PDA

View Full Version : Something that gets overlooked in McEnroe's annihilation of Connors in Wimbledon 1984


sandy mayer
05-16-2005, 05:59 PM
McEnroe won this 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 and played magnificently. But this is something tht's completely overlooked: McEnroe played with a graphite racket and Connors with an archaic tiny-headed steel racket. In my opinion that's like fighting with a bow and arrow against a man with a machine gun. Three months later Connors played with a graphite racket against McEnroe in the semi-finals of the US Open and nearly beat him in a close 5 set match. I'm not saying Connors would have beaten McEnroe at Wimbledon if he had used a graphite racket but I'm sure he'd have got alot more than 4 games. And I bet if Connors had played against McEnroe at the US Open with his old racket he'd have lost in 3 sets rather than 5.
Imagine Federer entering this years Wimbledon with 1 of those 1960's steel rackets which Connors used. He wouldn't make it past the 1st round.

splink779
05-16-2005, 07:13 PM
I can't say much because I didn't see it, but don't you think if Conners made it to the final with that racquet and felt comfortable enough to be using it while his opponent was using a graphite racquet, than it was not the fault of the racquet?

Grimjack
05-16-2005, 07:25 PM
Connors whooped the arses of all kinds of folks using all kinds of racquets using his T2000's well after their shelf lives had expired. The difference that day wasn't the racquets. The difference was that McEnroe was playing the way only a supremely talented but inconsistent tennis god can play when he wakes up and finds all his stars aligned that day. Sampras at his Wimbledon best wouldn't have taken a set from Johnny that day. Pure magic was dripping from his racquet.

Jet Rink
05-16-2005, 07:39 PM
I saw that match live and have since seen it many times. It was not the composition of the racquets that made the difference.

This was a supreme player at his absolute peak, playing arguably the most efficient tennis ever played, on that day. This was the serve-and-volley executed to perfection.

Mac's placement and disguise on his serves made them nearly unreturnable. But the most telling point about that match was the fact that Mac made nearly no unforced errors. Connors won only a handful of points per set.

Jet

Bhagi Katbamna
05-16-2005, 07:46 PM
I saw the match too, it was unbelieveable. My father saw it with me and commented that Connors knew then what Rosewall felt like when Connors steamrolled Rosewall a decade earlier.
I think his comment was along the lines of What goes around....

Phil
05-16-2005, 07:51 PM
Connors whooped the arses of all kinds of folks using all kinds of racquets using his T2000's well after their shelf lives had expired. The difference that day wasn't the racquets. The difference was that McEnroe was playing the way only a supremely talented but inconsistent tennis god can play when he wakes up and finds all his stars aligned that day. Sampras at his Wimbledon best wouldn't have taken a set from Johnny that day. Pure magic was dripping from his racquet.

Agree with Grimjack-it wasn't the racquet that won or lost that match, it was the PLAYERS-particularly...McEnroe at his best.

35ft6
05-16-2005, 09:49 PM
Pros play with the rackets that they feel more comfortable with. Even today the pros play with rackets that aren't cutting edge. Like people have already pointed out, Connors was playing just fine with that racket until he ran in Mac.

sandy mayer
05-17-2005, 01:51 AM
I never said Connors lost because of the racket, only that I'm convinced he would have got more than 4 games using graphite. McEnroe was untouchable in 1984 and ahead of Connors with any racket. But Connors also got thrashed by McEnroe at Queens and the French with that racket, but when he used graphite at the US Open he pushed McEnroe to 5 sets. The facts tell it all.
For some silly reason Connors stopped using graphite after the 1984 US Open and used steel until the end of 1986. In 1986 playing with steel Connors lost to journeymen in the 3rd rounf of the US and 1st round of Wimbledon. This was unheard of for Connors. Playing with steel he didn't even win a tournament from 1985-1986. I remember people saying that 34 year old Connors was finished at the end of 1986, but he played 1987 onwards with graphite and went up the rankings and improved his results dramatically. It's not normal to improve like that at 35. You know what, if Connors had carried on with steel he would never have finished 1987 4 in the world, he would never have beaten McEnroe again, he would never have made grand slam semis and won tournaments.

Camilio Pascual
05-17-2005, 03:39 AM
If we say the racquet was the cause, let's do, then no biggie, Connors made a stupid equipment decision that Mac didn't and lost. Mac made the more intelligent choice.
I'm not convinced he would have done better with a racquet he was not used to.

bamboo
05-17-2005, 05:17 AM
I never said Connors lost because of the racket, only that I'm convinced he would have got more than 4 games using graphite. McEnroe was untouchable in 1984 and ahead of Connors with any racket. But Connors also got thrashed by McEnroe at Queens and the French with that racket, but when he used graphite at the US Open he pushed McEnroe to 5 sets. The facts tell it all.
For some silly reason Connors stopped using graphite after the 1984 US Open and used steel until the end of 1986. In 1986 playing with steel Connors lost to journeymen in the 3rd rounf of the US and 1st round of Wimbledon. This was unheard of for Connors. Playing with steel he didn't even win a tournament from 1985-1986. I remember people saying that 34 year old Connors was finished at the end of 1986, but he played 1987 onwards with graphite and went up the rankings and improved his results dramatically. It's not normal to improve like that at 35. You know what, if Connors had carried on with steel he would never have finished 1987 4 in the world, he would never have beaten McEnroe again, he would never have made grand slam semis and won tournaments. If you check the Physics of Tennis book, you will see that graphite frames that are hollow and 85 sq in hitting area are four times as resistant to twisting as a T-2000.Whether you play with Tour 90 or Hammer 3.3 is a personal choice, but Mayer uses the correct analogy in this case - McEnroe's frame was far more effective as a matter of fact, not opinion.

