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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Young' McEnroe Prevails

The players had a little more paunch around the middle and a little less punch on the groundstrokes. But the added years did not stop them from having fun or displaying flashes of the form that made them legends in world tennis.


In the end, relative youth prevailed, as John McEnroe, 36, defeated 42-year-old Jimmy Connors, 6-1, 7-5, to capture the singles final of the $250,000 Peter's Cup tournament on Sunday, , a four-day stop on the senior men's tour held at Luzhniki's Druzhba tennis facility.


"The hospitality has been tremendous in Moscow," McEnroe said after accepting the glittering crystal champion's trophy from a beaming Mayor Yury Luzhkov. "I hope we'll back next year," McEnroe said, and he and the other players seemed to mean it.


In Sunday's doubles final, Bjorn Borg and John Lloyd fell to Johan Kriek and Jose Luis Clerc, 6-2, 6-2, in a livelier though frequently lackadaisical match. "He's very happy," Kriek joked after the match as his Spanish partner posed for photographers.


Connors-McEnroe, one of the more storied rivalries in men's tennis, also pitted two of the game's premier grunters and swearers against each other. But to begin it seemed as if neither American would break a sweat, as McEnroe rode a strong serve and consistent baseline shots to an easy 6-1 first-set victory.


But Connors, a five-time U.S. Open champion, is nothing if not gritty, and was clearly the favorite among the 1,000 or so spectators, if only because he so quickly became the underdog. His skillfully placed ground strokes kept McEnroe on the run in the second set, and Connors himself showed some legs, digging out drop shots and cross-court returns as the two traded games until they reached 5-5.


McEnroe's stronger serve ultimately proved the difference. He held at love in the sixth and eighth games, and with Connors two points from the set at 4-5, McEnroe powered a service winner followed by an ace to knot things up. Connors then was broken on a double-fault and McEnroe served out the match with three winners in the final game.


McEnroe, whose temper had flared the previous two days, held his infamous tongue in check in the finals, only delivering a brief glare at an umpire after one questionable call. Connors was also affable, long past his angry-young-man era.


In the doubles final, dominating net play by Clerc led him and South African Kriek past Sweden's Borg and Britain's Lloyd, the perennial nice-guy-who-finishes-last. The former Swedish No. 1, clearly past his prime, was easily broken on his service twice in the second set.


The mood among the doubles players was just short of jovial. Kriek hammed things up, measuring the net when a shot -- to his surprise -- caught the cord. After Clerc delivered a smashing overhead down Borg's side of the court, he wagged a friendly finger at his rival, smiling as if to say, "Don't try that one on me again."