06/16/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT
No one who has ever faced John McEnroe across a tennis net would recognize this beaming puss. The snarl, the invective, the smashed tennis racket were all but memories as his new son, Kevin Jack McEnroe, gurgled in his arms. Mom Tatum O'Neal, 22, had entered Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. on May 23. McEnroe, 27, assisted Ryan's daughter through the nine-and-a-half-hour labor and delivery of their 8-pound, 11-ounce little darling. O'Neal, who was performing her Jane Fonda pregnancy exercises the day before Kevin's birth, required no medication.
Little Mac's first squawk brought in relatives from around the world. Grandpa Ryan O'Neal flew back from Paris, leaving behind Farrah Fawcett and their son Redmond, who is now an uncle at age 1. From New York came Grandma Kay McEnroe, who moved temporarily into her son's Malibu home. (A housekeeper and nanny were already in residence.) Granny Joanna Moore (Tatum's mom) has also been in attendance.
Surrounded by flowers, the proud parents snuggled with their blue-eyed newborn in the comfortably furnished "birthing room" at the hospital. "We're very proud and happy to have this baby," they announced jointly. "We're all doing fine and John will be back soon." The last comment reflected Big Mac's intention to rejoin the tennis circuit, possibly in time for the U.S. Open later this summer.
Despite the pear-shaped diamond ring that Tatum wears on her left hand, no mention was made of any wedding date. At least one question has been answered though. A couple of years back, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ran a major story on McEnroe, asking, "Why don't you smile, John?" A Little Mac was all it took.