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Old 11-07-2007, 10:34 AM   #5
Moose Malloy
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,841

Connors did???
Yeah, its interesting that Connors & Mac are considered such jerks, yet I saw them both display some sportsmanship that would be unfathomable by anyone today. When Borg played Mac at the 1980 masters, he got a bad call that got he complained about(extremely out of character for Borg) During the next point, Mac intentionally hit a ball into the crowd to give Borg a point!

Who knows if these sort of 'make up calls' by players was common back then, but it does show that Mac & Connors were capable of more than fair play.

But it is worth noting the generally amateurish nature of linesman back then, they weren't trained like they are today, basically they were just members of the local club. Borg, Vilas, John Lloyd have remarked that bad linecalls were very common at events in the 70s. So in a way you can understand the rage of mac & connors, they were playing for millions of dollars with officials who really didn't have a clue. It took a while for tennis to get more professional(have touring umpires, etc)

And Newcombe's endurance really deserves separate mention.

He played 6 matches, and got just one day of rest -- in between his first and second matches.
Its been a while since I've watched this, I assume the commentators mentioned this? I wonder what the schedule of slams was like in the 70s, as I watch more old matches, I see that it was different, & maybe not just cause of the weather. It seems like Wimbledon didn't have finals on Sunday until the mid-70s, I wonder if it was always a 2 week event? urban?

Was watching Rosewall-Smith '74 W SF, the commentators were talking about Rosewall having to play so many long matches in such a short amount of time that week. After your post, I wonder how many other crazy schedules players had to endure in the early open era. Kinda puts the criticism of the US Open & Super Saturday into perspective.
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