Rabbit
05-17-2005, 05:20 AM
McEnroe would've won that day with graphite, wood, or a frying pan. McEnroe said that for the entire tournament in '84, he was zoned. He said that in particular on the day of the finals, he woke up and everything around him appeared to be moving in slow motion.

Also, it should be noted that even when Connors endorsed the ProStaff, he still played the non-televised rounds of tournaments with his T2000. I remember seeing him in Memphis against Kevin Curren. Curren was playing with that graphite Kneissel and serving like a banshee. Connors was playing with his T2000 and returning more than he missed. It was an incredible display. You would basically hear two noises, the crack of Curren's serve, and a thud. The thud was either Connors return, or the ball hitting the backstop.

It is also very noteworthy that Connors was able to change rackets based on televised coverage. His equipment was customized, but there is no way the ProStaff could ever play similarly to the T2000. What it says to me is that while the pros play with customized gear, they could play as well with damn near anything.

I read an article some years back that was about Connors and his T2000s. The T2000 was a design of, I believe I'm right on this one, Rene LaCoste's back in the 60s that Wilson picked up and distributed. After Connors' success in 1974, damn near every pro was switching to the T2000. Connors hit the ball with unprecedented power off both wings. This is very much in evidence even today watching the finals with Rosewall at Wimbledon and the Open. There was a catch, however, Connors was able to knock the cover off the ball and keep it in. The majority of the rest of the world was not as lucky.

Wilson changed the T2000 from the configuration that Connors liked. So, Connors stocked up. When he ran out of that stock, he put a call out to anyone who might have had the same model. Billie Jean King did and gave what stock she had to Connors. From what I've read, the only reason Connors changed from the T2000 was that he ran out of them. I don't think money had much sway in the matter. If it had, he would've changed frames long before as the T2000 was obsolete (if you listen to the manufacturers, Wilson included) long before he finally put it down.

IMO, there will never be a sight as awesome as Jimmy Connors waiting on a ball to his backhand with his wrists cocked holding that T2000. It was like a hawk about to swoop down on a mouse.

urban
05-17-2005, 06:08 AM
one oint is that McEnroe played indeed a perfect game. Another is that Connors because of his weak serve could be beaten bad on grass: Look at hte first two sets from his Ashe-final in 75, ore the trashing he got from Borg in 78/79. Or even the canter vs. Curren one year later in SF in 1985.

wildbill88AA
05-17-2005, 06:42 AM
connors had shin splints againt ashe in 1975, and nearly defaulted. the equipment was changing in 1984, mcenroes serve and volley game benefit greatly. navratilova, also began to dominate, with the newer rackets. also, connors never really played his best at wimby, not to mention connors was past his prime. grass is totally trashed by finals time making bounces unpredictable, and difficult for baseliners. the only slam tournament connors really cared for was the us open, where , with an oversized racket, he went 5 sets with mac in 84. and as great a mac was in 1984, it was the beginning of his decline.

Jet Rink
05-17-2005, 07:30 AM
I never said Connors lost because of the racket, only that I'm convinced he would have got more than 4 games using graphite. McEnroe was untouchable in 1984 and ahead of Connors with any racket. But Connors also got thrashed by McEnroe at Queens and the French with that racket, but when he used graphite at the US Open he pushed McEnroe to 5 sets. The facts tell it all.
For some silly reason Connors stopped using graphite after the 1984 US Open and used steel until the end of 1986. In 1986 playing with steel Connors lost to journeymen in the 3rd rounf of the US and 1st round of Wimbledon. This was unheard of for Connors. Playing with steel he didn't even win a tournament from 1985-1986. I remember people saying that 34 year old Connors was finished at the end of 1986, but he played 1987 onwards with graphite and went up the rankings and improved his results dramatically. It's not normal to improve like that at 35. You know what, if Connors had carried on with steel he would never have finished 1987 4 in the world, he would never have beaten McEnroe again, he would never have made grand slam semis and won tournaments.

Sandy - good points and well supported. I think this makes a definitive argument about how tech changed/changes the game.

Jet

Kevin Patrick
05-17-2005, 08:05 AM
You might have a point Sandy. The racquet may have helped Connors hold a few more games, but he was still going to lose. That match & the '99 Sampras-Agassi match are the two best grasscourt matches I've ever seen(& the Agassi score was more respectable, perhaps because they were both playing with similar equipment)
But as far why Connors was able to push Mac at the '84 US Open, I think it had more to do with mac's play than connors' racquet. Mac in '84 was like Fed today, the only times he lost or was pushed he was playing below his normal standards. I remember Mac's 1st serve % was pretty weak in that '84 US Open semi. But it still was a great match.

baseliner
05-17-2005, 11:45 AM
Kevin Patrick. I partially agree. The Mac Conners Wimby final was a great grass court match. The greatest? I'll go with Pancho Gonzales 5 setter against Charlie Pasarell (Sp?). Back before the tie break. Both of them whaling the daylights out of the ball with wood rackets. If you can find the video watch it.

