nike (re)brands johnny mac

Nike jumps on the latest John McEnroe renaissance by dedicating a line just for this tennis veteran. We saw the pieces first pop up in time for the 2010 US Open, and here he is (pictured above) wearing the polo at this week’s seniors event in Arizona.

The on-court attire has a white/red/grey/black palette, and the tees take advantage of McEnroe’s retro (headband/hair) bad boy (expletives) past — although his temperament is still as testy as ever. Our favorite is the Ace tee — the one with just his face — in grey.

Buy: Nike John McEnroe Collection Tennis Polo, $55, in grey/red and white/red; see the rest of the John McEnroe Collection.

The fogies: French Open champ Michael Chang is back on the Champions Series tour after an achilles tendon injury sidelined him beginning in 2006. At this week’s $150,000 Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Championships at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex (we can breathe while we type, but still — a mouthful!), Chang won his opening round-robin match against Jimmy Arias and McEnroe won his against Wayne Ferreira. Also in the field are Mark Philippoussis, Aaron Krickstein, Jim Courier, and Jeff Tarango.

More: Event goes through this weekend. Schedule and ticket info at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Championships at Surprise website.

(mcenroe images by Rob Loud courtesy of Champions Series Tour; product images via nike.com)

safin re-living youth in rio

Marat Safin, who bowed out of the ATP tour three months ago (losing his last singles match in Bercy), is set to make his debut next month on the senior Champions Series circuit — in Rio De Janeiro of all places. The playboy will join Jim Courier, Mats Wilander, Mark Philippoussis, Cedric Pioline, Wayne Ferreira, Mikael Pernfors, and Fernando Meligeni in a single-elimination event with a $60k top prize.

Ahh, to be young again! “It is going to be a lot of fun to play in Brazil for the first time at the Rio Champions Cup and join some of the great legends in tennis,” said Safin, who turned 30 on January 27. “It will be an interesting change to be one of the young guys on the tour again and I look forward to playing in front of the Brazilian tennis fans.” For someone who’s thrown around his wisdom in the last few years, we wonder how he’ll fit in with the old folk.

(image via Getty Images)