Did really Connors and Mac hate each other?

big ted

Hall of Fame
the Mac-Connors discord explains the 1984 Davis Cup final debacle against Sweden (1-4).
that tie was the demise of u.s. davis cup for a few years until agassi came along...
after that tie they made players sign a good behavior agreement if they wanted to play davis cup again
which mac (and i suppose connors if he wanted to play) refused. i think mac didnt play again until 1987
when they were in the davis cup relegation group
 

goldenera

Semi-Pro
They could win it but Wilander was too hard on clay and the key was doubles..
In RG Connors had besten essily Sundstrom..yet Edberg and Jarryd were better than him
 

WCT

Semi-Pro
that tie was the demise of u.s. davis cup for a few years until agassi came along...
after that tie they made players sign a good behavior agreement if they wanted to play davis cup again
which mac (and i suppose connors if he wanted to play) refused. i think mac didnt play again until 1987
when they were in the davis cup relegation group

I had forgotten about that good behavior agreement. Fat chance of either signing that. In fairness to the people behind it, though, their behavior was deplorable in Sweden.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Jimmy Connors just didn't like all the antics and temper tantrums that JP Mac threw around. It was distracting to Jimmy Connors who was all Professionalism on tennis court. So everything John did get under jimmy's skin a bit during the matches. and Connors isn't one of those people that just keeps those things in. he will let you know what's not acceptable during his matches.

 

encylopedia

Professional
I believe so.

I read Mac's book in 2009 maybe but I can't remember what that whole Davis Cup '84 debacle was all about. I know Mac said something that he didn't talk to Arthur at all (maybe for years?) and there was some beef with Connors but I simply can't remember anything about it. I also wonder why Connors didn't like playing the DC, maybe he thought it didn't fit his schedule or wasn't a priority to him
So the primary problem there wasn't really Ashe or Mac, it was Connors - and later political backlash.

Connors behaved horribly on and off court by his own admission. He shouldn't have been there at all - by his own admission. He didn't want to be there in general, and in fact his wife was expecting their 2nd child at that time.... but he was pressured and came anyways. Of course he never liked Davis cup at all. Really hated Mac at the time, as well - he was really annoyed that year at Mac as he had lost to repeatedly all through the year - again, by his own admission.

So Jimmy really behaved terribly and - again by his own admission - should probably have been defaulted. Mac by contrast was on relatively good behavior - as Ashe would later say.

Even starting off, Jimmy wasn't informed of a change in practice time and ended up waiting by the empty court for quite a while, before everyone else showed up. He had written "F____ you____Artie" on the court.

After, they went to the banquet and the USTA president went to speak (there was also controversy because Jimmy Arias talked through the national anthem). Mac and the others had finished, and had left - to their credit, they had asked Arthur and Arthur had told them they could go. Hunter Delatour the president got up, saw the US table empty and got mad. So he ranted about his own team and how they were a disgrace to America. Jimmy had already just flown out and skipped the whole thing. Ashe and Mac (and Mac's dad ) were all very angry - didn't like Hunter publicly berating the team. I think Mac's father also felt he was trying to suck-up to Chatrier - the head of the ITF.

He then tried to institute new codes of conduct and demand the players sign it. This result in Mac (who was offended by his speech - and annoyed because he had been well behaved (at least by his standards) skipping some Davis cup and not answering the calls for the first time.

Ashe though was criticized by the players as not being very interactive in the sense that he didn't hold their hands or get them all together to hash out the bad blood. I think Arthur was just the kind of hand-off, we're all supposed to be adults, kind of guy that just ignored a lot of that stuff.

It was quite a mess.
 
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NicoMK

Professional
So the primary problem there wasn't really Ashe or Mac, it was Connors - and later political backlash.

