire, CT, East Tennessee State University where he received a B.S. Degree majoring in Physical Education and Psychology. He is married to JoAnn and they have two daughters Celeste and Jennifer.
Lenny's tennis history is as follows:
Amateur Playing Career, 1952 – 1973
• Started playing career at age 5.
• Next door neighbor was Althea Gibson, mentor and coach, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and French Open Champion.
• Mentor and coaches were Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Dr. R., and Walter Johnson. All are in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Also coached early in career by Dr. Hubert Eaton and Nathanial Jackson.
• Entered tennis circuit at age 9 with Dr. Johnson’s Junior Development Team.
• Ranked in the top 10 nationally in every age group as a junior in singles and in doubles.
• Youngest male ever to play at the U.S. Open Championships at age 15 in 1964 at Forest Hills.
• In early 60’s, won the ATA National Boy’s Singles and Doubles Championships.
• From 1964 – 1967, partnered with Luis Glass for ATA National Men’s Doubles Championships.
• Won 1964 US LTA Eastern Boys 14 and under singles title at Forest Hills, defeating Dick Stockton in the finals. Later that same year, at age 15, he became the youngest male to ever play at the U.S. National Championships at Forest Hills. Won first round match then lost to Arthur Ashe is second round match.
• Attended The Hill School and Cheshire Academy on academic and tennis scholarships. Won the National Prep School Championship in 1967. Played no. 1 and was the first person inducted in the Cheshire Academy Hall of Fame in 1989.
• While partnered with North Carolina native Bonnie Logan, won the ATA National Mixed Doubles title four consecutive times from 1967-1970.
• Won the Wilmington City Championships 5 times in singles, twice in doubles, and once in mixed-doubles while partnered with Dr. Heubert Eaton.
• Represented the State of North Carolina playing no. 1 against South Carolina, the best from each state.
• Nominated to play on the Junior Davis Cup Team.
College Career Playing 1968 - 1973
• Played tennis and basketball for East Tennessee State University and was a top collegiate player.
• Quarter finalist at NCAA tournament.
• Opportunity offered and recruited by every major conference in the country but choose to go to East Tennessee State University.
• Played no. 1 in singles and doubles all through my college career at E.T.S.U. from 1968 – 1972.
• Ohio Valley Conference Champion in Singles and Doubles.
• Captain of tennis team from 1968 – 1972 and coached team from 1972 and 1973.
Professional Playing Career 1973 – 1978
• Entered Pro Tour and turned professional in 1973.
• First Afro-American to play World Team Tennis for the Detroit Loves 1974 – 1976 No. 3 singles player behind Phil Dent, Allen Stone from Australia and No. 4 Butch Seewagen. Phil Dent was No. 5 in the world at that time.
• Qualified for Wimbledon in 1974.
• Played U.S. Open Championships in 1964, 1965 and 1966.
• Youngest male ever to play.
Wins Over Losses
Roscoe Tanner Phil Dent
Dick Stockton Arthur Ashe
Dickie Dell Eddie Dibbs
John Lucas Vitas Gerulitus
Luis Glass Stan Smith
Allan Stone Bob Lutz
Butch Seewagen Herb Fitzgibbon
Steve Stockton Yannick Noah
Eugene Scott Chuck McKinley
Hugh Curry Charlie Pasarell
Rich Cohen Victor Amaya
Eli Pietrigeli (Italian Champ)
Profession Employment Career 1968 – 2010
• Traveling Pro at Birmingham Racquet and Swim Club in Birmingham, Michigan.
• Headed up tennis program at Blackberry Farms Resort.
• Tennis director at Vic Tanny’s Health and Fitness Center in Knoxville, TN.
• Coached and developed the Michigan Junior Elite Program.
• Tennis director of one of the leading adult and junior tennis camps in the country with Nick Bolliterri.
• Tennis director for the City of Knoxville.
• Tennis director at Westside YMCA and Northside YMCA.
• Tennis director at Beaverbrook Country Club and Pellissippi State.
• Tennis Director / Senior Head Pro at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center.
• Co-owner of Centre Court Racquet Club.
Promotional Administration and Organizational Record 1983 – 2010
• Exhibition match with Billie Jean King, Hana Mandlikove, Jean Mayer and Phil Dent.
