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View Full Version : Connors - Would he have won the French Open in 1974 & 1975?


jimbo333
05-13-2009, 05:30 PM
So would Connors have won the French Open in 1974 and 1975?

Obviously he was basically banned, so couldn't even enter. He won the other 3 GS titles in 1974 and if he had played it in 74 and won (which many think he would have), achieving a calender Grand Slam, it might have given him more recognition in future years:)

jimbo333
05-13-2009, 05:39 PM
And also Connors didn't play the French Open again until 1979, when he reached the Semis (as he also did in 1980, and 84 and 85)!

He was so good in 74, that I think he would have won it, but probably not in 75:)

timnz
05-13-2009, 05:49 PM
I am a Borg fan however, a case could definitely be made for Jimmy winning in 1974 (not sure about 1975).

He played Borg on Clay once per year in 1974, 1975 & 1976 - and he won everytime against Bjorn.
The three encounters were:

1974 Indianapolis - Connors won 5-7 6-3 6-4

1975 US Open - Connors won 7-5 7-5 7-5

1976 US Open - Connors won 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4

Now each of these encounters was on American Clay (Har-Tru) which plays a bit faster than the European Red Clay that Roland Garros has.

However, this is solid evidence that Connors certainly could have given Borg a run for his money at Roland Garros, especially in 1974. A real tragedy that we didn't see this, because it robbed Jimmy of the possibility of winning the true Grand Slam.

krosero
05-13-2009, 05:57 PM
An old thread on this: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=124680

jimbo333
05-13-2009, 06:17 PM
An old thread on this: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=124680

Thanks, I didn't realise this thread existed (it was a couple of years ago)!

I'm a little surprised Connors is losing the vote, I really think he would have won it in 74, but I am a huge Connors fan, so I would say that:):)

hoodjem
05-13-2009, 07:00 PM
Connors was on a roll in 1974. I think pre-Borg, yes he would have won it.

thalivest
05-13-2009, 07:15 PM
1974- for sure
1975- maybe not

CyBorg
05-13-2009, 07:24 PM
Nope. You'd think he'd at least win one important red clay title in his career.

You know, as proof that he was good enough to win an important red clay title at any time at all.

timnz
05-13-2009, 10:59 PM
See below for the full text.

timnz
05-13-2009, 11:05 PM
Connors - Vilas in the finals of Monte Carlo in 1981. 5 all in the first set. Rain stopped the match unfortunately. Okay the match didn't get finished, but the fact is that he made the finals and was holding his own against Vilas in the final.

It was the closest Jimmy got to a European Clay Court title (well he also got to the final of Hamburg that year but lost to McNamara).

He also won a Paraguay tennis tournament in September of 1979 on Clay - Asuncion - Boqueron International against Vilas. He beat Vilas 7–5 6–3. The same month he beat Vilas again in a 4-men invitational in Rio de Janeiro - score 6–3 6–4 6–3. He also beat Borg in 1978 in Buenos Aires in a 4-men invitational on Clay,score 5–7 6–3 6–3. I presume in South America the Clay is similar to European Clay.

I say all of this to show that in fact he could play well on slow clay.

The US clay court championships in 1974 actually meant quite a lot. The surface only a bit slower clay than Roland Garros - Connors actually beat both of the finalists from Roland Garros, in this tournament, only a couple of months after the French open.

I really do think he could have won the 1974 French Open.

jimbo333
05-14-2009, 02:49 AM
Nope. You'd think he'd at least win one important red clay title in his career.

You know, as proof that he was good enough to win an important red clay title at any time at all.


He did win tournaments on red clay, look at the other thread!!!

The point is that Connors didn't play the French at his peak, can you imagine Borgs record if HE didn't play the French 74 to 78?

jeffreyneave
05-14-2009, 07:37 AM
connors as i stated before would not win 1974 french open on red clay; he would certainly would have been a contender in 75 with his 7-5,7-5, 7-5 over borg at the us open ,but he was then easily beaten by orantes in the final on har-tru clay. connors never won an event in his whole career on european red clay.

he boycotted the french between 74-78 because of the unfair ban imposed by the french tf on wtt players ; a total disgrace. commercial union should have expelled the french from the grand prix because the french broke the rule that any player with a high enough ranking can play any event on the grand prix they want. connors consequently boycotted the commercial union masters 74-76 and only came back to play for the 1977 masters with a new sponsor colgate.

jeffrey

Borgforever
05-14-2009, 11:26 AM
IMO Jimbo would've done what he did at RG what he did from 1979 onwards mostly making the semis. There's a huge difference between red clay and green clay in so much that Har-Tru changes the entire game-style more in tune of hard court cement favoring hard-hitting attackers. It's like a softer and slightly slower version of cement-courts sharing many characteristics -- not the red clay foundations in consistency, creativity and patience...