Connors behaved horribly on and off court by his own admission. He shouldn't have been there at all - by his own admission. He didn't want to be there in general, and in fact his wife was expecting their 2nd child at that time.... but he was pressured and came anyways. Of course he never liked Davis cup at all. Really hated Mac at the time, as well - he was really annoyed that year at Mac as he had lost to repeatedly all through the year - again, by his own admission.

So Jimmy really behaved terribly and - again by his own admission - should probably have been defaulted. Mac by contrast was on relatively good behavior - as Ashe would later say.

Even starting off, Jimmy wasn't informed of a change in practice time and ended up waiting by the empty court for quite a while, before everyone else showed up. He had written "F____ you____Artie" on the court.

After, they went to the banquet and the new USTA president went to speak (there was also controversy because Jimmy Arias talked through the national anthem). Mac and the others had finished, and had left - to their credit, they had asked Arthur and Arthur had told them they could go. Hunter Delatour the new president got up, saw the US table empty and got mad. So he ranted about his own team and how they were a disgrace to America. Jimmy had already just flown out and skipped the whole thing.

He then tried to institute new codes of conduct and demand the players sign it. This result in Mac (who was offended by his speech - and annoyed because he had been well behaved (at least by his standards) skipping some Davis cup and not answering the calls for the first time.

Ashe though was criticized by the players as not being very interactive in the sense that he didn't hold their hands or get them all together to hash out the bad blood. I think Arthur was just the kind of hand-off, we're all supposed to be adults, kind of guy that just ignored a lot of that stuff.

It was quite a mess.
Very informative. Thanks!
 

Thetouch

Professional
So the primary problem there wasn't really Ashe or Mac, it was Connors - and later political backlash.

Connors behaved horribly on and off court by his own admission. He shouldn't have been there at all - by his own admission. He didn't want to be there in general, and in fact his wife was expecting their 2nd child at that time.... but he was pressured and came anyways. Of course he never liked Davis cup at all. Really hated Mac at the time, as well - he was really annoyed that year at Mac as he had lost to repeatedly all through the year - again, by his own admission.

So Jimmy really behaved terribly and - again by his own admission - should probably have been defaulted. Mac by contrast was on relatively good behavior - as Ashe would later say.

Even starting off, Jimmy wasn't informed of a change in practice time and ended up waiting by the empty court for quite a while, before everyone else showed up. He had written "F____ you____Artie" on the court.

After, they went to the banquet and the new USTA president went to speak (there was also controversy because Jimmy Arias talked through the national anthem). Mac and the others had finished, and had left - to their credit, they had asked Arthur and Arthur had told them they could go. Hunter Delatour the new president got up, saw the US table empty and got mad. So he ranted about his own team and how they were a disgrace to America. Jimmy had already just flown out and skipped the whole thing.

He then tried to institute new codes of conduct and demand the players sign it. This result in Mac (who was offended by his speech - and annoyed because he had been well behaved (at least by his standards) skipping some Davis cup and not answering the calls for the first time.

Ashe though was criticized by the players as not being very interactive in the sense that he didn't hold their hands or get them all together to hash out the bad blood. I think Arthur was just the kind of hand-off, we're all supposed to be adults, kind of guy that just ignored a lot of that stuff.

It was quite a mess.
That's great inside man.Thanks!

Too bad I have lost interest in the Davis Cup decades ago. It used to be something great to watch but now I can barely even name any DC winner from the past 20 years. Imagine how big of a thing the USA vs Germany match up was in 1987 and it was only a relegation play off
 
They were both very competitive men who would do everything to win and a person that prevented them from winning was an enemy for them. They also both could be big jackasses on court which could create conflict.

Today you don't see it as much anymore but I think a lot of the cuddly behavior that we see for example with fedal is probably just an act for the media while in the 80s players weren't under as much scrutiny and could express themselves more freely even if it meant being an ass.
 

