Originally Posted by brickhousesupporter
so is no one going to say what happened?
Well New York City, August 1979, is the date that will live in infamy. John McEnroe, American, was to meet Ilie Nastase, Romanian, in the second round of the US Open. I will not disgust you with all the details, though if you'd been there you might well have been terrified. To distil the awful occasion to its nasty essence: it was a breathtaking demonstration of superlative tennis and granting that by that year the Romanian and McEnroe were the leading exponents of tantrums and snatches of foul language, tossed usually at linesmen and from time to time they addressed a ripe obscenity at the chair umpire.
In the fourth set McEnroe served to Nastase who at once protested that he was not ready to receive but the umpire gave the point to McEnroe. The umpire listened to Nastase's protest and to a rising storm of clamour from the 10,000 spectators. It didn't help that the crowd decided Nastase was their boy. The umpire, applying the regular point penalty system, awarded the game to McEnroe. At which point - as Othello said, who was there - "chaos is come again".
Seventeen minutes of uproar and disruption, trash hauled on to the court, fighting broke out, police came trotting, the umpire brought in the top man - the referee - who ordered Nastase to serve for the next game. Nastase in colourful words said "No." Now a rebellious player, according to the rules, can be given 30 seconds to repent and get on with it. The umpire waited just under a full minute and declared that Nastase had forfeited the game, set and match.
Now that in practically any other sport in the world would have been the end of it but now the crowd was seething and the tournament director - an old champ himself - could see ahead a bang-up bloody riot. He overrode the official decision, put a new man in the chair and the match was played out - and McEnroe won