Stuart S
08-05-2011, 12:15 AM
Just to get this interesting thread going again, I thought I'd throw in my own thoughts on the matter.

I've read each of the posts, and there are some good points made. But I personally don't think that Connors' racket choice had anything to do with the score, ie only 4 games to Connors.

I'm surprised no one else has suggested this: Connors lost so badly due partly to his decision to serve and volley.

Connors rarely, throughout his career, took the decision to go in behind serve for a whole match. If you look back at that final (not yet on DVD, but try YouTube for snippets), you'll see him resolutely sticking to serve and volley in a hopeless attempt to win the match from the net. He tried to beat Mac at his own game: no chance.

As a long-term Connors fan, I recall watching it all those years ago and squirming in embarassment. Why the heck doesn't he stay back, I remember thinking, and put a bit more pressure on Mac from the baseline?

What people sometimes forget is that, as well as McEnroe, Connors had reached the final on the back of some brilliant performances, particularly during the second week, ending with a well-deserved 4-set victory against Lendl in the semis. He was really smoking in that match; but unfortunately that was as good as he would get. Come the final, Connors couldn't get started - his second-week form (and confidence, it seemed to me) deserted him, and this, coupled with Mac's red-hot form, helped make Mac's victory that much easier.

wrxinsc
08-05-2011, 04:06 AM
T2000. My first racquet.... :) How dare you speak so unfavorably about this jewel. How dare you.

RAFA2005RG
08-05-2011, 04:27 AM
You might have a point Sandy. The racquet may have helped Connors hold a few more games, but he was still going to lose. That match & the '99 Sampras-Agassi match are the two best grasscourt matches I've ever seen(& the Agassi score was more respectable, perhaps because they were both playing with similar equipment)


That 99 Sampras-Agassi Wimbledon match was seriously surreal, I like Agassi more than Sampras but Sampras was probably more entertaining that day than Agassi ever was! And Agassi was in absolutely amazing form during that Wimbledon, he slaughtered everyone and had just won Roland Garros and would go on to win the US Open.

aphex
08-05-2011, 04:33 AM
That 99 Sampras-Agassi Wimbledon match was seriously surreal, I like Agassi more than Sampras but Sampras was probably more entertaining that day than Agassi ever was! And Agassi was in absolutely amazing form during that Wimbledon, he slaughtered everyone and had just won Roland Garros and would go on to win the US Open.

What the hell does that have to do with this thread dumbo?

Are you lost between threads again?

Snaab
08-05-2011, 06:14 AM
Ironically, I'm almost positive I remember Connors saying that he felt he would have won that USOpen match if he had STUCK with his T-2000. He felt he let a few points slip away because he didn't have the same control with the ProStaff, and that is why he went back to it. So Connors explanation is counter-intuitive to what sandy is offering. In his mind, he would have won the USOpen match had he not made the change. The only way Connors could have won the Wimbledon match is with a Ruger.

2ndServe
08-05-2011, 06:41 AM
why does this even exist. Connors had a choice and he didn't exercise. It doesn't matter if he chose a ping pong racket. That's on him. I'm surprised someone even mentioned this point, doesn't matter the racket, if he had food poisoning, couldn't find his favorite underwear etc. if he lost in 3 or 5. It only matters who won, that's all 99.9% of people remember or even care about.

jackson vile
08-05-2011, 09:59 AM
McEnroe won this 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 and played magnificently. But this is something tht's completely overlooked: McEnroe played with a graphite racket and Connors with an archaic tiny-headed steel racket. In my opinion that's like fighting with a bow and arrow against a man with a machine gun. Three months later Connors played with a graphite racket against McEnroe in the semi-finals of the US Open and nearly beat him in a close 5 set match. I'm not saying Connors would have beaten McEnroe at Wimbledon if he had used a graphite racket but I'm sure he'd have got alot more than 4 games. And I bet if Connors had played against McEnroe at the US Open with his old racket he'd have lost in 3 sets rather than 5.
Imagine Federer entering this years Wimbledon with 1 of those 1960's steel rackets which Connors used. He wouldn't make it past the 1st round.

There is a huge difference in rackets there, get on top or get pushed to the bottom!

Tshooter
08-05-2011, 12:48 PM
"T2000. My first racquet"

I don't know how anyone was ever able to control that thing.

DeShaun
08-05-2011, 02:46 PM
What the hell does that have to do with this thread dumbo?

Are you lost between threads again?

I took it as an extension from the other poster's comment in which McEnroe was quoted as having woken up on the morning of his 84 Wimby final and perceived all in the world around him as seemingly moving slower than normal, such was "The Zone" that he was in, it seemed surreal.

big ted
08-05-2011, 05:06 PM
http://theclassicmatch.blogspot.com/2007/12/1984-wimbledon-final-mcenroe-def.html

mcenroe only made 2 unforced errors in the entire match.

wrxinsc
08-06-2011, 03:40 AM
"T2000. My first racquet"

I don't know how anyone was ever able to control that thing.