NicoMK

Professional
Today you don't see it as much anymore but I think a lot of the cuddly behavior that we see for example with fedal is probably just an act for the media while in the 80s players weren't under as much scrutiny and could express themselves more freely even if it meant being an ass.
Exactly. That whole cuddly circus is just too much for me btw. I much prefer a Connors Mac rivalry, whether they liked each other or not I didn't care, and at least it sounded authentic.
 

encylopedia

Professional
I realize my post sounded harsh to Connors, but I remember even his own account. I just went back and looked in his book. A lot of this matches what Mcenroe and Ashe have said as well though some story details vary as one might expect. I was going to even post a few pics of passages, but that doesn't seem possible.

I'll add in that Connors also didn't like that the team had restrictions about fraternization with the other team - and he completely ignored them. (admittedly he has a good point that he's not going to ignore Nastase because it's Davis Cup - instead he had dinner with Nastase and went to his house! lol. That might be going a bit far....)

A few quotes:

"Mac had won the Davis cup 4 times already, and if I'd been thinking straight, I would have wished him good luck and watched the matches on TV. Instead, I joined up and there were problems form the get-go. He was whipping my ass (and pretty much everyone else's), and that didn't sit well with me."

"I knew before I even stepped on the court that it wasn't going to be my day. I wasn't disappointed. Along the way, my attitude had deteriorated and the result wasn't pretty: smashed racquets, verbal abuse, point penalties, game penalties. It was a bad scene. I should have been defaulted immediately; maybe that's what I was hoping for, but this was the Davis Cup final and that didn't happen.

Earlier connors mentioned Mac beating him in Dallas, FO, Queens, Toronto, Wimbledon and the USO, and says:

"At least in New York I took him to 5 sets in what a lot of people regard as a classic match, but really so what? I got beat; that's all I cared about and I was starting to get really pissed. The explosion wasn't far off.

Throughout the year Mac and I had also had the pleasure of each other's company as Davis Cup teammates.

I'm pretty sure he enjoyed it about as much as I did."


LOL. At least Jimbo seems very candid here. I also recall that Mac had some personal problems....and he wasn't getting along well with even Peter Flemming at that time, so he was a mess - though as I said, even Ashe would later say that Mac really didn't behave all that badly.
 

HBK4life

Semi-Pro
Exactly. That whole cuddly circus is just too much for me btw. I much prefer a Connors Mac rivalry, whether they liked each other or not I didn't care, and at least it sounded authentic.
Same. I don’t Think anything we get on tv is real.
 

Thetouch

Professional
....and here's John's account. I think it matches all that Connors said.....although John says Connors wrote his message in the snow, but Jimmy says he wrote it right on the practice court:

well I guess the snow makes more sense since you said Connors was waiting for the team to arrive but they didn't inform him

On the other hand I can totally see Connors doing it on the court, in fact I can see him pissing the words down.. lol
 

Musterrific

Semi-Pro
Good video, which reminds me of that one at Roland Garros two years later.

What's hilarious is that for all his petulant grandstanding and bluster, both times Mac was confronted by Connors' rage he looked really nervous and backed down. Mac makes the impression in moments like that that he was always one of those entitled wimps who loved to dish it out but could never take it in return. I think a good ass-whooping would have done him some good by reducing that oversized ego.
 

RiverRat

Semi-Pro
Jimmy Connors just didn't like all the antics and temper tantrums that JP Mac threw around. Connors isn't one of those people that just keeps those things in. he will let you know what's not acceptable during his matches.
Connors had plenty of his own issues. He wasn't enforcing good decorum. He was acting out in a little-big man, stand your ground kind of way. JMac was never threatening toward another player. Connor's treatment of Aaron Krickstein and the subsequent silence in their friendship shows his true colors. My tennis coach, as the story goes, but he was not boastful, had to confront Connors for stepping on his racquets on a changeover years prior. Connors was and always will be a punk. He could play tennis though.
 

