Did really Connors and Mac hate each other?

Swingmaster

Hall of Fame
I think he was from another time, the 50-60s kind of thing, not the new 70-80s brash/obnoxious.
Yeah, nothing against Ashe of course. An incredibly dignified and honorable man. Maybe I would prefer to play for him now that I think about it. No major pressure to win. Just conduct yourself with class and you’re good. Like having Borg as a Laver Cup coach.
 

max

Legend
It was quite a severe contrast. Ashe was almost on one side of the pole, connors/mcenroe on the others. I disliked connors/mcenroe nonsense (although it proved $$ healthy for the sport). But the too calm Ashe was unnerving for me.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
This H2H is heavily skewed because Lendl is 8 years younger than Connors. Many of their matches were played when Jimmy was in his mid to late 30’s and Lendl was in his peak.
Up to 1984 or so, they were pretty evenly matched. Jimmy was 31/32 at that stage while Ivan was about to hit his peak performance levels.
 

WCT

Semi-Pro
Up to 1984 or so, they were pretty evenly matched. Jimmy was 31/32 at that stage while Ivan was about to hit his peak performance levels.
Actually, Connors was still pretty far ahead by through 1984 because he won a bunch when Lendl was young. Maybe the first 8 matches? Lendl didn't beat him until the summer of 1982. Even in 84 I think Connors won the last 2. Then he never beat him again. I guess the point is that Connors was 32 before Lendl started beating him all te time.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
They both had a persecution complex and liked to operate as if the whole world hated them and they hated everyone on it. So, of course they hated each other too.
 
H2H
Borg 15-8 Connors (Borg WON the last 10 Meetings between them)
Nastase 15-12 Connors
Connors 5-4 Vilas
McEnroe 20-14 Connors
Lendl 22-13 Connors
Connors 2-2 Newcombe

The numbers speak for themselves. Big weapons are required to beat the best players. Nastase, Borg, McEnroe and Lendl clearly dominated Connors during his peak years. Connors only BIG weapon was his "Never Say Die" attitude. His game was good enough to get him to a lot of SF and Finals of the Big Tournaments. But once there, confronted by the best players of the Era, his game was often left wanting.
Are they all the same age? Connors originally owned Lendl and it was Lendl who during a round robin format (year end Masters) tanked against Gene Mayer so as to avoid having to play Bjorn Borg in the semis. Connors called him out on it, and rightly so. Lendl had a lot of dog in him. Take no less a tournament than Wimbledon for example and Lendl's infamous "I'm allergic to grass" cop out. Guy was a front-runner when he was on top but was a shrinking violet on his way to the top.
 

jxs653

Semi-Pro
According to McEnroe's book "You cannot be serious", obviously they hated each other. Anyone read Connor's biography "The outsider: a memoir"? I wonder what he says about McEnroe.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
According to McEnroe's book "You cannot be serious", obviously they hated each other. Anyone read Connor's biography "The outsider: a memoir"? I wonder what he says about McEnroe.
You should try and read it. It is a pretty good book.

And this is what Jimbo says about Superbrat ...

"Mac is the one player I can watch limping around the court and feel good about saying 'F--- that guy.' "
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
You should try and read it. It is a pretty good book.

And this is what Jimbo says about Superbrat ...

"Mac is the one player I can watch limping around the court and feel good about saying 'F--- that guy.' "
I never truly got the sense they HATED one another...sniping, yes...hatred? No. But, it was a heated rivalry and they were not buddies by any stretch.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
Actually, Connors was still pretty far ahead by through 1984 because he won a bunch when Lendl was young. Maybe the first 8 matches? Lendl didn't beat him until the summer of 1982. Even in 84 I think Connors won the last 2. Then he never beat him again. I guess the point is that Connors was 32 before Lendl started beating him all te time.
Yes, from there on, Connors started to diminish while Lendl improved. They still had several good matches in the bunch, but Lendl had the upper hand.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
Yes, from there on, Connors started to diminish while Lendl improved. They still had several good matches in the bunch, but Lendl had the upper hand.
Thing I loved about Connors - Lendl matches was the difference in their personalities on court. Jimbo had the coolish personal that was always mouthing off. Lendl was the quiet one the let his tennis do the talking for the most part but could explode in his whiney matter at any moment. Lendl played the "victim" a lot of the time.

Regardless, as I mentioned earlier, most Aussies LOVED Connors. He was an amazing tennis player. He valued the AO and the history of Australian tennis. And when he came here he was a great entertainer both on and off the court. If he had decided to move to Australia we would have welcomed him with open arms. And seriously, I reckon the Australian way of life during the 70s and 80s would have suited him to a tee, especially up north in Queensland.
 

BTURNER

Legend
Mac grew up in Forest Hills, his father was a lawyer. They were fairly affluent, by most standards.
That was not the case for Connors. I don't believe they were dirt poor (based on his book), but they were not wealthy.
Connors was middle class, McEnroe was upper class. When looking for motive of animus, the question is did a young Johnny Mac wear his affluence around the locker room with humility, grace and sensitivity? Was Jimmy the sort to delve deeply into the psyche of Superbrat, and show due patience, understanding and maturity towards the young misunderstood man?

Lets debate that question?
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
Apart from the Australians in their Golden Era of the 50s and 60s, I don't think any players from the same nation have been fully supportive of their fellow countrymen.

Tennis is an individual sport. Rivalries between tennis players from the same nation are seemingly the strongest ones of all. On the surface, they all look chummy. But in reality, I think there is a lot of niggle between players from the same country when they are playing on the Tour. (In the modern game I do believe there might be some exceptions .. eg. Shapo and FAA .. but I think that happens when the players basically grow up together.)

It might be different come the Team Events where they play for each other. But on the Pro. Tour, I seriously think it is every man for themselves.

Connors and McEnroe simply took it to the next level because of their personalities.
 
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