By not miss hitting even the tiniest little bit. :| That bish was all sweet spot.
shooter.

Mig1NC
08-06-2011, 04:16 AM
Just looked up 1984 Wimbledon on Youtube. Interesting that Paul Anacone was a qualifier that year and made it to the quarter finals and lost to Connors.

hoodjem
08-06-2011, 06:14 AM
For some silly reason Connors stopped using graphite after the 1984 US Open and used steel until the end of 1986. In 1986 playing with steel Connors lost to journeymen in the 3rd rounf of the US and 1st round of Wimbledon. This was unheard of for Connors. Playing with steel he didn't even win a tournament from 1985-1986. I remember people saying that 34 year old Connors was finished at the end of 1986, but he played 1987 onwards with graphite and went up the rankings and improved his results dramatically. So, did Connors finally give up the T2000 for good in '86?

He did try the Wilson PS85 for a brief time in the 80's.?

When did he start with Estusa?

Limpinhitter
08-07-2011, 04:58 AM
McEnroe won this 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 and played magnificently. But this is something tht's completely overlooked: McEnroe played with a graphite racket and Connors with an archaic tiny-headed steel racket. In my opinion that's like fighting with a bow and arrow against a man with a machine gun. Three months later Connors played with a graphite racket against McEnroe in the semi-finals of the US Open and nearly beat him in a close 5 set match. I'm not saying Connors would have beaten McEnroe at Wimbledon if he had used a graphite racket but I'm sure he'd have got alot more than 4 games. And I bet if Connors had played against McEnroe at the US Open with his old racket he'd have lost in 3 sets rather than 5.
Imagine Federer entering this years Wimbledon with 1 of those 1960's steel rackets which Connors used. He wouldn't make it past the 1st round.

I completely disagree. Not only did Connors play his best tennis with that racquet, one of the most powerful racquets ever made, he beat McEnroe at Wimbledon with it two years before. This match was just an anomoly. A lot of top pros tried it and ditched it because they couldn't control the power. McEnroe just played the best match of his career and Connors was a little flat. That's all there is to that.

Nadal_Power
08-07-2011, 06:00 AM
So, did Connors finally give up the T2000 for good in '86?

He did try the Wilson PS85 for a brief time in the 80's.?

When did he start with Estusa?

http://80s-tennis.com/pages/jimmy-connors.html

jrepac
08-08-2011, 12:04 PM
Just to get this interesting thread going again, I thought I'd throw in my own thoughts on the matter.

I've read each of the posts, and there are some good points made. But I personally don't think that Connors' racket choice had anything to do with the score, ie only 4 games to Connors.

I'm surprised no one else has suggested this: Connors lost so badly due partly to his decision to serve and volley.

Connors rarely, throughout his career, took the decision to go in behind serve for a whole match. If you look back at that final (not yet on DVD, but try YouTube for snippets), you'll see him resolutely sticking to serve and volley in a hopeless attempt to win the match from the net. He tried to beat Mac at his own game: no chance.

As a long-term Connors fan, I recall watching it all those years ago and squirming in embarassment. Why the heck doesn't he stay back, I remember thinking, and put a bit more pressure on Mac from the baseline?

What people sometimes forget is that, as well as McEnroe, Connors had reached the final on the back of some brilliant performances, particularly during the second week, ending with a well-deserved 4-set victory against Lendl in the semis. He was really smoking in that match; but unfortunately that was as good as he would get. Come the final, Connors couldn't get started - his second-week form (and confidence, it seemed to me) deserted him, and this, coupled with Mac's red-hot form, helped make Mac's victory that much easier.

I'm with you on this Stuart. I was watching that match and literally SCREAMING AT THE TV...."STAY BACK!".... Jimmy was a bit flat that day no question and Mac was stellar. But Jimmy played some really sharp tennis that year; he certainly was not favored over Lendl in the SF....he had just won the FO for godsake! I do think Jimmy benefited from the switch to graphite, yes. In the USO semi, Mac was serving over 60%--which was excellent by his standards--and Jimmy was clocking the returns. At that point in his career, the T2000 did him no favors. But that's just my opinion.

jrepac
08-08-2011, 12:09 PM
Ironically, I'm almost positive I remember Connors saying that he felt he would have won that USOpen match if he had STUCK with his T-2000. He felt he let a few points slip away because he didn't have the same control with the ProStaff, and that is why he went back to it. So Connors explanation is counter-intuitive to what sandy is offering. In his mind, he would have won the USOpen match had he not made the change. The only way Connors could have won the Wimbledon match is with a Ruger.

I recall this as well; he played with the PS into mid-1985 then went back to the T2000. He preferred the "control" it offered (perhaps only for him, since it was a GD trampoline), but to most/many viewers, he seemed to do better with the graphite frames, once he made the final switch over. He played w/a few slazengers--I think they suited him well, then the Estusa and later a Prince mono. That last one was truly a unique and unusual frame, made just for him. It played well off the ground, reminiscent of a wood frame feel, but I found it awful for serving.

