A question all Connors fans have wondered but never asked....

kiki

Banned
my top 5 Connors/Borg matches in terms of quality
1/Masters 1979
2/USO 1976
3/Wimbledon 1981 and Wimbledon 1977
5/Pepsi 1977
 

JAY1

Semi-Pro
The Vitas match I missed watching was his 1979 USO sf against Tanner, when he trailed 0-2 to win, as well as his 1979 IO win against Vilas.

Doy you have any memories of them?
1979 US Open SF -
Vitas Gerulaitis d. Roscoe Tanner 36 26 76 63 63
(From 36 26 65) (1hr 21min) (Quality: Excellent)

Kiki, I know where you can get this match......
Are you interested?
 

kiki

Banned
1979 US Open SF -
Vitas Gerulaitis d. Roscoe Tanner 36 26 76 63 63
(From 36 26 65) (1hr 21min) (Quality: Excellent)

Kiki, I know where you can get this match......
Are you interested?

Starting at 6-5? maybe...
 

JAY1

Semi-Pro
thanks, still missing the Masters match Connors/Borg

which are your top 5 Borg/Mc, Connors/Mc and Borg/Connors matches?
You know this DVD guy then?

1, us open 76 Connors v Borg
2, Wimbledon 81 Borg v Connors
3, Wimbledon 82 Connors v Mac
4, Wimbledon 77 Connors v Borg
5, us open 80 Mac v Connors
 

kiki

Banned
You know this DVD guy then?

1, us open 76 Connors v Borg
2, Wimbledon 81 Borg v Connors
3, Wimbledon 82 Connors v Mac
4, Wimbledon 77 Connors v Borg
5, us open 80 Mac v Connors

I meant 5 per each rivalry¡¡¡

anyway, thanks a lot for the link.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Urban, here are all the matches between Connors and Borg that I know of:

1 - November 1973 - Stockholm SF - Borg 6-4 3-6 7-6
2 - August 1974 - Indianapolis F - Connors 5-7 6-3 6-4
3 - September 1975 - US Open SF - Connors 7-5 7-5 7-5
4 - November 1975 - Stockholm SF - Connors 6-2 7-6
5 - February 1976 - Philadelphia F - Connors 7-6 6-4 6-0
6 - March 1976 - Palm Springs SF - Connors 6-4 6-1
7 - September 1976 - US Open F - Connors 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4
8 - September/October 1976 - Caracas RR - Connors 6-4 5-7 6-3
9 - January 1977 - Pepsi Grand Slam F - Borg 6-4 5-7 6-3
10 - July 1977 - Wimbledon F - Borg 3-6 6-2 6-1 5-7 6-4
11 - January 1978 - Masters F - Connors - 6-4 1-6 6-4
12 - January 1978 - Pepsi Grand Slam F - Borg 7-6 3-6 6-1
13 - April 1978 - Tokyo (Suntory Cup) F - Borg 6-1 6-2
14 - July 1978 - Wimbledon F - Borg 6-2 6-2 6-3
15 - September 1978 - US Open F - Connors 6-4 6-2 6-2
16 - September 1978 - Buenos Aires F - Connors 5-7 6-3 6-3
17 - February 1979 - Pepsi Grand Slam F - Borg 6-2 6-3
18 - April 1979 - Las Vegas F - Borg 6-3 6-2
19 - July 1979 - Wimbledon SF - Borg 6-2 6-3 6-2
20 - November 1979 - Tokyo Indoor F - Borg 6-2 6-2

21 - December 1979 - Frankfurt RR - Borg 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4
22 - December 1979 - WCT Challenge Cup F - Borg 6-4 6-2 2-6 6-4
23 - January 1980 - Masters RR - Borg 3-6 6-3 7-6
24 - February 1980 - Salisbury RR - Borg 6-3 6-1
25 - March 1980 - Copenhagen (Europe vs. USA) SF - Connors 6-4 6-2
26 - January 1981 - Masters SF - Borg 6-4 6-7 6-3
27 - February 1981 - Toronto (Molson Challenge) RR - Connors 7-5 6-3
28 - July 1981 - Wimbledon SF - Borg 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-4
29 - September 1981 - US Open SF - Borg 6-2 7-5 6-4
30 - July 1982 - Industry Hills F - Connors 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-7 6-2

