John McEnroe, the seven-time Grand Slam champion and BBC commentator, was reportedly denied entry to the Centre Court at Wimbledon 2023 after he made a cheeky request to the All England Club. The 63-year-old American wanted to play an exhibition match against his old rival Bjorn Borg on the hallowed grass after the women's final on Saturday.

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McEnroe, who is known for his fiery temper and outspoken opinions, apparently asked the Wimbledon officials if he could have a hit with Borg, the six-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one from Sweden. The two legends had played some epic matches in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including the famous 1980 Wimbledon final that Borg won 1–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–7(16–18), 8–6.

However, McEnroe's request was turned down by the authorities, who told him that the Centre Court was reserved for official matches only. They offered him Court 6 instead, which is one of the smallest and least glamorous courts at the venue. McEnroe was not amused by the snub and decided to make a joke out of it on air as he told his co-commentator Tim Henman that he had been rejected for court entry and that he was going to play Borg on Court 6 instead. 

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Broadcaster Chris Fowler said: “I look forward to this, the latest episode from the series McEnroe’s Places on ESPN Plus. Mr Borg, kicking around memories.”

McEnroe replied: “We did it here actually, that was a lot of fun.”

Fowler asked: “Right here on Centre Court?”

McEnroe clarified: “No, no, no. No, practise on Centre Court.”

Fowler asked, “You made the request?”

And McEnroe confirmed: “Of course. How about Court 6 they said? Not quite the same, but beggars can’t be choosers.”