John McEnroe – ‘from a bad boy to a really good man.’

John McEnroe, the original super-brat and enfant terrible of 1980s tennis, has accomplished an astonishing transformation into a popular, much respected establishment figure. He constantly hectored umpires – “you can’t be serious” – and threw contempt at the strait-laced organisers as he headed for three Wimbledon singles titles in 1981, 1983 and 1984, and four US Opens and retired at 26. His rumbunctious New York nightclub lifestyle and tempestuous, drug-addled first marriage to the actress Tatum O’Neal made him a paparazzi favourite.

  A well-reviewed documentary about his life and personality hits the screens this week, relating his tense relationship with his ex-Air Force father and manager and his ‘no softie either’ mother, as well as the fallout after the O’Neal marriage split, ultimately handing him full custody of their three children because of her heroin addiction. Then he met musician Patty Smyth and appears settled in relative harmony with two more children, bringing his brood to five aged between 23 and 36. She said “I married a bad boy who became a really good man.”

  He was born 16 February 1959 10.30pm Wiesbaden, Germany, and has an astonishing chart. His Sun, Mercury in Aquarius in his sporting 5th house oppose Pluto which squares onto Jupiter opposition an 8th house Mars Moon in Gemini. A volcanic mix which acts like a windmill in a hurricane. A high-wire temperament he is short-fused and impatient to the nth degree. His Jupiter square Pluto = over-confident, rules don’t apply. Mars square Pluto = do-or-die determined, desperate when boxed in. Pluto square Moon = intense emotional reactions. Pluto opposition Mercury, Sun = controlling, dislikes being ordered around. His Mars Moon is further emphasised being on the focal point of a Yod to Neptune sextile Saturn. Learning to handle and modulate his anger and reactions will have been a hard life lesson.

  His Venus in sensitive Pisces in his hard-working 6th house will make for good working relationships with colleagues though since it is unaspected he may be less demonstrative at an affectional level elsewhere. His wife Patty suggests in the film he may be on the autistic spectrum.

  Last but not least he has an maverick and innovative Uranus in his 10th house of career.

  His second wife Patty Smyth, 26 June 1957, a Sun and Venus in Cancer with a Gemini Moon is quite a Saturnine connection, giving him structure and common sense with her Saturn opposition his Moon and his Saturn opposition her Sun.

  His first wife Tatum O’Neal, a former child star with disastrous showbiz parents, 5 November 1963 3.38 am Los Angeles, in contrast had her Mars opposition his Moon stoking him up  and her Saturn opposition his Uranus. Their relationship chart has a hostile composite Mars opposition Pluto and a tricky Yod onto Venus Saturn.

  His relationship chart with Patty Smyth has certain of the same elements as with Tatum O’Neal but in a diluted form. It won’t all have been easy but it clearly gives him what his complicated temperament needs.  

  He’s at a phase of his life where he is contemplating what ambitions he wants to fulfil for the next decade plus. He may go through a two or three years muddle until he clears his head and then he will start to branch out.

His global star 22nd harmonic is powerfully successful. His leaving-a-legacy-for-history is intensely determined.  His 5H and 11H are also marked.

  A talented though initially troubled individual and inspiring to see that change is possible.

9 thoughts on “John McEnroe – ‘from a bad boy to a really good man.’

  1. According to the chart posted, his Uranus sits right on his ascendent, not ” Last but not least he has an maverick and innovative Uranus in his 10th house of career.” How should we interpret this placement?

  2. Did John give us the now much used response, You can’t be serious? I think he did. How we laughed at the carry on back than.

  3. An unforgettable character – really can’t overstate the rarity of transcending that early track he was on. Sean Penn comes to mind in terms of fire and grist. But to hold together a family, such as McEnroe has, is moving stuff.

    Do I want to see the movie? Yes!
    Do I want Even More of Marjorie’s star documents ? Yes!! Unapologetically yes!

    (Tatum following her mother’s track of losing custody probably deserves a peek.)

    Thank you for all the marvelous posts.

  4. I watched JM on Sunday, the day of the men’s Wimbledon final, as part of the group saying goodbye to ex-tennis star and broadcaster, Sue Barker. He was obviously very fond of her and clearly felt affectionate towards her but couldn’t quite give her a proper goodbye hug. I felt that was very revealing and made me think of his father and his seeming incapacity to tolerate any vulnerability in his children ( and probably himself). I felt sad for John.

  5. Heard him interviewed yesterday and he is apparently very talented on the musical front to the extent that he played with The Eagles in their recent concert in London. Patty Smyth is probably correct when she says he is on the autistic spectrum – the dedication to learn two careers to a high standard is impressive.

    I found him quite difficult to listen to as he comes across aggressively, so it’s no surprise to see he’s Moon-Mars in Gemini. I’m sure some of my difficulty is heightened by having my own t-square planets aligned to his! I respect his knowledge and insight when he’s commentating though.

    You listed him as retiring at 26. Either confusing him with Borg or that he took a sabbatical in 1986. I remember him playing Wimbledon in the 1990s and he actually made the semi- in 1992 which was when he actually retired. Amazing to think Djokovic just won the title at 35. He also won quite a few Doubles titles. His brother

    I’d like to see the documentary as he mentioned he comes from a family of perfectionists and he has had to learn to say enough is enough.

    • A ways back he did a t.v. commercial totally mocking his hot head ways ( like decades back). A little bit of humor goes a long way.

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