Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Pebbles10, Dec 1, 2012.
Why did Wilander beat him every time?
if connors met wilander before 1984, he would certainly have done better...
never defeated becker either.
Connors beat Wilander a number of times
1983 Newport Beach Tennis Club High Stakes (CA, USA) august, 3-7 (thaks Carlo Giovanni Colussi)
Connors beat Wilander in the semi finals 7-5 6-4
Suntory open in Japan 1986 Connors beat wilander 6-4 6-0.
Connors also beat wilander at Beaver creek In 1983 and 1985, both times in straight sets
These were non-ATP tournaments but still good wins. suntory in particular was a hotly contested tournament with many top players competing.
So 4 wins by Connors over Wilander, all in straight sets.
In 2000 A stadium tennis court was constructed in the existing Central Park Ice Rink (Wollman Rink) and promotional and sponsor entertainment events were conducted at the nearby Tavern on the Green. Mikael Pernfors defeated Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Yannick Noah on his way to the final in which he defeated Henri LeConte for the title.
I went to a match there in 2000 or 2001 and saw Connors 48 buzzsaw Wilander (36) not long off the tour something like 6-3, 6-0..on HAR TRU. I was siting very close in a small arena and Connor's shots were still unbelievable..Line drives inches over the net and inches fron the baseline..i think Connors also had a bad foot at the time and needed surgery.
Don't jump on me for this but some guy did an extensive analysis that rated Connors the best player ever
We considered all matches played by professional tennis players between 1968 and2010, and, on the basis of this data set, constructed a directed and weighted network of contacts. The resulting graph showed complex features, typical of many real networked systems studied in literature. We developed a diffusion algorithm and applied it to the tennis contact network in order to rank professional players. Jimmy Connors was identified as the best player in the history of tennis according to our ranking procedure. We performed a complete analysis by determining the best players on specific playing surfaces as well as the best ones in each of the years covered by the data set. The results of our technique were compared to those of two other well established methods. In general, we observed that our ranking method performed better: it had a higher predictive power and did not require the arbitrary introduction of external criteria for the correct assessment of the quality of players. The present work provides novel evidence of the utility of tools and methods of network theory in real applications.
The rest of the analysis is here
Wilander always said that he tried to emulate Connors' game, not Borg's. I can't see that on the FH, they seem to have nothing in common on that side. Not sure what Mats would have meant specifically. On the BH there's more commonality. With both men, their DTL backhand was arguably their strongest shot.
But regardless of Wilander's style, I think that if he did base his game on Connors', then he must have studied it for years. And he would have ended up, at least, understanding Jimmy's game very well. Perhaps enough to give him an extra edge when they met.
Because Wilander > Connors
According to objective ranking criteria, Connors is 7th in the open era and Wilander is 12th.
well they played similar games but wilander had a better margin for error he wouldnt miss a ball all day so i can see how wilander could get the best of him esp since connors was in his 30s. also i dont know how serious wilander took exhibition matches so i wouldnt consider those tooooo much
They weren't exhibition matches, they were tournaments. Just not atp sanctioned ones - Suntory especially was hotly contested.
folks who have seen more of Borg, will freely shred this post, but here's my comparison.
I think wiilander had many of the attributes of Borg, that frustrated Connors. I think Wilander's serve and his big point mental game were perhaps weaker than Borgs, and Borg was the fastest man in the sport. Wilander had more variety and a better tactical sense on when to approach and where to put the volley. Wilander's instincts on when to be opportunistic were sooo good. His on court acumen was very like Jimmy Connors but with more margin off the ground.
Wilander most be some of the worst top player to play matches that was not Grand slams or ATP.
He was far better then connors in the Davis Cup final on red clay in 1984 and he beat him in the final in key biscayne in 1988.
?? no one had better opportunistic instincts than Connors....Wilander definitely had some similarities to Connors and had some Borg-like attributes as well. Connors was definitely older, and perhaps less patient, when he played Wilander in those events. Still, there were some good matches. That one in Key Biscayne was a dandy. The exos, were modified tournaments...Connors played like his life (or his wallet?) depended on it. Maybe Wilander not so much? having seen a couple of those (Beaver Creek and Suntory) it was clear Connors was playing well...I do recall Suntory being a fast indoor surface, which definitely favored Connors over Wilander; the 2nd set was a blitz. But Connors could do that when he was on, particularly on faster surfaces.
True. Mats said this many times; he was a big fan of Jimmy's. I think you can see some commonalities....a lot of persistence, controlled aggression, fine court coverage. And, both had very good backhands. They were both very versatile and could adapt to their conditions. Tho' I'd say Connors was less fast to adapt and got better on this w/age, perhaps to shore up his game as he got older. But Copnnors was a real lion...he had that fire in the gut that I never quite saw from Wilander...maybe only in that USO win over Lendl.
I agree with this and would add that Connors just didn't like hitting the kind of ball that Wilander gave him. I watched Wilander courtside several times late in his career. He hit many high-looping topspin shots with little pace, and was good at annoying and frustrating opponents by mixing the pace, and not letting them get a good rhythm. I think this is the sort of opponent that Connors did not like playing, especially from the forehand side.
Not one word of the above do I find fault. Connors was as shrewd and bold as they come with great instincts on when to attack. His advantage over Wilander as an opportunist, were those flat hard penetrating approach shots. I think Wilander was a bit better at the net.
From what I remember from the cobwebs of my mind, Suntory was one of the bigger tournaments of the year.
Connors also won almost every tournament he played at altitude. I always thought that this showed his capabilitites, because the altitude significantly reduces margin of error (balls fly out easily) and his flat strokes never had a big margin of error even at sea level. He was just incredibly precise with those hard-hit balls.
The Suntory match, in that 2nd set, just showed what Connors could do when he was "on", even at an advanced age....he was hitting winners all over the place (ala Agassi) with Wilander just shaking his head. Never thought about the altitude factor...I'm guessing it helped by making the balls play even faster.
wilander hit top spin and Connors flat.No similarity at all, IMO.
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