Borg was impossible on red clay even in lacklustre form. He won RG the last time he was there. If he lost there was a reason. No one outplayed him from the back-court ever in his entire career. No one was even close...

Nadal is the only one I can imagine giving Borg a run for his money. Just as I don't think we ever saw Sampras finest stuff at Wimby we never really saw what Borg really could do on the red dirt. No one was really good enough to push the last genius stuff out of them. They usually steamrolled and Borg to a crazy extent.

Rafa against peak Björn on the red stuff during a bakery-owen heat-wave at RG (that would make watery waves in the air) would be one of my most desired fantasy match-ups. They would hammer away at each other so much and to such unseen dimensions that it would probably produce screams from Rafa instead on his usual grunting already in the first game of the match. Both running down the most impossible shots on the slow stuff. They maybe would've killed each other.

Maybe I would've witnessed Rafa cry after the match :-) I mean instead of Fed...

I would've want to watch it though. But I won't probably. Unless some scientist gets off their underfinanced genius butt and invents a (preferable) DeLorean-type time-machine vehicle for my free disposal...

Let's just say I don't hold my breath. But my thoughts on the subject are plenty...

Borgforever
05-14-2009, 01:51 PM
Nothing wrong with a tear in your eye after a tough loss I must add...

I know Borg had a slight crying moment when he -- because of a shoulder injury making his overheads comically bad -- had to default against Stockton at the Open in 1977. A slight tear and teary-like eyes definitely. He threw his racquet uncharacteristically hard on the court making it bounce far away. No Novak-like smile when delivering the default/losing handshake for Mr. Ice Borg...

His reaction did spell out however what Björn's goals and expectations were on himself during that tourney...

Sampras didn't look to sunshiny meeting the press after his Bastl-loss either...

hoodjem
05-14-2009, 02:30 PM
Was Connors win over Borg in Indianapolis at the US Clay Court Championships (1974--J. Connors vs. B. Borg 5-7, 6-3, 6-4) on red or green clay?

CyBorg
05-14-2009, 03:08 PM
He did win tournaments on red clay, look at the other thread!!!

Did you read my post?

CyBorg
05-14-2009, 03:09 PM
Was Connors win over Borg in Indianapolis at the US Clay Court Championships (1974--J. Connors vs. B. Borg 5-7, 6-3, 6-4) on red or green clay?

Green clay.

jimbo333
05-14-2009, 04:34 PM
Did you read my post?

Yes I did read it and I conciously decided to completely ignore one of the words in your post, because I didn't think it was important:)

pc1
05-14-2009, 05:32 PM
Nothing wrong with a tear in your eye after a tough loss I must add...

I know Borg had a slight crying moment when he -- because of a shoulder injury making his overheads comically bad -- had to default against Stockton at the Open in 1977. A slight tear and teary-like eyes definitely. He threw his racquet uncharacteristically hard on the court making it bounce far away. No Novak-like smile when delivering the default/losing handshake for Mr. Ice Borg...

His reaction did spell out however what Björn's goals and expectations were on himself during that tourney...

Sampras didn't look to sunshiny meeting the press after his Bastl-loss either...

I have no doubt Federer is the GOAT...in crying after a loss.:)

In 74 and 75, while those years represented perhaps the best chances Connors had to win the French Open still would have been tough for Jimmy to win.

CyBorg
05-14-2009, 05:41 PM
Yes I did read it and I conciously decided to completely ignore one of the words in your post, because I didn't think it was important:)

Interesting approach.

CyBorg
05-14-2009, 05:43 PM
I have no doubt Federer is the GOAT...in crying after a loss.:)

In 74 and 75, while those years represented perhaps the best chances Connors had to win the French Open still would have been tough for Jimmy to win.

It's one thing to win a smaller tournament on red clay - it's another to win seven best-of-five matches over two weeks on the surface.

And you can bet there would be a lot of guys feeding Jimmy slow stuff a la Orantes the whole time. Don't think he'd like it.

jimbo333
05-15-2009, 05:10 AM
Jimmy would have destroyed them that year! He was unstoppable:)

If there is one player of all time that would fight until the end of 5 sets, then it's Connors. But you knew that already didn't you!!!