31 - July 1982 - Richmond - Connors 6-4 3-6 7-5 6-3
32 - September 1982 - Ottawa - Borg 1-6 6-3 6-3 1-6 6-2
33 - October 1982 - Montreal (Molson Challenge) F - Connors 6-4 6-3
34 - November 1982 - Seattle - Connors 6-4 3-6 7-5
35 - November 1982 - Los Angeles - Connors 6-3 2-6 6-2
36 - November 1982 - Vancouver - Connors 6-2 5-7 6-4
37 - November 1982 - San Francisco - Connors 7-5 7-6
38 - January 1983 - Chicago RR - Borg 6-4 1-6 6-2
39 - February 1983 - Baton Rouge - Connors 6-7 6-4 6-3
40 - February 1983 - Providence - Connors 6-4 6-4
41 - April 1983 - Seoul - Connors 5-7 6-1 4-6 6-4 7-6
42 - April 1983 - Tokyo (Suntory Cup) F - Connors 6-3 6-4

The matches in bold took place either at sanctioned or invitational tournaments.

So I have their tournament h2h at 18-15 to Borg, and their overall h2h at 23-19 to Connors.

Very interesting. They really were quite competitive. I always enjoyed watching them play. It was like a chess match. Anyone tally up their matches on the Seniors Tour in addition to the above? That would likely tip it more to Connors. Seems like Connors had more "fire in his belly" over the long haul, despite the fact that Borg won some really critical matches over Jimmy during their heyday.
 

kiki

Banned
what was the real relationship between Borg and Connors? I mean, the locker room relation, which is the one that counts ( not post match conferences or statements)

We all know that Connors and Mac couldn´t bear each other ( although they were more similar than imagined) and we also know Borg and Mc Enroe were going along very well, in spite of their fierce on court rivalry...but Connors and Borg is really intriguing.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
The Vitas match I missed watching was his 1979 USO sf against Tanner, when he trailed 0-2 to win, as well as his 1979 IO win against Vilas.

Doy you have any memories of them?

The fight-back against Tanner at the 1979 US Open was great stuff. Tanner was riding on a high following his blistering QF win over Borg, and for the first 2 sets was killing Vitas with his big serving and power hitting, and he was continually pulverising Vitas's weak 2nd serve. Tanner then broke at the start of the 3rd set when Vitas foot-faulted. Vitas was angry and try to hit a ball at the line judge who made that call, but missed.

Then somehow following that incident he raised his game. He began to serve so well after looking shaky with it before, to the extent that Tanner was barely winning any points on his service games. Plus he started chipping low returns, diffusing Tanner's power and giving him no pace or angle on the first volley. The match transformed from being a power contest on Tanner's terms, to a cat and mouse contest on Vitas's terms.

Overall I always thought that Vitas was a clearly a more talented and tactically versatile player than Tanner, and he began to use his full repertoire of shots to bamboozle him.

He dominated their h2h, as Tanner liked a steady rhythm of pace and power, and like Mac, Vitas didn't give him that. In most of those matches, Tanner actually made a strong start, initially overwhelming Vitas with his power, before Vitas began to deal with it, switch the pace a lot and throw junk and other things at him. Tanner just wasn't tactically flexible enough to deal with that.

The 5 hour 1979 Rome final was so tense and close for the first 4 sets until Vitas finally pulled ahead to win the 5th set easily. Outlasting Vilas in a 5 hour match on clay is no mean feat, and Tiriac said afterwards that man wasn't tough or fit enough. Vitas generally played an attacking style that day, as he didn't want to get bogged down in too many long, patient, gruelling rallies. However he showcased his versatility by switching his tactics various times during the match. In particular after falling 2 sets to 1 behind, he began to hit more dropshots and low volleys, forcing Vilas to run more after previously looking comfortable camping at the baseline.

The crowd was very noisy that day and was strongly backing Vilas as you would expect, but Vitas didn't let that effect him and dealt with it pretty well.
 