RiverRat

Semi-Pro
What's hilarious is that for all his petulant grandstanding and bluster, both times Mac was confronted by Connors' rage he looked really nervous and backed down. Mac makes the impression in moments like that that he was always one of those entitled wimps who loved to dish it out but could never take it in return. I think a good ass-whooping would have done him some good by reducing that oversized ego.
Mac would have whooped Jimbo's undersized ass.
 

encylopedia

Professional
well I guess the snow makes more sense since you said Connors was waiting for the team to arrive but they didn't inform him

On the other hand I can totally see Connors doing it on the court, in fact I can see him pissing the words down.. lol
Yes....well basically the same story but in John's version Jimmy was waiting for the car to go to practice, and in Jimmy's he was already at the court. I would go for Jimmy's version - I assume he'd remember it QUITE a bit more vividly, while for John it was just an amusing aside....lol.

....and Jimmy did say he erased it from the court, but made sure Arthur saw it first. lol.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
I believe so.

I read Mac's book in 2009 maybe but I can't remember what that whole Davis Cup '84 debacle was all about. I know Mac said something that he didn't talk to Arthur at all (maybe for years?) and there was some beef with Connors but I simply can't remember anything about it. I also wonder why Connors didn't like playing the DC, maybe he thought it didn't fit his schedule or wasn't a priority to him
Connors had a beef with Ashe from the 70's....Connors did not want to join the ATP, he had stuff going on w/Riordan, and he simply was not into the "greater good" approach championed by Ashe. I also read that Ashe wrote some sort of note/letter to Connors and Jimmy felt that he was pretty gutless (instead of speaking to him directly). So, they were never on good terms. Connors did help US win Davis Cup...beating Lendl in a match ('79 or '81), but he was not a team guy. Not a shock.

So, '84 had Connors & Mac on the team...you are talking the Top 2 guys...they pretty much rolled to the final round. But, Sweden picked the court and literally threw together a 'clay' court that was slower than slow, and perhaps not even clay. The US team was threatening not to play due to the extremely poor quality of the court. And....Connors did not want to be there....since his wife was about to have their 2nd kid. Add the Mac-Connors rivalry to all of that BS above and is anyone shocked at the outcome? HOWEVER, I always felt that if the order of the matches was flipped, it might have been different...Connors taking on Sundstrom was a much more winnable proposition in Match 1, then letting Mad Mac serve and volley his way past Wilander (hopefully) in Match 2. Biggest shock was the dubs loss. It was a steaming pile of US mess. US sponsors were up in arms about Connors bad behavior (who did they think they were getting? Borg? LOL)

Just a very disappointing ending to what could have been a nice win.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
that tie was the demise of u.s. davis cup for a few years until agassi came along...
after that tie they made players sign a good behavior agreement if they wanted to play davis cup again
which mac (and i suppose connors if he wanted to play) refused. i think mac didnt play again until 1987
when they were in the davis cup relegation group
Mac kind of got shafted, IMHO. His behavior was OK...but he got swept up into the nonsense.
Again, who did they think these guys were? Not angels by any stretch.
Honestly, Davis Cup's best days are far behind it.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Yes....well basically the same story but in John's version Jimmy was waiting for the car to go to practice, and in Jimmy's he was already at the court. I would go for Jimmy's version - I assume he'd remember it QUITE a bit more vividly, while for John it was just an amusing aside....lol.

....and Jimmy did say he erased it from the court, but made sure Arthur saw it first. lol.
Jimmy was known for being punctual and taking practice seriously, so I might be inclined to believe him.
 

HBK4life

Semi-Pro
What's hilarious is that for all his petulant grandstanding and bluster, both times Mac was confronted by Connors' rage he looked really nervous and backed down. Mac makes the impression in moments like that that he was always one of those entitled wimps who loved to dish it out but could never take it in return. I think a good ass-whooping would have done him some good by reducing that oversized ego.


I get the same feeling.
 

