orantes beat jimmy with strategy completely in the 75 USO; no question he was not the better player. And no question Ashe's beating of him in Wimbledon took him 'down' in terms of his cocky confidence.
But estimating that Borg would play as WELL in the final against Connors as he did in his 6-0 6-1 6-0 ending against Orantes, my point is that IN THAT MATCH, the way he was playing that day, Connors would have been up against a Borg who was himself, having a 'turn around' of fates with that break-through. He was not yet "BORG" in 1974, yes...but on that day, Godzilla was certainly raising his head out of the water with a heavy soundtrack underneath of "Ba-DOOM!"
but hey, federer still had the year he did without coveting the french either! Jimmy never did win it, did he? Roger will. But that does not mean he had a better 'year' than Connors' outrageous successes in '74. I seem to remember Connors had a pretty cute girl friend that year...she could warm him up pretty well on court, too, before his matches. I think she had a good backhand or something.
re:76 USO ...borg never won a final there regardless of opponent.