Jimmy Connors: Today's Rivalries are Soft! LOL...

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Outbeyond, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Outbeyond

    Outbeyond Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Messages:
    8,074
    Location:
    New Joisey, USA
    Leave it to the ever-pugnacious Connors. In the olden days, men were men! He and McEnroe - now, hell, THERE'S some REAL tennis!!!:twisted:

    I do laugh, as I'm admittedly old enough to have witnessed - in all its hilarity -the nasty-ass tempers on court and tennis balls hit with a seeming intent to kill...

    In a way, I wonder if it's American-bred. We've got Serena swearing off some poor lineswoman, Agassi mocking Sampras as a cheapskate in front of millions on TV and a smouldering Sampras aiming a screaming return right smack back at Agassi's face, lol...
     
    #1
  2. djokovicgonzalez2010

    djokovicgonzalez2010 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    11,865
    Location:
    SW Virginia, USA
    I think they are too PR'd. No real hatreds except Djokovic-Federer (though that one seems a bit one-sided hate) Nadal-Soderling, and Nadal-Berdych, and those are played down
     
    #2
  3. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    16,790
    Location:
    Poland, eating bigos and żeberka
    How do Federer and Djokovic hate each other? I think they get along pretty well.
     
    #3
  4. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    It was Connor and McEnroe that brought tennis the "hate". Before they bursted on the scene, guys liked each other. They travelled together. They would beat the crap out of each other, then have a beer afterward.

    I have commented about this book more than a couple of times, but Ashe's "Portrait in Motion" is a great read. Wonderful insight on the beginning of Open Tennis.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
    #4
  5. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,278
    Nowadays, if you don't show sportsmanship, you get crucified.
     
    #5
  6. Li Ching Yuen

    Li Ching Yuen Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Messages:
    6,989
    Other than Federer - Djokovic, Nadal - Berdych and Soderling - Del Potro I can't think of any known animosities between tennis players at the top of the game right now.

    Sure there's some cold and strictly professional ones like Fed - Murray, Roddick - a bunch of other guys but other than that it's pretty normal guy to guy everyday thing.

    Borg and McEnroe were pretty professional towards each other too.

    Connors was known to being a bit of a dick-head so of course he was gonna have a rivalry, especially with one of his own.

    Edberg, Wilander, Lendl were all guys that quietly went about their business.
     
    #6
  7. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Lleyton Hewitt in his heyday was like Connors on the court in terms of chipping away at his opponents with his attitude and determination. He's definitely cooled off since he's gotten injuries, though. Connors' fire was never tamed, even when he slipped down the rankings due to his age. The amount of non-stop fire Connors had inside him, year after year after year, was incredible.
     
    #7
  8. GOAT BAAH!!!

    GOAT BAAH!!! Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,279
    Location:
    New York
    Agreed. You get pegged as either a classless and unsportsmanlike jerk or soft PC robot. These guys can't win with the press.
     
    #8
  9. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Connors wouldn't give a damn about the press. It didn't bother him in his time, and it wouldn't bother him now.
     
    #9
  10. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,779

    Sampras hit a serve at Agassi, not a return.


    Besides, I think Connors has a point here. Rivalries back then were deeply ingrained. Players actually hated each other. Nowadays, everyone is too politically correct and friendly that they can't develop that hatred and true rivalries can't gain any traction.

    This isn't a commentary on the quality of today's tennis vs. back then. It's just that the players don't have the same mental disposition towards their opponents as they did 30-40 years ago. There are no players like Connors, McEnroe, Nastase, etc. nowadays. Everyone is just so professional and friendly. So be it.
     
    #10
  11. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,395
    Maybe some players would have a beer with each other before Connors and McEnroe but not all of them.

    Pancho Gonzalez was scary apparently to play but I've read that he may be scarier in the locker after the match if he lost. I've read stories about him going up into the stands after hecklers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd0gJzm_EQY
     
    #11
  12. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    17,159
    Location:
    Toronto
    Ya I heard he was a total ARSE....though it never worked on Hoad.
     
    #12
  13. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,879
    Hewitt and Chela had a hate for eachother for a while after Chela spat towards him during a match.

    The Hewitt v Chela Incident
    Video(3rd on the list)
    article


    Pat Cash absolutely hated Lendl, especially after Lendl broke his new shoes. Here is the story from his biography(good book):

    Pat Cash, Ivan Lendl and the 'Shoebreaker' incident.

    Arrogance has always been Ivan Lendl's style, and amazingly for a Czech guy
    who went to live in the United States and actually took on American
    citizenship, Lendl was unquestionably a racist.
    Around the mid- to late 1980's we had quite a few black players on the tour.
    Arthur Ashe had long since retired, but from America there were Chip Hooper,
    Lloyd Bourne, Rodney Harmon, Todd Nelson and Bryan Shelton. Of course there
    was also Yannick Noah, and from Nigeria, though he was educated in Texas,
    there was Nduka Duke Odizor, a legendary cheat but off court a lovely guy.
    Lendl would say the most offensive things, and didn't care if any of them
    were within earshot. Sitting in the locker room or players restaurants, he
    used to make the cruellest racial jokes, all with not the faintest sense of
    remorse.

