Originally Posted by Benhur
Meaning that balls were sometimes checked. Barazzutti says that, if memory serves him well, it would have meant a point to go up 5-3 in the third set. Says he saw the ball clearly out. Turned around to talk to the linesman to come see the mark, and right away, while he had his back toward the net, Connors ran over to his side and erased the mark. http://www.repubblica.it/2009/05/rub...i-connors.html
Connors later claimed he didn’t remember doing any such thing
, according to an article in SI in 1978.
“[…] the bluster and forced antics culminating in the mortifying episode at Forest Hills last year when Connors ran around the net onto the other side of the court and erased a ball mark that his opponent, Corrado Barazzutti, was citing as evidence of a bad call. (Connors says now that he blacked out on his feet and doesn't recall the incident.)”
It’s astonishing to me that such behavior went unpunished and is considered "funny". And it seems even more amazing (not less) in the context of the fact that umpires back then were supposed to be stricter and quicker than today to give warnings even for small things like toweling off. But when it came to the Connors antics (and later McEnroe’s) they just let them get away with incredible tantrums and abuse. Isn’t that odd? I mean, isn’t that really odd? Strictness for the small sins, but systematic leniency for the outrageous ones. Toweling off is awful, but “you’re an abortion” or running to erase marks on the other side of the net is okay. It took more than a decade of tantrums for Mac to be defaulted in Australia. And it took until 1986 for Connors to be defaulted for “aggravated behavior” in Boca Raton. Ah, but toweling off was a serious crime. How does that explain or excuse the fact that Connors was allowed to do such things? It doesn’t. To me, the Barazzutti episode is by far the most disgusting thing I've ever seen done by a big player on a tennis court, worse than the abortion episode, worse than Mac's smashing glasses, worse than any tantrum by anyone. No wonder Connors says he forgot all about it.
Probably because Connors and McEnroe generated INCREDIBLE revenue. Because unless they played their event had no legitimacy as a grand slam really. And of course if he really angered Connors maybe Connors would be able to use his clout to ruin the Umpire's career. And the Umpire was an American so was probably biased.
Federer swore during a match 5-6 years ago and the umpire and the crowd just laughed. That and the connors incident used to be on youtube, strange they've been taken off isn't it? And then there's Serena Williams threatening to Murder a lineswoman and beat up an Umpire, far worse than ANYTHING McEnroe or Connors ever did (and that's saying something!).