Andy Murray's victory over Thanasi Kokkinakkis at the Australian Open finished at 4am in Melbourne and McEnroe thinks the sport needs to prevent matches from finishing so late in the future.
The tennis legend told Eurosport: "This happens rarely, but to me they should ensure that this doesn't happen. This is crazy to have players play to this hour at this level with so much at stake.
"This has happened in the past, it's affected the players each and every time. What other sport - the World Cup, American football, NBA, are they playing at four in the morning? And you're talking about two individuals out there by themselves, there's no chance for a substitution."
McEnroe has urged tennis authorities to stop the situation from happening and called for a cut-off time to be introduced for matches at night.
The seven-time Grand Slam winner said: "It is absolutely absurd that these things happen, I know that it wasn't planned that way and obviously factors go into it - the length of previous matches, whether the weather is a factor, I get it. But as a sport we can't have that continue to happen.
"There's got to be some time of cut-off point. Even then there would be complaints about that as well - like why stop it at one in the morning if it's two sets to one and players would want to finish? At what time is the legitimate time to stop playing? But these things need to be addressed."