Backhanded Compliment
08-08-2011, 01:06 PM
well the 200G is the closest graphite racket to a wooden one that you can get... and Mac was in GOD mode. Some of the sickest tennis ever played, period.

Man I miss those 2 players, Connors at least had the guts to S&V that day... wrong choice though it was.

Moose Malloy
08-08-2011, 02:30 PM
Connors lost so badly due partly to his decision to serve and volley.

Connors rarely, throughout his career, took the decision to go in behind serve for a whole match. If you look back at that final (not yet on DVD, but try YouTube for snippets), you'll see him resolutely sticking to serve and volley in a hopeless attempt to win the match from the net. He tried to beat Mac at his own game: no chance.



Do you have any actual stats on this? I don't think Jimmy S&Ved as much as you say he did that day (maybe we have a different definition of S&V. I hear some posters here say Fish or Melzer are S&V players, which is rather baffling to me)

NBC had Connors with only 10 approaches as of 0-2 in the 2nd set in the '84 final. I remember Mac crushing so many of Connors 1st serves that day & coming in(not chip & charge, but rip & charge - an aspect of mac's game that seemed to increase once he switched to graphite. not to mention frequent swinging volleys)

NBC had Connors at 27/40 at net by the 3rd set tiebreak of the '82 W Final

I had Jimmy at 49 of 69(71%) at net vs Rosewall at '74 Wimbledon(only 24 games)

krosero had Connors coming in 73 times in the '75 USO final(only 3 sets)
& 86 times in the '76 USO final

net play was always a big part of Connors' game.

But Jimmy played some really sharp tennis that year; he certainly was not favored over Lendl in the SF....he had just won the FO for godsake!

I really doubt Lendl was favored on grass vs Connors in '84. It wasn't like today, winning the FO had no bearing on how players did at W. Lendl was not considered a great grasscourt player at that time in his career(& was still being haunted I imagine by his famous allergy excuse for skipping '82 Wimbledon)

Ironically, I'm almost positive I remember Connors saying that he felt he would have won that USOpen match if he had STUCK with his T-2000

well that's a pretty strange statement(if true)
I doubt Connors ever passed Mac as many times as he did in the '84 USO(38 times)

jrepac
08-08-2011, 03:11 PM
Do you have any actual stats on this? I don't think Jimmy S&Ved as much as you say he did that day (maybe we have a different definition of S&V. I hear some posters here say Fish or Melzer are S&V players, which is rather baffling to me)

I really doubt Lendl was favored on grass vs Connors in '84. It wasn't like today, winning the FO had no bearing on how players did at W.

well that's a pretty strange statement(if true)
I doubt Connors ever passed Mac as many times as he did in the '84 USO(38 times)

in the '84 W Final it certainly seemed like Connors was S&V'ing and pressing constantly, to no avail. I just don't recall Jimmy hanging back and trying to rally. But, John was simply crushing the returns, period.

Lendl was ranked ahead of Connors at that point and seeded #2; while not known for his grass prowess, he arguably was favored. Jimmy was pushing 32 at this point, I think. The Connors return and relatively flat, penetrating shots got him past Lendl--who always seemed rush and not in the right place to hit the shots. (that's a match I'd like to watch again; it was fairly close thru the 3rd set).

That quote re: the T2000 was picked up somewhere after the fact; I found it odd as well. I don't think he could've played much better than he did in that semi against Mac. He passed Mac numerous times. One of the best quality matches ever between them from both sides.

pmerk34
08-08-2011, 04:23 PM
McEnroe would've won that day with graphite, wood, or a frying pan. McEnroe said that for the entire tournament in '84, he was zoned. He said that in particular on the day of the finals, he woke up and everything around him appeared to be moving in slow motion.

Also, it should be noted that even when Connors endorsed the ProStaff, he still played the non-televised rounds of tournaments with his T2000. I remember seeing him in Memphis against Kevin Curren. Curren was playing with that graphite Kneissel and serving like a banshee. Connors was playing with his T2000 and returning more than he missed. It was an incredible display. You would basically hear two noises, the crack of Curren's serve, and a thud. The thud was either Connors return, or the ball hitting the backstop.

It is also very noteworthy that Connors was able to change rackets based on televised coverage. His equipment was customized, but there is no way the ProStaff could ever play similarly to the T2000. What it says to me is that while the pros play with customized gear, they could play as well with damn near anything.

I read an article some years back that was about Connors and his T2000s. The T2000 was a design of, I believe I'm right on this one, Rene LaCoste's back in the 60s that Wilson picked up and distributed. After Connors' success in 1974, damn near every pro was switching to the T2000. Connors hit the ball with unprecedented power off both wings. This is very much in evidence even today watching the finals with Rosewall at Wimbledon and the Open. There was a catch, however, Connors was able to knock the cover off the ball and keep it in. The majority of the rest of the world was not as lucky.