• High school coaches workshop with speakers Arthur Ashe and coach Mike DePalmer and Bob Love, masters pro. Over 250 coaches attended from all over the state of Tennessee.
• Exhibition match with Yannick Noah and Ivan Lendl in Baltimore, MD.
• Exhibition match with Roscoe Tanner and Lendward Simpson.
• Exhibition match with Luke, Murphy Jensen, Zina Garrison, Martina Navratolova, Chris Woodruff and the top 5 wheel chair players in the world including Brad Parks.
• Exhibition match to raise money for the Blount County Education Foundation featuring John McEnroe and James Blake.
• Exhibition match to raise money for the Blount County Education Foundation featuring The Bryan Brothers, number 1 doubles team in the world.
• Exhibition match to raise money for Roddick Foundation and the Blount County Memorial Cancer Center featuring Andy Roddick, John Isner, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki.
Honors and Awards
• Youngest male ever to play at the U.S. Open at age 15.
• MVP awards in basketball, soccer and tennis in high school and college.
• Captain of soccer, tennis and basketball team.
• First person inducted in the Cheshire Academy Hall of Fame.
• First Afro-American to play World Team Tennis from 1974 – 1976 while playing for the Detroit Loves.
• Award for contribution to the history of black tennis, The Breaking the Barriers Exhibit at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009.
• Won the tennis special event of the year given by the USTA in 2007, for the fund raiser match between John McEnroe and James Blake.
• Won the award given by the American Sports Builders Association Tennis Division for the Distinguished Indoor Tennis Facility Award in 2006 for facility Centre Court Raquet Club.
• Invited to the International Tennis Hall of Fame to take part in the induction ceremonies of my coach, Dr. R Walter Johnson, in July 11, 2009.
• Installed on the board of trustees at Cheshire Academy in 2009 – 2013.
• Has the number one radio tennis show in the state of Tennessee called the Tennis hour, live on the Sports Animal. Covers a five state area including Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina.
• Serving on the advisory committee in coordinating charitable fund raiser for the Althea Gibson Tennis and Education Center in my home town of Wilmington , N.C.
• President of my class at Cheshire Academy.
• August 13th inducted in the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies January 29th, Pinehurst Country Club, Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Event: Darius Rucker
Date: Wednesday, April 6th, 8:00pm
Price: $52.50
Avett Brothers
Friday, April 8th, at 8:00pm
$47.50 sold out
McEnroe vs Martin
Sunday, April 10th, 2pm
$52.00 Bleachers
$38.00 Balcony
How to Order Tickets:
• Order online at www.ncazaleafestival.org to purchase and print tickets.
• Tickets also available at the Azalea Festival office, Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 4:00pm.
North Carolina Azalea Festival Office
5725 Oleander Drive, Suite B7
Wilmington, NC 28403
* For the best possible seating...go online to purchase tickets.
The elected 2011 Officers are:
Hank Estep, President– Principal with Griffin Estep Benefit Group, Inc.;
Dr. Charles Kays, President Elect – Wilmington Plastic Surgery;
Donna Cameron, Vice President – City President, Sun Trust Bank;
Stephen Coble, Treasurer – Attorney/Coble Law Firm, PC
Liz Carroll, Assistant Treasurer - Owner, Liz Carroll Interiors
Robby Collins, Secretary - Attorney/Collins & Collins Law Offices, PLLC
Alison Baringer, Office Manager - NC Azalea Festival.
The mission of the North Carolina Azalea Festival is to be nationally recognized as a showcase for our community's rich array of artwork, gardens, history and culture through recreational, educational and family-oriented events. The Festival encourages volunteerism and civic participation as it contributes to the region's economy and promotes the unique qualities of Wilmington's river-to-the-sea community.
Since its inception in 1948, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has blossomed into an extended-weekend celebration that attracts more than 500,000 people annually and economically generates from $7,000,000.00 to $9,000,000.00 for the local economy. The 2010 North Carolina Azalea Festival is a non-profit 501 (c) civic organization.
The major sponsors include Progress Energy, Wachovia Bank...A Wells Fargo Company, Hilton Wilmington Riverside and Coastal Beverage.
Contact Fourth Day Advertising (910) 793-1987 for further information



Print Article Email Article Newsletter Signup Share
Newsletter Signup