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kiki

Banned
The fight-back against Tanner at the 1979 US Open was great stuff. Tanner was riding on a high following his blistering QF win over Borg, and for the first 2 sets was killing Vitas with his big serving and power hitting, and he was continually pulverising Vitas's weak 2nd serve. Tanner then broke at the start of the 3rd set when Vitas foot-faulted. Vitas was angry and try to hit a ball at the line judge who made that call, but missed.

Then somehow following that incident he raised his game. He began to serve so well after looking shaky with it before, to the extent that Tanner was barely winning any points on his service games. Plus he started chipping low returns, diffusing Tanner's power and giving him no pace or angle on the first volley. The match transformed from being a power contest on Tanner's terms, to a cat and mouse contest on Vitas's terms.

Overall I always thought that Vitas was a clearly a more talented and tactically versatile player than Tanner, and he began to use his full repertoire of shots to bamboozle him.

He dominated their h2h, as Tanner liked a steady rhythm of pace and power, and like Mac, Vitas didn't give him that. In most of those matches, Tanner actually made a strong start, initially overwhelming Vitas with his power, before Vitas began to deal with it, switch the pace a lot and throw junk and other things at him. Tanner just wasn't tactically flexible enough to deal with that.

The 5 hour 1979 Rome final was so tense and close for the first 4 sets until Vitas finally pulled ahead to win the 5th set easily. Outlasting Vilas in a 5 hour match on clay is no mean feat, and Tiriac said afterwards that man wasn't tough or fit enough. Vitas generally played an attacking style that day, as he didn't want to get bogged down in too many long, patient, gruelling rallies. However he showcased his versatility by switching his tactics various times during the match. In particular after falling 2 sets to 1 behind, he began to hit more dropshots and low volleys, forcing Vilas to run more after previously looking comfortable camping at the baseline.

The crowd was very noisy that day and was strongly backing Vilas as you would expect, but Vitas didn't let that effect him and dealt with it pretty well.

Thanks, great description and that is more or less how I figured Vitas played to win those two memorable clashes against two very strong opponents.

Yes, he dominated Tanner, with an easy three sets win in their last match, at 1982 Wimbledon (Tanner was in poor shape the whole 1982 season, anyhow)
as for Vilas, that is a tribute to how fit and well trained Gerulaitis ALWAYS was.Some people think he was all time partying out and having fun, but he was very, very professional as well, and was one of the tour´s workhorses ( otherwise, he wouldn´t have been Borg´s favourite training mate).

Curiously, Vilas beat Vitas in the NY Masters first match when Vitas , playing the best two matches of his life against Mac and Connors, reached the finals.

IMO, Vitas had his best year from the USO F in 1979 to the FOF in 1980, with the Masters just in the middle

He was a top player for 6 years, from 1977 to 1982 and his peak was exactly right in the middle ( late 79-early 80).For some matches of that period, I honestly think he was the second best player in the world, second to Borg ( his closest friend and executor at the same time)
 

eldanger25

Hall of Fame
The fight-back against Tanner at the 1979 US Open was great stuff. Tanner was riding on a high following his blistering QF win over Borg, and for the first 2 sets was killing Vitas with his big serving and power hitting, and he was continually pulverising Vitas's weak 2nd serve. Tanner then broke at the start of the 3rd set when Vitas foot-faulted. Vitas was angry and try to hit a ball at the line judge who made that call, but missed.

Then somehow following that incident he raised his game. He began to serve so well after looking shaky with it before, to the extent that Tanner was barely winning any points on his service games. Plus he started chipping low returns, diffusing Tanner's power and giving him no pace or angle on the first volley. The match transformed from being a power contest on Tanner's terms, to a cat and mouse contest on Vitas's terms.

Overall I always thought that Vitas was a clearly a more talented and tactically versatile player than Tanner, and he began to use his full repertoire of shots to bamboozle him.

He dominated their h2h, as Tanner liked a steady rhythm of pace and power, and like Mac, Vitas didn't give him that. In most of those matches, Tanner actually made a strong start, initially overwhelming Vitas with his power, before Vitas began to deal with it, switch the pace a lot and throw junk and other things at him. Tanner just wasn't tactically flexible enough to deal with that.