JW10S

Hall of Fame
Jimmy was known for...taking practice seriously.
In my earlier post I said how I was struck by how focused his mother and grandmother were when I saw then just rallying. I remember later I was at a tennis event where Connors was featured and a woman had won a raffle that entitled her to a hitting session with Connors. She was spraying balls all over and he ran down everyone, even if they were outside the alley. Connors was still an active player then and I remember overhearing the Wilson rep asking him after the hitting session 'Why in the world did you bother running after every ball she hit'? Connors answered 'I don't want to get out of the habit'.
 

encylopedia

Professional
heres yet another take on the davis cup story
LOL. Such a tangled web. I believe Arias -that he was lying down.....sounds like Connors(in his book he admitted it irritated him because he took practice so seriously)....I can totally believe that Ashe went to get Arias, and in Connor's mind this was: why isn't he here right now, who screwed up on the times, I can't believe I have to wait 5 min. LOL. I don't think it's true that Arias sparked the walk-out in the way described here. Mcenroe wrote that they asked Ashe, and Ashe also once said the same thing - they asked him, and he wanted them to wait until the next speaker was finished and then said they could go. But who knows, maybe they did try to pin it on the practice partner at one point - or maybe that's just what Arias heard at one point. lol.

Mac did however point at Arias as having laughed and joked through the anthem, and I heard somebody else report that too.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Two immature guys on the court who did not like each other. JMac though seems to believe that he himself was just acting out in frustration on the court while Connors was genuinely a nasty guy. Forgot where I read it. Maybe they have buried the hatchet now but JMac definitely did not like Connors.
 

Thetouch

Professional
But who knows, maybe they did try to pin it on the practice partner at one point - or maybe that's just what Arias heard at one point. lol.
Imagine Connors and McEnroe defending themselves infront of the USTA by saying 19 year old Jimmy Arias made them leave lol
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
mac used to say connors was so confusing because he'd pull all these antics
and act like a jerk and then ask mac if he wanted to practice the next day lol..
so i think mac took things more personally than connors..
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
mac used to say connors was so confusing because he'd pull all these antics
and act like a jerk and then ask mac if he wanted to practice the next day lol..
so i think mac took things more personally than connors..
Yeah, Mac couldn't tell if he was serious or what. Did you read the story about one of their last Seniors matches, where Connors walked off the court? Crazy behavior...Mac had to talk him back onto the court. And, PS, Connors came back and beat Mac. So, one might question if these are just head games.
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
Yeah, Mac couldn't tell if he was serious or what. Did you read the story about one of their last Seniors matches, where Connors walked off the court? Crazy behavior...Mac had to talk him back onto the court. And, PS, Connors came back and beat Mac. So, one might question if these are just head games.
yep i think i even remember watching that match on tv but i didnt know everything
until reading the book.. all you saw was them leaving and then coming back lol..
 

encylopedia

Professional
Agree but I'm not sure Jimmy was all professionalism on court. He, Nastase and Johnny Mac were the bad boys of tennis, weren't they?
I don't even know what to say to the post you were responding to. LOL. Totally inverted reality. I think the poster was trying to get a rise....
 

encylopedia

Professional
yep i think i even remember watching that match on tv but i didnt know everything
until reading the book.. all you saw was them leaving and then coming back lol..
You can see him recount it again in video I posted. Mind you the first time I heard that story was in tennis magazine. It's a bit of weird story, and Mac's retelling varies slightly, but the bottom line was that he pleaded with Jimmy to comeback and then lost. lol. Exactly why Jimmy left, and whether Jimmy was just playing him, is a bit unclear.....though I think that's how John Interprets it now!

Of course, Jimmy stormed off on Lendl once too.....even though he was described as total professional earlier in this thread ;-) Jimmy was certainly a master manipulator.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
I couldn't say. Why?