    Homosexuals were another brunt of his jokes. For instance, there was an
    Australian guy who once worked for the ATP and is now a journalist; I'm not
    100 per cent sure whether he was gay or not, but if he was, it certainly
    wasn't any of my business, or indeed Ivan Lendl's. Yet day in, day out, this
    poor bloke used to take a fearful hammering from Lendl's idea of humour.
    What could he say back? If he had told the world number one to **** off,
    then he would have lost his job.

    But the day Lendl decided to have a joke at my expense was the day he made a
    big mistake. Not only did he run into somebody who didn't give a damn about
    his reputation or his ranking, he also earned himself a fierce enemy who
    would take great delight in getting even with him at a place that really
    mattered a few years later. As I recall, the incident happened early in my
    career, when I was only just 18 years old, and fresh from the junior world
    number one, in terms of the full tour I was still very much a new kid on the
    block.

    Lendl had taken over the world number one spot a couple of months earlier
    and quite rightly thought of himself as a big star. Nevertheless I was
    feeling kind of special as well. I had just signed a deal to wear tennis
    shoes made by the Italian firm Diadora, and had been given a very unique
    gift. One of my great sporting heroes of the time was the legendary 400m
    hurdler Edwin Moses, who was another, but much more celebrated, Diadora
    client. In honour of Moses, the company had made him some special Crimson
    red leather jogging shoes. Nowadays there are all different types of
    coloured athletic footwear, such as Michael Johnson's golden spikes and
    David Beckham's silver soccer boots. Back then, however, red leather jogging
    shoes were unheard of, and to make their new signing feel wanted, Diadora
    had presented me with a pair.

    They were my pride and joy. I loved them, and one afternoon I was sitting on
    a bench in the Monte Carlo Country Club locker room talking to Paul McNamee.
    I had already lost in the qualifying rounds of the tournament but was
    hanging around because Monte Carlo in the European spring is not an
    unpleasant place to spend a few days training. The actual setting of the
    tennis courts is one of the most beautiful in the world. They are terraced,
    climbing above the clear blue Mediterranean, and if you look across the bay
    there is the designer Karl Lagefeld's villa standing on the headland.

    I was minding my own business when in walked Lendl, and he instantly took a
    huge amusement in the red shoes on my feet. He bent down, pulled the laces
    and ripped the shoes apart. There was no other way to describe it, he
    totally destroyed the things, and the little plastic bits that held the
    laces in place were pinging all over the locker room.
    Lendl thought it was absolutely hillarious. Like a great big bully at
    school, he was having a good time at the expense of one of the younger kids.
    But he didn't realise that this new boy wasn't going to take any of his
    Sh&t, and I absolutely flew at him in a fearful rage, and if Paul McNamee
    hadn't intervened very smartly, who is to say what would have happened.
    Never mind the red shoes, for me the red mist had come down, and I wanted to
    kill the world number one.

    Macca had his arms around my chest pinning me back, but I was still shouting
    at Lendl, yelling what a despicable Bas$$$d he was, and how I would punch
    his lights out once I got the chance. All through it, Lendl was looking at
    me with the expression that suggested, you cannot do this to me because I am
    the number one. He really did think he could do anything he wanted. There
    were a few players in the locker room who just missed the incident, and
    several of them have since told me that they truly wished I had given Lendl
    a really good hiding. From that day on I disliked the guy intensely, and
    always referred to him as Mr Shoebreaker.

    He was always so conceited, so superior and always used to put people down;
    he would regularly berate me about my game, and say I possessed so many
    technical and fundamental faults. To me, he was too unfunny for words, and I
    always wanted to make him really suffer. That was why I enjoyed beating him
    at Wimbledon so much. It was the one major title he never won, but craved so
    much.
     
    #13
  14. Outbeyond

    Outbeyond Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Messages:
    8,074
    Location:
    New Joisey, USA
    That's one helluva story by Cash about Lendl....
     
    #14
  15. fedhingis515

    fedhingis515 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    685
    It's mostly Federer v. Djokovic's parents.
     
    #15
  16. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916


    Yeah I'm sure Marcelos Rios and Nasty Nastase pissed a ton of people because they were American-Bred. Same with that Lendl guy too (Lendl as good as he was, was not very likable).
     
    #16
  17. RCizzle65

    RCizzle65 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,928
    I don't think Federer and Djokovic hate each other....what's the deal with Soderling and Del Potro? (Jeez this sounds like a gossip site now, lmao)
     
    #17
  18. namelessone

    namelessone Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    9,745
    You think it's a coincidence that Connors and Nastase were best buddies on tour at the time? :)

    I like Nasty very much, he is my countryman and a legend of tennis, but there's no denying that he was an a-hole many times. He was both entertaining and annoying.

    Anyway, it's funny to see what Connors says about soft rivalries.

    McEnroe endlessly whining on court,arguing with umps and Connors calling umps abortions. Yup, real men :)

    Look at how many people put Roddick down when he badmouths an umpire and Andy doesn't even come close to McEnroe.