The 5 hour 1979 Rome final was so tense and close for the first 4 sets until Vitas finally pulled ahead to win the 5th set easily. Outlasting Vilas in a 5 hour match on clay is no mean feat, and Tiriac said afterwards that man wasn't tough or fit enough. Vitas generally played an attacking style that day, as he didn't want to get bogged down in too many long, patient, gruelling rallies. However he showcased his versatility by switching his tactics various times during the match. In particular after falling 2 sets to 1 behind, he began to hit more dropshots and low volleys, forcing Vilas to run more after previously looking comfortable camping at the baseline.

The crowd was very noisy that day and was strongly backing Vilas as you would expect, but Vitas didn't let that effect him and dealt with it pretty well.

This is great, informative stuff, and evocatively written. Thanks very much.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
Thanks for the kind words guys.

After his heroics against Tanner, it was a shame that Vitas couldn't make the 1979 US Open final more competitive when he put in a flat performance. Saying that though a fast, fearless and hungry Mac was just too good at that tournament, and no-one around at the time was going to beat him in that sort of form that fortnight. It's funny that the crowd really wanted a Borg-Connors final, and even with two New Yorkers in the final were not happy and were booing.

About a month later, Vitas helped the USA win their Davis Cup semi-final away to Australia on grass in Sydney. In the opening rubber he produced another superb comeback to beat Edmondson 6-8 14-16 10-8 6-3 6-3, and then he sealed the tie by beating John Alexander 5-7 6-4 8-6 6-2 in the 4th rubber.

Vitas talked about how immensely proud he was of his performances during that tie, especially in the marathon match against Edmondson. It lasted for over 6 hours and he saved 3 match points in the 3rd set.

I think that those performances helped give his solo, tour career a boost. Davis Cup success can do that for players, see Djokovic after the 2010 final and Verdasco after the 2008 final in recent years. Soon afterwards at the January 1980 Masters he beat Mac before finally beating Connors in the semis (nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row). Then in the 1980 season he went on to score some more big wins over both players, beating Connors in their memorable 5 set RG semi-final when he needed 5 match points to put Jimbo away in that nervy 5th set, and beating Mac in the Pepsi Grand Slam semis and Forest Hills final on har-tru.

Maybe the best tennis I ever saw him play was when he beat Connors and Mac back to back to win the Toronto Molson Challenge in February 1981. In both matches he served incredibly well firing down plenty of aces and unreturnabls, and his forehand was also on fire as he kept passing them both easily time after time (Connors serve-volleyed a lot in their semi-final). Mac kept stalling the final as he continued to feud with the umpire, line judges and even fans, but Vitas didn't let that distract him.

His broadway Vitas showings at the US Open later that year were also great to watch. In the 4th round against Lendl he was sets to love up and a break up in the 3rd set. Lendl floored him a forehand to his forehead, and then mounted his fightback. He tried to repeat that trick in the 5th set, but Vitas ducked out of the way and grabbed the crucial break. He could have beaten a sub-par Mac in their 5 set semi-final, but he kept failing to convert break points, and both players lost their temper and berated the officials. At least 90% of the crowd wanted Vitas to win that one.
 
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kiki

Banned
Thanks for the kind words guys.

After his heroics against Tanner, it was a shame that Vitas couldn't make the 1979 US Open final more competitive when he put in a flat performance. Saying that though a fast, fearless and hungry Mac was just too good at that tournament, and no-one around at the time was going to beat him in that sort of form that fortnight. It's funny that the crowd really wanted a Borg-Connors final, and even with two New Yorkers in the final were not happy and were booing.

About a month later, Vitas helped the USA win their Davis Cup semi-final away to Australia on grass in Sydney. In the opening rubber he produced another superb comeback to beat Edmondson 6-8 14-16 10-8 6-3 6-3, and then he sealed the tie by beating John Alexander 5-7 6-4 8-6 6-2 in the 4th rubber.

Vitas talked about how immensely proud he was of his performances during that tie, especially in the marathon match against Edmondson. It lasted for over 6 hours and he saved 3 match points in the 3rd set.