Wilson changed the T2000 from the configuration that Connors liked. So, Connors stocked up. When he ran out of that stock, he put a call out to anyone who might have had the same model. Billie Jean King did and gave what stock she had to Connors. From what I've read, the only reason Connors changed from the T2000 was that he ran out of them. I don't think money had much sway in the matter. If it had, he would've changed frames long before as the T2000 was obsolete (if you listen to the manufacturers, Wilson included) long before he finally put it down.

IMO, there will never be a sight as awesome as Jimmy Connors waiting on a ball to his backhand with his wrists cocked holding that T2000. It was like a hawk about to swoop down on a mouse.

He wasn't winning anything with a frying pan. The fact is Mac had his best year ever - better than any year he'd ever had before while using the Max200G graphite as opposed to his "trusty old Maxply" as he called it. Mac has made no secret that the 200g helped his game.

Connors was ALWAYS looking for edge and he did play much better in that USO SF with the pro staff. What frame was using when he again made the SF in 1985?

pmerk34
08-08-2011, 04:25 PM
I completely disagree. Not only did Connors play his best tennis with that racquet, one of the most powerful racquets ever made, he beat McEnroe at Wimbledon with it two years before. This match was just an anomoly. A lot of top pros tried it and ditched it because they couldn't control the power. McEnroe just played the best match of his career and Connors was a little flat. That's all there is to that.

Mac was also playing with wood against Jimmy in 1982.

Rabbit
08-08-2011, 06:46 PM
He wasn't winning anything with a frying pan. The fact is Mac had his best year ever - better than any year he'd ever had before while using the Max200G graphite as opposed to his "trusty old Maxply" as he called it. Mac has made no secret that the 200g helped his game.

Connors was ALWAYS looking for edge and he did play much better in that USO SF with the pro staff. What frame was using when he again made the SF in 1985?

It should be noted that McEnroe changed racquets ONLY because of arm pain. The suggestion of the 200G came from Patrick. The two were hitting and PMac suggested McEnroe try the 200G to alleviate the arm pain he had.

Again, I think McEnroe's 84 was more him than his equipment.

Limpinhitter
08-08-2011, 06:50 PM
Mac was also playing with wood against Jimmy in 1982.

My point was that Connors played his best with the T2000, and when he switched to graphite, it diminished his game. The T2000 was a more powerful racquet than the 200G or the PS85, and Connors was one of the only pros who could handle that power, although many tried. Therefore, IMO, it would have hurt him, not helped him, to use a graphite racquet in the 1984 Wimbledon final.

pmerk34
08-08-2011, 07:56 PM
It should be noted that McEnroe changed racquets ONLY because of arm pain. The suggestion of the 200G came from Patrick. The two were hitting and PMac suggested McEnroe try the 200G to alleviate the arm pain he had.

Again, I think McEnroe's 84 was more him than his equipment.

Actually in his autobiography Mac states the two were hitting and Mac asked to use the 200G after his brother cracked some nice bh passing shots on him....

pmerk34
08-08-2011, 08:04 PM
well the 200G is the closest graphite racket to a wooden one that you can get... and Mac was in GOD mode. Some of the sickest tennis ever played, period.

Man I miss those 2 players, Connors at least had the guts to S&V that day... wrong choice though it was.

Having hit with both, the 200G may be be the closest thing to a wooden frame but it is assuredly not wooden. By the time 1984 rolled around most pros had switched or were in the process of switching to a composite frame. Do I think Mac would have had the same success against the rest of the tour in 1984 if he were still using his Maxply? No, he would not have. His serve was more explosive with the 200G in 1984 than it had been with wood and he lost no touch with the 200g but gained the ability to put his volleys away with more authority. Players were hitting harder with their composite frames in1984 than say 1982 but Mac's superior hand speed coupled with his 200g allowed that power to be counter acted with his amazing last second "flicks" with added pop. The 200G seemed perfect for Mac in helping keep up in the more powerful game, that is until he pulled his hamstring in late 1984 and was never quite the same.

In fact I think the 200G was instrumental in his 1983 Wimbledon run as well. The game was changing fast from wood to composite. There was no "slow evolution". By 1986 virtually the entire tour was using graphite and players were hitting noticeably harder than only a few year prior when the tour was dominated by wood.

Datacipher
08-08-2011, 08:12 PM
It should be noted that McEnroe changed racquets ONLY because of arm pain. The suggestion of the 200G came from Patrick. The two were hitting and PMac suggested McEnroe try the 200G to alleviate the arm pain he had.

Again, I think McEnroe's 84 was more him than his equipment.

Well, that's not entirely true according to Mcenroe, he really FELT like the change helped him game, and he liked the little extra zip of the graphite.

Having said that, as anyone who has read my equipment posts knows, I STRONGLY feel equipment improvement is one of THE leading myths on TW. It IS the player. Connors might well have gotten more games if Mac had played with wood....I'd say somewhere from zero to two more.

pmerk34
08-08-2011, 08:23 PM
Well, that's not entirely true according to Mcenroe, he really FELT like the change helped him game, and he liked the little extra zip of the graphite.

Having said that, as anyone who has read my equipment posts knows, I STRONGLY feel equipment improvement is one of THE leading myths on TW. It IS the player. Connors might well have gotten more games if Mac had played with wood....I'd say somewhere from zero to two more.

