Originally Posted by tennischemist
In popularizing the game, I play tennis because my mom had a crush on Borg when she was a teenager and started playing tennis because of him. She's not from the US, though. Mac and Connors allegedly reinvigorated tennis in the US (according to my dad, at least, I wasn't alive). It's too difficult for me to say much about the Pro-era dudes because that's so far removed from anything I know about.
As far as influential otherwise, I feel that it has to be Arthur Ashe.
Ashe protested South Africa's Apartheid, raised awareness about heart disease and AIDS, and spearheaded the ATP.
Althea Gibson, Billie Jean King, perhaps Gottfried Von Cramm, and maybe Martina (I dunno how big of a deal her defection from the Iron Curtain to the US was).
Nice post, tennischemist.Much of the 1970īs teenagers were fortunate enough to be in the Golden Era of Tennis, and certainly Borg was the most popular household name in the world, even if in the US, Connors was just as much if not more popular.In Europe, japan,Australia every body was going crazy about that punk tennis player who changed everything with his top spin, 2 handed backhand and his actorīs looks.
Ashe had a political side that went beyond sport.Just like Ali.It was a period full of charachters, like Pele,Cruyff,Ali,Mercky,Nicklaus,Sevvy,Jabbar,Chamb erlin and many more and it was easy to just get passionated about sport.
One question...why did you mention Von Cramm? he was a great player and had a sad personal situation during Hitlerīs days but I would never say he was a main charachter for our sport.