Seven-time grand slam singles champion John McEnroe gave Japan's top player a run for his money on Sunday before losing 1-6, 6-4 and 10-7 in a tiebreaker in a charity match for the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Playing in Japan for the first time since 1997, the 54-year-old McEnroe took on Kei Nishikori, the 23-year-old Japanese star who rose to No. 11 in the world rankings this year.

The score hardly mattered as Sunday's match was about raising money for the Tohoku Tennis Association to help rebuild and rejuvenate tennis in the region devastated by the March, 11, 2011 disaster.