Handling both Mac and Jimmy in the same team must have been quite something. He won the Davis Cup in 1982 (and maybe more, I can't remember) so that ain't too bad.
Ashe was captain for 5 years; he won DC twice in ‘81 and ‘82, got a horrible draw in ‘83 (Argentina in BA opening round with Vilas and Clerc still exceptional clay players), steered the shipwreck waiting to happen to the final in ‘84 and resigned after trying to compete in ‘85 with Teltscher and Krickstein (age 18) thanks to JMac’s burnout and Connors jumping ship again (played ‘82, skipped ‘83, played ‘84). Even with that second string they lost 2-3 in QFs to West Germany with Becker.

Ashe was a fine DC coach despite the shade thrown by OP. His “real coach” Ralston won one DC, the infamous Bucharest final in 1972.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
Of course, it would never have happened. But it is such a shame that Connors didn't move to Australia and become an Australian Citizen.

He came to Melbourne in 1974 and 1975 to play the Australian Open on the Grass at Kooyong. He won the Title in '74 and lost the Final against Newk in '75. (Should be noted that he won the AO, Wimb and USO in 1974 and he made the Finals of all three events in 1975. He didn't play RG in either of those years.)

He was the consummate respectful Gentleman Tennis player in Australia during those years. And most, if not all of us loved him for it. I don't think he ever lost that popularity in Australia. But sadly, he never returned to play an AO after 1975.

A lot of that had to do with Borg. There were several years where Borg had won the RG and Wimbledon. Connors always said he would follow Borg to the "Ends of the Earth" to prevent him from winning and holding all four Major Titles at the same time. So, if Borg ever won the US Open, he was likely to travel to Australia to pursue that goal, and perhaps give himself a good start to achieving the GRAND SLAM in the following season. But Borg never won the US Open, so he never bothered with the AO. And Connors didn't bother with it either. Shame really.

I think Connors was very different to McEnroe with regards to Tennis. For sure, both were incredible competitors. But I think Connors was much more aware of the fact that Pro Tennis was as much an Entertainment as it was a serious sport. He always thought about the "Show Business" elements of Tennis. That's what I liked about Connors. He was really the Greatest Showman of Tennis since players like Tilden and Riggs. We don't have enough of those guys in the sport any more. It has gotten too serious. (Although Federer might get a bit more "showy" in his final few years. I certainly hope so.)

Also need to consider that both Connors and McEnroe were both Leftys. So their brains operate a little differently to the majority of people on the planet. and the majority of players they dealt with in their careers. Through the years, most of the Lefty players were always a little different. Laver was probably the exception to the rule. He seemed to be a Righty Lefty. LOL.

I don't think Connors and McEnroe hated each other beyond having a healthy rivalry. I don't think there was any deep based personal animosity between the two of them. But Connors always was uber competitive. I don't think he viewed McEnroe any differently to all his other opponents apart from Borg. I think Connors had a strong respect and admiration for Borg. McEnroe probably just saw Connors as an old man. The Generation Gap thing!

Regardless, The Sport of Tennis is all the better for having had both Connors and McEnroe compete in it. They left us with a lot of incredible indelible memories of one of the Greatest Eras of the sport. They both played and dominated at a time when the sport was undergoing tremendous changes. And they along with Borg were the Bridge between the old Traditional Game and the Modern Game.
 

Frankc

Professional
Yes, I have heard that his Australian Tour was successful.
Fact is, that else where and most often, his obscene gestures (while seemingly more entertaining to some today) were crude, self serving and showboating, especially in the fair sportsman standards of that era. That was true time and time again - for years...
Putting him in perspective, I still rely on Charles Pasarell's description of JC - "He is a p#ick." Everything that I have read supports that other pros saw him that same way.
I am so glad that Newk won that fine AO Open match. One of my favorites to view.
But maybe Mac saw him just as other pros saw JC ... True, I am no fan of JC. (For some perverse reason, today, some admire the darkness of the outsider who tears things apart for self gain and our morbid entertainment. Do not forget his earlier efforts not to join the movement as pros tried to form a unified tour. Unity was difficult. Not only that, but he profited greatly as he dominated on "his own" tour coordinated by his agent.)
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
Look, I really think a lot of the antics that Connors got up to were mainly for "Show" or "Entertainment" value. A lot of people remember his behaviour in that 1991 US Open. But in some ways what he was saying was correct. That particular Umpire was more interested in his own fame than Jimbo's.