And I STRONGLY feel that one if the leading myths on TW is that pros could have somehow kept competing with wood because they know some club guy who beats other graphite racquet wielding players with wood frames. The pros who play know the pro game better than anyone else as they are on the court playing it and living it. And none of them use wood and haven't nearly to a player since about 1984-1985.

jrepac
08-09-2011, 06:36 AM
He wasn't winning anything with a frying pan. The fact is Mac had his best year ever - better than any year he'd ever had before while using the Max200G graphite as opposed to his "trusty old Maxply" as he called it. Mac has made no secret that the 200g helped his game.

Connors was ALWAYS looking for edge and he did play much better in that USO SF with the pro staff. What frame was using when he again made the SF in 1985?

He was using the T2000 from about Spring onwards in '85. He made the semis at RG, Wimby and USO. Not too shabby, but I still think he should've stayed with the PS85. He stuck w/the T2000 thru late '86, losing early in the USO; '86 was a poor year by his standards. I think in Oct/Nov of that year, he started playing with a black, unnamed graphite prototype; he used it against Mac at a final indoors in San Fran, I recall. Come 1987, he was playing w/the Panther Pro Ceramic (white frame)...that could've been the prototype from the fall, but who knows for sure. The T2000 was retired at that point....

pmerk34
08-09-2011, 07:18 AM
He was using the T2000 from about Spring onwards in '85. He made the semis at RG, Wimby and USO. Not too shabby, but I still think he should've stayed with the PS85.

That awful T2000 once hung in the garage of every household in America throughout the 70's and 80's

krosero
08-09-2011, 05:45 PM
Do you have any actual stats on this? I don't think Jimmy S&Ved as much as you say he did that day (maybe we have a different definition of S&V. I hear some posters here say Fish or Melzer are S&V players, which is rather baffling to me)

NBC had Connors with only 10 approaches as of 0-2 in the 2nd set in the '84 final. I remember Mac crushing so many of Connors 1st serves that day & coming in(not chip & charge, but rip & charge - an aspect of mac's game that seemed to increase once he switched to graphite. not to mention frequent swinging volleys)

NBC had Connors at 27/40 at net by the 3rd set tiebreak of the '82 W Final

I had Jimmy at 49 of 69(71%) at net vs Rosewall at '74 Wimbledon(only 24 games)

krosero had Connors coming in 73 times in the '75 USO final(only 3 sets)
& 86 times in the '76 USO final

net play was always a big part of Connors' game.When I saw the match I noted that Connors kept coming in behind second serves, and that he got passed cleanly a few times. I don't have the number of times that he SV'd, but I've got McEnroe passing him cleanly 3 times with returns of second serves, and once on a first serve.

And those were just the clean winners; there may have been other times that Connors came in behind a second serve and lost the point.

Dan Maskell said in the booth, "I don’t think Rod Laver was ever more devastating against bad length second services than McEnroe is today.”

I really doubt Lendl was favored on grass vs Connors in '84. It wasn't like today, winning the FO had no bearing on how players did at W. Lendl was not considered a great grasscourt player at that time in his career(& was still being haunted I imagine by his famous allergy excuse for skipping '82 Wimbledon)I really doubt it too. Winning the French theoretically should have given him a psychological boost, but physically it exhausted him. He was vomiting after the French final and looked like a ghost.

well that's a pretty strange statement(if true)
I doubt Connors ever passed Mac as many times as he did in the '84 USO(38 times)38 clean passes by your count. I don't think he ever passed McEnroe that many times. And he did it after he had left his prime years behind -- and in McEnroe's best year.

So I tend to think it had something to do with the racquet.

krosero
08-09-2011, 05:47 PM
Arthur Ashe wrote this in the Washington Post after the '84 USO semi:

This was Connors' first Open with his new mid-sized racket. His serve and groundstrokes now fly off the strings faster than before; with the ability to hit a two-fisted backhand at the last minute, he left McEnroe guessing at the net more than before. A radar gun has clocked Connors' backhand at more than 100 miles per hour.

By contrast, McEnroe relies more on pinpoint placement. His mid-sized racket is strung at a loose 48 pounds, thereby creating a tremendous trampoline effect. This gives McEnroe touch on his volleys and lobs. In the tense fifth set, it enabled him to swing fluidly. Connors tended to overhit.

pmerk34
08-10-2011, 06:44 AM
Arthur Ashe wrote this in the Washington Post after the '84 USO semi:

Chris Evert hit a stinging bh pass up the line on match point vs Martina in the 1985 French Open final. The ball was a bit behind her and she struck it at the last moment to fool Martina.

She did it with the Wilson Pro Staff. She would not have been able to make that shot with her old wooden frame.

pmerk34
08-10-2011, 06:57 AM
When I saw the match I noted that Connors kept coming in behind second serves, and that he got passed cleanly a few times. I don't have the number of times that he SV'd, but I've got McEnroe passing him cleanly 3 times with returns of second serves, and once on a first serve.

And those were just the clean winners; there may have been other times that Connors came in behind a second serve and lost the point.