I think that those performances helped give his solo, tour career a boost. Davis Cup success can do that for players, see Djokovic after the 2010 final and Verdasco after the 2008 final in recent years. Soon afterwards at the January 1980 Masters he beat Mac before finally beating Connors in the semis (nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row). Then in the 1980 season he went on to score some more big wins over both players, beating Connors in their memorable 5 set RG semi-final when he needed 5 match points to put Jimbo away in that nervy 5th set, and beating Mac in the Pepsi Grand Slam semis and Forest Hills final on har-tru.

Maybe the best tennis I ever saw him play was when he beat Connors and Mac back to back to win the Toronto Molson Challenge in February 1981. In both matches he served incredibly well firing down plenty of aces and unreturnabls, and his forehand was also on fire as he kept passing them both easily time after time (Connors serve-volleyed a lot in their semi-final). Mac kept stalling the final as he continued to feud with the umpire, line judges and even fans, but Vitas didn't let that distract him.

His broadway Vitas showings at the US Open later that year were also great to watch. In the 4th round against Lendl he was sets to love up and a break up in the 3rd set. Lendl floored him a forehand to his forehead, and then mounted his fightback. He tried to repeat that trick in the 5th set, but Vitas ducked out of the way and grabbed the crucial break. He could have beaten a sub-par Mac in their 5 set semi-final, but he kept failing to convert break points, and both players lost their temper and berated the officials. At least 90% of the crowd wanted Vitas to win that one.

And do not ever forget that epic Masters final he lost this time to Lendl,also in 1981 and also in New York,this time at the Madison,exactly 2 yrs after his first Masters final.
He was 2 sets and mp up but ended up losing the fifth
 
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Gizo

Hall of Fame
Yeah it was a shame that Vitas couldn't win that one. It would have been the biggest title of his career, and in his home city to boot. Lendl saved that match point with a very big 2nd serve followed by some very aggressive forehands. Like in their US Open match, he again floored Vitas with a stinging forehand to the forehead, though he claimed it was accidental.

In the first 2 sets and for much of the 3rd set, Vitas was getting to everything, hitting winners and stop volleys from seemingly every part of the court, anticipating Lendl's passing shots so well and killing his 2nd serves. But then Lendl grew in his confidence and began to find his range more and more, especially with his backhand timing which improved considerably as the match went on.

In that tournament there was also great drama in the all US RR group. Tanner had lost his first 2 matches and was already eliminated, but then put in a tremendous effort to win his final match against Connors to knock him out as well. He became annoyed by Connors's antics and behaviour during the match, yelling at him on the court a few times, and taking great pleasure in sending him home. All 3 sets went to tiebreaks and Tanner finally sealed it with his 6th match point.

His win sent Teltscher through to the semis instead, who hugged him and shook his hand in the interview room afterwards. Great stuff. Teltscher had earlier beaten McEnroe before nervously watching the Tanner-Connors match. Mac had already qualified for the semis after winning his first 2 matches, but had been wrongly told by the tournament director that he had already secured top spot when he hadn't. Naturally he partied and was hung-over for what he thought was a meaningless match against Teltscher. He was annoyed as that defeat meant that he had to face his arch nemesis at the time Lendl in the semis.
 
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kiki

Banned
Yeah it was a shame that Vitas couldn't win that one. It would have been the biggest title of his career, and in his home city to boot. Lendl saved that match point with a very big 2nd serve followed by some very aggressive forehands. Like in their US Open match, he again floored Vitas with a stinging forehand to the forehead, though he claimed it was accidental.

In the first 2 sets and for much of the 3rd set, Vitas was getting to everything, hitting winners and stop volleys from seemingly every part of the court, anticipating Lendl's passing shots so well and killing his 2nd serves. But then Lendl grew in his confidence and began to find his range more and more, especially with his backhand timing which improved considerably as the match went on.

In that tournament there was also great drama in the all US RR group. Tanner had lost his first 2 matches and was already eliminated, but then put in a tremendous effort to win his final match against Connors to knock him out as well. He became annoyed by Connors's antics and behaviour during the match, yelling at him on the court a few times, and taking great pleasure in sending him home. All 3 sets went to tiebreaks and Tanner finally sealed it with his 6th match point.

