During Connors' year, he wasn't playing against the very best European players in compare to today. It's easy for him to say the American lack killer instinct b/c of what he has accomplished. There's nothing Roddick, Fish, or Ginepri can do when the European rules tennis. The Australian is facing the same situation. I don't hear Laver's complaining. It's a global sports and it's tough for today's player trying to emulate past champions. Fierce competitor like Connors is one thing, but that doesn't translate into slam materials if skills/talent doesn't measure up with the top players, you can't win. Hewitt is a fierce competitor like Connors, but he wasn't good enough. Chang was a fierce competitor, but after his FO win at 17, he didn't win squat afterward.
I wonder if Connors ever thought about being in Roddick's shoes, b/c he would have never accomplished like he did in the 70s/80s. Fed/Nadal and all of the top players wouldn't allowed that to happen.
Tier1(goat): Federer; Tier 1.5: Laver, Sampras, Nadal, Borg;
Tier 2: Lendl, Connors, Rosewall; Tier 2.5: McEnroe, Agassi