Dan Maskell said in the booth, "I donít think Rod Laver was ever more devastating against bad length second services than McEnroe is today.Ē

I really doubt it too. Winning the French theoretically should have given him a psychological boost, but physically it exhausted him. He was vomiting after the French final and looked like a ghost.

38 clean passes by your count. I don't think he ever passed McEnroe that many times. And he did it after he had left his prime years behind -- and in McEnroe's best year.

So I tend to think it had something to do with the racquet.

McEnroe also got better when he ditched his Wilson (Jack Kramer?) for his Dunlop Maxply in 1981

jrepac
08-10-2011, 01:57 PM
That awful T2000 once hung in the garage of every household in America throughout the 70's and 80's

Ha, mine is in my Mom's basement :)

It's fun to fool with for a bit and bang some groundies, but hard to play with for an entire match....

but when you hit that sweet spot, the ball just flies...it's pretty remarkable, actually

LOL

jrepac
08-10-2011, 02:00 PM
38 clean passes by your count. I don't think he ever passed McEnroe that many times. And he did it after he had left his prime years behind -- and in McEnroe's best year.

So I tend to think it had something to do with the racquet.

'84 wound up being a very strong year for Connors...but few remember that because Mac was so, so good. If not for Mac's incredible play, he might've been the #1 player; he surely would have won Wimbledon and maybe the USO, he was playing that well at Flushing w/the PS 85. As it was, he rose up to #2 in the world by year's end.

jrepac
08-10-2011, 02:03 PM
Arthur Ashe wrote this in the Washington Post after the '84 USO semi:

Wow, over 100mph? That OLD little guy, with that tiny racquet??? How is that possible? that was all the way back in 1984! Ancient times! LOL :twisted:

[yes, I am being facetious; his BH was off the charts good in that match; Mac was scratching his head as the ball flew by him]

pundekman
08-11-2011, 08:51 AM
Just to get this interesting thread going again, I thought I'd throw in my own thoughts on the matter.

I've read each of the posts, and there are some good points made. But I personally don't think that Connors' racket choice had anything to do with the score, ie only 4 games to Connors.

I'm surprised no one else has suggested this: Connors lost so badly due partly to his decision to serve and volley.

Connors rarely, throughout his career, took the decision to go in behind serve for a whole match. If you look back at that final (not yet on DVD, but try YouTube for snippets), you'll see him resolutely sticking to serve and volley in a hopeless attempt to win the match from the net. He tried to beat Mac at his own game: no chance.

As a long-term Connors fan, I recall watching it all those years ago and squirming in embarassment. Why the heck doesn't he stay back, I remember thinking, and put a bit more pressure on Mac from the baseline?

What people sometimes forget is that, as well as McEnroe, Connors had reached the final on the back of some brilliant performances, particularly during the second week, ending with a well-deserved 4-set victory against Lendl in the semis. He was really smoking in that match; but unfortunately that was as good as he would get. Come the final, Connors couldn't get started - his second-week form (and confidence, it seemed to me) deserted him, and this, coupled with Mac's red-hot form, helped make Mac's victory that much easier.

i agree totally. I still wonder why he was serving and volleying like a madman and getting passed left, right and center.

On another note, maybe Lendl should have tried staying back instead of s&v ALL the time

pmerk34
08-11-2011, 12:08 PM
i agree totally. I still wonder why he was serving and volleying like a madman and getting passed left, right and center.

On another note, maybe Lendl should have tried staying back instead of s&v ALL the time

No, Lendl tactics were right. His return game on grass and his passing shots and movement on grass were all well below his legendary hard court prowess.

kiki
08-11-2011, 12:22 PM
McEnroe won this 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 and played magnificently. But this is something tht's completely overlooked: McEnroe played with a graphite racket and Connors with an archaic tiny-headed steel racket. In my opinion that's like fighting with a bow and arrow against a man with a machine gun. Three months later Connors played with a graphite racket against McEnroe in the semi-finals of the US Open and nearly beat him in a close 5 set match. I'm not saying Connors would have beaten McEnroe at Wimbledon if he had used a graphite racket but I'm sure he'd have got alot more than 4 games. And I bet if Connors had played against McEnroe at the US Open with his old racket he'd have lost in 3 sets rather than 5.
Imagine Federer entering this years Wimbledon with 1 of those 1960's steel rackets which Connors used. He wouldn't make it past the 1st round.

Good argument.You might be right.The same happened at RG one month earlier? I rememeber Mac played with Connors the whole match and beat him in straight sets...

big ted
08-11-2011, 01:37 PM
i agree totally. I still wonder why he was serving and volleying like a madman and getting passed left, right and center.

On another note, maybe Lendl should have tried staying back instead of s&v ALL the time

from what i remember, everybody s/v'd on grass in that time, even borg. if you let the ball bounce you were at an immediate disadvantage. the balls had alot more crazy bad bounces back then and didnt bounce very high..

pundekman
08-12-2011, 12:35 AM
from what i remember, everybody s/v'd on grass in that time, even borg. if you let the ball bounce you were at an immediate disadvantage. the balls had alot more crazy bad bounces back then and didnt bounce very high..

Couldn't they have at least MIXED it up some of the time? Lendl was playing as if he would lose the point if the ball bounced!