And what happened to his Mother in front of him must have made some impression that he was able to disguise early in his Pro. Career but came to the surface later on and manifested in some of his on court behaviours.

I am no fan of JC.
Well I was never really a fan of his behaviours. But guys like Nastase, McEnroe and Lendl were a lot worse and a lot more disrespectful of the Sport. Still each to his own.

One thing that cannot be denied though .. Connors made the most of the limited talents he had with plain hard work. He had a nothing serve and his forehand was like a wet tissue. His trademark DHBH was a nice shot, and a decent weapon, but nothing special. Where he did excel was in his Never Give Up attitude. He played out every single point to the max. A lot of modern players would be well to follow his lead.
 

NicoMK

Professional
Of course, it would never have happened. But it is such a shame that Connors didn't move to Australia and become an Australian Citizen.

He came to Melbourne in 1974 and 1975 to play the Australian Open on the Grass at Kooyong. He won the Title in '74 and lost the Final against Newk in '75. (Should be noted that he won the AO, Wimb and USO in 1974 and he made the Finals of all three events in 1975. He didn't play RG in either of those years.)

He was the consummate respectful Gentleman Tennis player in Australia during those years. And most, if not all of us loved him for it. I don't think he ever lost that popularity in Australia. But sadly, he never returned to play an AO after 1975.

A lot of that had to do with Borg. There were several years where Borg had won the RG and Wimbledon. Connors always said he would follow Borg to the "Ends of the Earth" to prevent him from winning and holding all four Major Titles at the same time. So, if Borg ever won the US Open, he was likely to travel to Australia to pursue that goal, and perhaps give himself a good start to achieving the GRAND SLAM in the following season. But Borg never won the US Open, so he never bothered with the AO. And Connors didn't bother with it either. Shame really.

I think Connors was very different to McEnroe with regards to Tennis. For sure, both were incredible competitors. But I think Connors was much more aware of the fact that Pro Tennis was as much an Entertainment as it was a serious sport. He always thought about the "Show Business" elements of Tennis. That's what I liked about Connors. He was really the Greatest Showman of Tennis since players like Tilden and Riggs. We don't have enough of those guys in the sport any more. It has gotten too serious. (Although Federer might get a bit more "showy" in his final few years. I certainly hope so.)

Also need to consider that both Connors and McEnroe were both Leftys. So their brains operate a little differently to the majority of people on the planet. and the majority of players they dealt with in their careers. Through the years, most of the Lefty players were always a little different. Laver was probably the exception to the rule. He seemed to be a Righty Lefty. LOL.

I don't think Connors and McEnroe hated each other beyond having a healthy rivalry. I don't think there was any deep based personal animosity between the two of them. But Connors always was uber competitive. I don't think he viewed McEnroe any differently to all his other opponents apart from Borg. I think Connors had a strong respect and admiration for Borg. McEnroe probably just saw Connors as an old man. The Generation Gap thing!

Regardless, The Sport of Tennis is all the better for having had both Connors and McEnroe compete in it. They left us with a lot of incredible indelible memories of one of the Greatest Eras of the sport. They both played and dominated at a time when the sport was undergoing tremendous changes. And they along with Borg were the Bridge between the old Traditional Game and the Modern Game.
Exactly. Tennis owes a lot to those two and many others from the 80s too, whether you liked them or not. Great post.

It's true that Jimmy never played the Australian Open after 1975 -- 45 years from now! I had completely forgotten this. That's crazy when you think…
 
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