Connors, for two reasons. !) kept competing out of love for the game, even when he really had no real chance to win the big one, thrilling us until he was nearly 40. Sampras, in this regard, left me cold. His need to go out on top only means he had love for himself, not for the game. 2) Connors never went through the narcissistic fanfare of announcing retirement, just gradually played less and less until he didn't play at all.
"Where's the REST of me?"
Ronald Reagan, in "Kings Row"