Wilander vs Connors?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Pebbles10, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Pebbles10

    Pebbles10 New User

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    Did Connors win over Mats Wilander in a competition match?

    I have heard that Wilander had 8-0 over connors....

    I wonder why Connors had such a hard time against Mats.
     
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  2. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Simply put--age. Connors is 12 years older.

    They first played when Wilander was in 1984, nearly in his prime. Wilander was 20 and had won three slams, Connors was 32. After that it just got worse.

    Connors was on the way down by then.

    Imagine two overlapping career curves: Connors's career is descending 1984-88. Wilander's is peaking in 1988 when he won three slams. By 1988 Wilander is 24; Connors is 36.

    The odds were stacked against Connors.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  3. Stuart S

    Stuart S New User

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    I am almost certain Connors won one match in the mid-to-late 1980s. I will need to check it out. I will get back to you!
     
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  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Wilander must have been a bad matchup for Jimbo.His looping ball, slowly changing pace, " sleeping" the match from the baseline...just the contrary to Lendl, who tried to overpower Connors and got overpowered himself...

    Plus Matt´s serve was pretty soft, that deprived Connors´return to be a weapon ( as it was against Mc Enroe or Lendl)
     
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  5. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Wilander was a bit like the second coming of Borg! Jimmy sees off Borg (in his own mind), and then has to contend with another young, patient, dogged counter-puncher with good groundstrokes and stamina to burn just as he's going over the hill himself.
     
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  6. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Suntory cup 1986

    Connors beat wilander 6-4 6-0.

    Connors also beat wilander at Beaver creek In 1983 and 1985, both times in straight sets
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  7. Stuart S

    Stuart S New User

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    Thank you Timnz,

    That's the one I was thinking of! :)

    Incidentally, although Wilander clearly won the H2H count, I don't think Connors respected Wilander all that much. I recall at least one occasion, maybe more, when Connors appeared to criticise him for not giving every match 100% all of the time. I think he said this around 1983, and possible later also.
     
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  8. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Connors did criticise Wilander for not always giving his all, but Mats is a different person from Jimmy with a different philosophy on tennis. McEnroe also criticised Wilander, saying he got the impression that Wilander wanted to inherit the number 1 ranking instead of going out there and taking it.

    Connors was Wilander's idol when he was young, not Borg. Wilander said "You idolise people who have qualities you don't have", obviously referring Connors' fight whereas Borg had a similar demeanour on court to Wilander.
     
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  9. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Any other wins of connors over wilander?

    Apart from those 3 I listed - suntory cup and two at beaver creek, is there any others? It seems that connors only beat wilander at invitational tournaments, though i am sure they played hard. Perhaps in the semis of suntory or beaver creek in other years or the semis of some other invitational tournament? Historians?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  10. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Those were exos. Wilander never won an exo vs Connors.
     
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  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Connors, the Big Mouth.
     
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  12. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    i remember watching a connors tv espn special and they interviewed wilander and he remembered -

    he first met connors when they had a practice session together at the french open when he first came on tour (maybe 82 or 83?) and mats said on the changeovers jimmy kept trash talking under his breath and mats couldnt believe he was doing this in a PRACTICE SET..haha. mats was laughing about it when he was remembering the story..

    anyway i think mats was a bad match up for connors. both baseliners but mats had much more margin for error with his topspin.
     
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  13. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    They weren't exo's, they were invitational tournaments. Exo's are typically one night stands which arent often played seriously.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  14. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Yes but they weren't considered official ATP tournys.
     
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  15. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    True, but they usually had at least 3 rounds or so....Suntory was one of the better ones. I recall seeing that match w/Jimmy & Mats. Close first set, but Connors got the momentum and ran away w/it. Not sure how much Mats was trying once Jimmy took the upper hand; honestly, it was hard to tell when Connors was ripping winners all over the place. It was fast indoor carpet, which favored Jimmy's game. And for whatever, reason, he was awfully eager.
     
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  16. Pebbles10

    Pebbles10 New User

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    Wilander was never good in any matches that was not for "real".

    He was as best in the slams and Davis Cup.
     
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  17. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Neither was the Pepsi Grand Slam or any WCT tournaments. I seriously doubt anyone watching Connors-Wilander Suntory CUP on national TV thought it didn't count.

    and the atp site is constantly updating older players records, who knows this head to head may officially change someday.
     
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  18. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Yeah I agree. They were important matches but it did go to show that Wilander never lost an official ATP match but he lost every single non ATP match to Connors. Coincident? I think not. That's why Connors and Mac called Wilander out on not always trying.
     
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  19. Pebbles10

    Pebbles10 New User

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    Just look at the year 1988.....wilander won AO, Key Biscayne(over Connors in the final), FO and USO. He played great in the Davis cup wins over Leconte and Noah.

    He was at his peak when it was big matches.
     
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Wilander was a smart guy who knew how to become a nightmare for guys like Vilas, Lendl and Connors.In the case of Connors, he even owned him at Jimmy´s favourite hard courts like Cincinatti...
     
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  21. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Vilas beated Wilander easily in Madrid 82. A few weeks later, he played against him in FO final, leaded 6/1 ans set point on tie-break of the second set. He lost the second set, the match, and lost 6 or 7 times consecutively against Wilander without winning a set. He was very unlucky in this FO final : if he won the second set, he would have won the match.
     
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  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    But he didn´t, and Wilander beat him handily at Barcelona´s final in straight sets, a few months after that FO final.
     
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  23. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Another win of connors over wilander

    1983 Newport Beach Tennis Club High Stakes (CA, USA) august, 3-7 (thaks Carlo Giovanni Colussi)

    Connors bear Wilander in the semi finals 7-5 6-4

    So that makes 4 wins connors had over wilander - all in invitational tournaments. All in the 1983 to 1986 period. Beaver creek 1983 and 1985, newport Beach 1983, suntory tokyo 1986 - all in straight sets interestingly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
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  24. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Laver was 18 years older than Borg and had a few wins over him.
     
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  25. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    this match-up had a lot to do with Mats under appreciated speed/ footwork. The man could run down those hard flat groundies, and float back that ball either with a one handed slice or soft loops - just often enough . Mats could also reach those approaches and mave plenty of passes. You can't do that vs Jimmy, if you don't move and change direction very quickly and efficiently throughout the entire match. Connors's game made a lot of players look slow, awkward and amateurish. Not Wilander, he made things look easier than the ever were for the rest.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
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  26. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Connors always seemed to go at those "stakes" or invitational matches pretty wholeheartedly....$$$ on the line, I suppose! I know I saw one of those Beaver Creek matches and the Suntory match. Good stuff. I do think if Mats and Jimmy squared off more often, and maybe Jimmy a few years younger, they'd make quite a rivalry.
     
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  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Certainly Connors was the top guy that took big time unofficial fuente quite seriously . His 1982 Chicago final vs Mac is a clàssic and so were Vegas winner takes all matches vs Laver and Newcombe
     
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