His win sent Teltscher through to the semis instead, who hugged him and shook his hand in the interview room afterwards. Great stuff. Teltscher had earlier beaten McEnroe before nervously watching the Tanner-Connors match. Mac had already qualified for the semis after winning his first 2 matches, but had been wrongly told by the tournament director that he had already secured top spot when he hadn't. Naturally he partied and was hung-over for what he thought was a meaningless match against Teltscher. He was annoyed as that defeat meant that he had to face his arch nemesis at the time Lendl in the semis.

deleted post
 
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kiki

Banned
Yeah it was a shame that Vitas couldn't win that one. It would have been the biggest title of his career, and in his home city to boot. Lendl saved that match point with a very big 2nd serve followed by some very aggressive forehands. Like in their US Open match, he again floored Vitas with a stinging forehand to the forehead, though he claimed it was accidental.

In the first 2 sets and for much of the 3rd set, Vitas was getting to everything, hitting winners and stop volleys from seemingly every part of the court, anticipating Lendl's passing shots so well and killing his 2nd serves. But then Lendl grew in his confidence and began to find his range more and more, especially with his backhand timing which improved considerably as the match went on.

In that tournament there was also great drama in the all US RR group. Tanner had lost his first 2 matches and was already eliminated, but then put in a tremendous effort to win his final match against Connors to knock him out as well. He became annoyed by Connors's antics and behaviour during the match, yelling at him on the court a few times, and taking great pleasure in sending him home. All 3 sets went to tiebreaks and Tanner finally sealed it with his 6th match point.

His win sent Teltscher through to the semis instead, who hugged him and shook his hand in the interview room afterwards. Great stuff. Teltscher had earlier beaten McEnroe before nervously watching the Tanner-Connors match. Mac had already qualified for the semis after winning his first 2 matches, but had been wrongly told by the tournament director that he had already secured top spot when he hadn't. Naturally he partied and was hung-over for what he thought was a meaningless match against Teltscher. He was annoyed as that defeat meant that he had to face his arch nemesis at the time Lendl in the semis.

True, my memories of that great tourney are pretty much similar.

Vitas had been coming up off his deep sliced Bh to Lendl´s Bh for two and a half sets, putting big pressure on Ivan who had not found a way to pass off his Bh side with confidence, precision and security.The only point he did not, was that damn mp he squandered away.He let Lendl in the match and Lendl closed the door.

He had also given the czech ace his most dificult rr match, barely losing 4-6,7-5,6-2 and he beat Clerc and Vilas in back to back rr matches to qualify for the semis, where he easily beat Eliott Teltscher.

Mac threw away his match vs Teltscher, his " prize" for that was facing Lendl ( and not Gerulaitis) in the sf and Lendl knocked him off easily.Lendl was in top form in the whole indoor season, starting at this Masters.

Yes, Tanner beat Connors in the most exhilarating match of the rr section

Great event, nonetheless.
 
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nono30

New User
Gizo, est-ce que vous ou quelqu'un avez le niveau global des Borg-Connors, y compris et excluant tous ces exos et invitations ? Il y a eu quelques invitations comme Francfort 1979, que j'ai vu à la télévision, avant la retraite de Borg en 1981. Je me demande si le solde 18-15 que vous avez donné n'est pas trop bas.
hello urbain borg /connors francfort 79 does it exist thanck you
 

urban

Legend
I think, i saw it on German TV, ARD or ZdF, there were not so many TV channels in Germany at that time. The final was played for best of 5 in the Festhalle Frankfurt in late 1979, it think it was an 8 men invitational for big prize money, and the forerunner of the later events there as Year end or Masters finals in the 1990s.
 

nono30

New User
Je pense que je l'ai vu à la télévision allemande, sur ARD ou sur ZdF, il n'y avait pas beaucoup de chaînes de télévision en Allemagne à cette époque. La finale s'est jouée au meilleur des 5 à la Festhalle de Francfort à la fin de 1979. On pense qu'il s'agissait d'une invitation à 8 hommes pour un gros prix en argent, et le précurseur des événements ultérieurs comme la finale de fin d'année ou les finales des Masters dans les années 1990.
matche does it exist thanck you
 
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