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McEnroe tossed from tourney for arguing with officials, obscene gesture

NEWPORT, R.I. -- Just like old times for John McEnroe.

Volatile as ever, McEnroe got tossed from his opening-round match at the Hall of Fame Champions Cup on Thursday for a new kind of triple fault: cursing, arguing with the chair umpire and making an obscene gesture at fans.

Hardly the guy who played up his mellow side in those TV commercials last year before the U.S. Open.

"Historically there have been more issues with John's matches than the other guys, but this was over the top," supervisor Jon Venison said.

The 49-year-old McEnroe did not meet with reporters after defaulting against MaliVai Washington.

"I guess 1992 in New Haven was the last time I played John. Has anything changed? I guess he has one of those explosive personalities, you could say," Washington said.

"There are a lot of things I can deal with -- disputed line calls, stoppage in play. I have an issue when my opponent starts berating people, fans and umpires. I said something to the official. As players, we are in control of the match. Officials are in charge of the integrity of the game."

McEnroe won 6-3 to open the best of three match. The seven-time Grand Slam champion was trailing 4-2 in the second set when the problems started.

While arguing a line call, McEnroe was given a code violation warning for uttering an obscenity. When he kept up his tirade against chair umpire Ray Brodeur, he drew two abuse of official penalties.

As the argument progressed, fans at the International Hall of Fame court started yelling at McEnroe, telling him to resume play. McEnroe responded with his obscene gesture and was thrown out.

It marked the first time McEnroe was defaulted from a match on the Outback Champions Series, an international circuit for stars over 30.

McEnroe is scheduled to continue playing in the round-robin format, with his next match Friday against Karel Novacek.

"Umpires tend to be intimated by John which generally means they are more lenient with him. He crossed the line today," Venison said.