John McEnroe plans to play doubles with the big boys again.

The 46-year-old McEnroe will team with Jonas Bjorkman at the SAP Open in an ATP doubles event in February, his first on United States soil since the 1992 U.S. Open.

McEnroe won 17 Grand Slam titles, including 10 in doubles, before retiring from full-time ATP play after the 1992 season.

“We are coming to play San Jose for one reason – to win the SAP Open doubles title,” McEnroe said in a statement Thursday. “Jonas and I are not doing this just for fun. We think that this will be great for the game of tennis.”

McEnroe won five singles and eight doubles titles in the Bay Area tournament.

Bjorkman finished No. 3 in doubles this season with a 60-21 record. He teamed with Max Mirnyi to finish second at the Masters Cup last month.

The event will feature the new doubles scoring the ATP is adopting for 2006.

At one set apiece, the teams will play a match tiebreak. The first pair to get 10 points, with a two-point advantage, will win the match.

McEnroe is hopeful the shorter matches will encourage more singles players to enter doubles matches.

“It’s been discouraging to see not a lot of interest in the doubles – singles players not playing,” he said. “There’s got to be a resolution one way or another, and if this adds to people waking up to make a decision, then it will be worth it.”

Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and Mark Philippoussis are among the players entered in the SAP Open, which will be held at the HP Pavilion from Feb. 13-19.

McEnroe defeated Mikael Pernfors 7-6 (5), 6-4 Thursday night to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions Masters in London, the finale of the senior tour.

McEnroe is unsure if he’ll play more ATP doubles events.

“I still have a lot of events that I play on the Champions Tour which keep me busy, but the option to play more doubles is there,” he said. “We’ll see what happens when I get out there and what the future is going to hold for doubles.”

AP-ES-12-01-05 2013EST


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