    To me, it's good that tennis has gotten more professional. It's fine if you wanna kill eachother on court(it's expected) but bad blood off court and behaving in a rude manner to others? These dudes should realize that they are hitting a freaking ball over a net for a living and be appreciative of that. They should be chillaxed all the time outside of the court, no matter what. They are the lucky ones.

    I think today's players realize that it's not worth it. Even if you do dislike someone, it gets blown way way out of proportion by the media. Nadal and Soderling are still asked about their 2007 WB "thing" 4 F**KING YEARS later(and if they like eachother) and that's NOTHING compared to what guys from the 70's and 80's did on court. Or look at that whole Roddick-Djokovic thing.
     
    #18
  19. Ray Mercer

    Ray Mercer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Messages:
    793
    Connors was a whining scumbag.
     
    #19
  20. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916

    Nastase was so great because he was both a complete jerk and an amazing tennis player. By jerk I mean not like whining little jerk, I mean he was just a complete straight up a-hole at times.
     
    #20
  21. rafan

    rafan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    4,212
    The only cool I can detect on this tour is the Soderling/Nadal relationship. Having said that the good relationship between the players has not diminished the playing one bit. In fact it is more like a battle than ever. Rafa for instance has turned the tournaments into something that resembles what used to go on in ancient Rome in the coliseum's. In fact the Federer Nadal final at Wimbledon was surely the finest ever seen three years ago
     
    #21
  22. CMM

    CMM Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,713
    Nadal and Berdych get along well. It's been almost 5 years since that Madrid match. People should get over it. In fact, Berdych said last year that he voted for Rafa to get the SE Sportsmanship Award.
     
    #22
  23. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    1,830
    theres so much money in the game and the rules are so different now, players simply cant get away with what they used to do on and off the court.
     
    #23
  24. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,173
    Nasty, Connors, McEnroe, Muster are all the rage and added color and got people interest in tennis. In the U.S. tennis has been at the bottom for a while know in terms of interest in it. China has emerge as a new base for tennis.
     
    #24
  25. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Messages:
    26,016
    Location:
    Weak era
    IMO Connors is right,the guys today are so PC that it all comes down to at best slight indirect jabs but nothing in your face,it's boring.
     
    #25
  26. BULLZ1LLA

    BULLZ1LLA Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2,050
    (That is awesome, Pat Cash was the reason why Lendl didn't win the Career Grand Slam. Definitely makes up for the shoes, hardcore)
     
    #26
  27. roysid

    roysid Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,402
    well they were showing highlights of wimbledon of a match where
    - john mcenroe was arguing like hell.
    - jimmy connors at the other side was joking with a spectator saying like "see this jackass".
    - and during changeover, connors warned mcenroe with a pointed finger.
     
    #27
  28. mcr619619

    mcr619619 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    183
    LOL, but true, it's really rare to see mocking the opponents...
     
    #28
  29. JohnnyCracker

    JohnnyCracker Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Messages:
    696
    #29
  30. Li Ching Yuen

    Li Ching Yuen Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Messages:
    6,989
    Soderling - Del Potro Estoril 2011 was just downright hilarious.

    It was a complete ****fest.

    Soderling started fist pumping (the ridiculous kind) in Del Potro face after every point won while Del Potro was cursing in Spanish and eyeballing him the whole time across the net.

    That whole match I think Soderling was giving him the look and raising his fist way up and holding it there for quite a few seconds clearly to **** the other guy off.

    DelPo was just swinging his racket violently in air whenever he was making a small mistake.

    It was damn hilarious. Connors and Mac would've been proud I tell you.
     
    #30
  31. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    6,076
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    I kinda would like to see someone start some ****.

    Since Fed's on the backend of his career and isnt winning tons of titles anymore maybe he should be the one.

    Against Djoker maybe he could throw in a "Where is that loudmouth b!tch of a mother you have?"

    Against Nadal during Nadals service maybe he could throw in across the court a "Stop picking your @ss and serve the ball!!!"
     
    #31
  32. surfvland

    surfvland Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Yes, today's game is boring compared to the circus that used to take place on the court. The fact that today's tennis is turbo charged is the only redeeming quality.
     
    #32
  33. monique s

    monique s Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2010
    Messages:
    235
    Agree with you, they cannot do anything and the media is asking for more passion and when it happens, they crucify the players.
     
    #33
  34. iMpro

    iMpro New User

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    91
    He was arrogant too. Who cares about what he thinks? The main difference is that players these days have a little more class than they did, with a few exceptions. If he calls that "soft", too bad.
     
    #34
  35. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    I guess if players don't sue each other before a final in a GS, they must be soft.

    Connors' a tool.
     
    #35
  36. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,915
    #36
  37. Outbeyond

    Outbeyond Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Messages:
    8,074
    Location:
    New Joisey, USA
    Loved this clip!! So who actually won that match - Del Potro or Murray? Do you know?
     
    #37
  38. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,915
    Del Potro retired from the match after losing the first game of the third set, he said his back was hurting.
     
    #38

Share This Page