The legendary Jimmy Connors [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

The legendary Jimmy Connors

KCVH
11-20-2004, 08:54 PM
Determination, eager to win, fighting spirit. The one nicknamed the lion. One of the best ever.

Santorofan
11-22-2004, 06:52 AM
With Federer's win at the Masters Cup tonight, Drysdale and Pat Mac stated it was the the most dominate year by a player in the open era. Yes, it was certainly brilliant, but let's not forgot 1974. It would be interesting to compare the stats btwn the two...

Action Jackson
11-22-2004, 06:54 AM
With Federer's win at the Masters Cup tonight, Drysdale and Pat Mac stated it was the the most dominate year by a player in the open era. Yes, it was certainly brilliant, but let's not forgot 1974. It would be interesting to compare the stats btwn the two...

Not even close Federer actually won everywhere, whereas Connors never won a title on red clay in Europe. Feds won on grass, clay, hard and indoors.

Santorofan
11-22-2004, 09:21 PM
Not even close? Ok, let's compare their records. In '74, only a handful of the tournaments Connors won were: the Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open, South African Open, US Clay Court Championships and the US Indoor Championships. He won 16 tournaments total (vs 11 for Federer). His match record was 99-4 (vs 74-6 for Federer). In '74 he shot up to #1 in the world and stayed there for 160 straight weeks. Concerning the issue you mentioned about European red clay, Connors was banned from playing the French Open in '74, though most tennis historians believe it is highly likely that he would've won if allowed to play (he'd won the US Clay Chps that year, as well as the US Open in '75 on clay....having played on both, IMO red clay is not THAT different from black/green.

Now I'm not dismissing Federer's record this year in the least (look at my signature, I'm a fan of his :) ), all I'm saying is that Connors' '74 record was nothing to sneeze at either, and in many senses at least quite comprarable.

daze11
11-23-2004, 02:18 AM
hey santorofan! its quite different in the 'blast' with the men than with the ladies, huh? i can't figure out why...the men's blast is scarcely historically aware and there are so FEW posts!! and a 'blast from the past' here tends toward circa 1986-99 versus 1966-92 in the women's forums. What is the reason for that?! Are there more men's tennis history chatboards on the web than womens?

Anyway, just a few days ago, I watched Borg's 1974 win over Orantes in the french final -- he came back 2-6 6-7 6-0 6-1 6-0...Bjorn was just warming up at the start but obviously took full charge and began his massive grand slam run in Paris. With all due credit to Connors, and I do think his year was more dominant than federer (but we cant compare on even-par just by record between 1974 and 2004, IMO), I dont think Connors was going to beat Borg in that event if given the chance.

I will also point out that Borg beat ORANTES in that 74 French final, and it is orantes who DID actually beat Jimmy in the 75 US Open final you mentioned. Straight sets, no less!!! So jimmy didnt win in 75, though he did win on grass at the USO in 74. (beat Rosewall 6-0 6-1 6-0...imagine how odd the viewers from 1974 must have felt, considering the scoreline I mentioned above with Borg!! Almost identical of his set 3,4,&5 in Paris...)

Connors was of course upset in Kooyong to start the '75 season, and this--along with the 75 Wimbledon loss to ashe and 75 USO loss to Orantes-- was at least the beginning of the transition to the dominance of Borg.

the larger question to me is not Federer/Connors for a single great year, but a comparison of Federer/Borg over the next FEW years!! Four years back to back french & wimbledon, the two toughest tournaments, for Borg and quite a few dramatic year-end masters finals victories as well. I am pleased to say, i don't doubt that federer can come up with something equally as impressive!

Santorofan
11-23-2004, 03:06 AM
Hey Daze, you're quite the ubiquous one! Thanks for the correction; Connors actually won the '76 US Open on clay, beating Borg in the final 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4. He was the only player, male or female, to win the Open on three different surfaces. But IMO, in the '75 US Open, Connors still hadn't recovered from his full-on ass whooping by Ashe at Wimby - it not only stunned the tennis world, but must've shocked him as well. Connors was certainly the better player, but Ashe played a perfectly strategic match that no one really expected....and I believe that it really wrecked Connors' confidence there for a while. But 1974 was clearly a different matter...concerning Borg, if Connors could defeat him on hard tru in a GS final in a year he was less dominant, why couldn't he beat Borg before Borg himself had come into his own? Borg was a better player in '76, and Connors was arguably worse. It's a little bit of conjecture, of course, but my money's on Connors in '74 at Roland Garros :)

daze11
11-23-2004, 03:36 AM
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!" :lol:

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.

KCVH
12-26-2004, 02:00 PM
Of course, you can't compare generations. But still say R. Federer/P. Sampras would have won less GS's in the days of Jimbo/Big Mac. Main Reason as far as I'm concerned Jimbo was a bad loser. I forgot to say Jimbo was my first fav. player and I became interested in tennis thanks to him.
What I couldn't understand that was in 1980 twice against Big Mac how Jimbo ended up losing. And as well couldn't understand he had a bad run vs. B. Borg.

Auscon
12-26-2004, 03:02 PM
have recently started my education into the history of tennis, wouldve been great to be around when Jimmy was tearing up the courts....next best thing though is to try and find some of his old matches, got one on the way (v McEnroe 84 USO SF), and hope to get more in the future

Fedex
12-27-2004, 06:24 AM
Concerning the issue you mentioned about European red clay, Connors was banned from playing the French Open in '74, though most tennis historians believe it is highly likely that he would've won if allowed to play (he'd won the US Clay Chps that year, as well as the US Open in '75 on clay....having played on both, IMO red clay is not THAT different from black/green.

Winning a crap ass Mickey Mouse clay tournement in the US, does not equal winning a French Open crown. To use that as an example of how good Connors was on clay, is laughable. Red clay is certainly different than green or black clay. I'm not sure how fast RG played back then (probably slower than today), but green and black clay are quite a bit quicker than red clay, which helps Connors.
The USO is a completly different atmosphere than RG, so that is invalid criteria.
Not to say he woulden't of had a shot at winning the RG title that year, but I dont think he would of won it.

Action Jackson
12-27-2004, 06:37 AM
Winning a crap ass Mickey Mouse clay tournement in the US, does not equal winning a French Open crown. To use that as an example of how good Connors was on clay, is laughable. Red clay is certainly different than green or black clay. I'm not sure how fast RG played back then (probably slower than today), but green and black clay are quite a bit quicker than red clay, which helps Connors.
The USO is a completly different atmosphere than RG, so that is invalid criteria.
Not to say he woulden't of had a shot at winning the RG title that year, but I dont think he would of won it.

Well said and I can tell you as I know someone who was invloved in the game around then, it was a lot slower than it is now, very heavy and they had extra layers of clay and you can't compare the courts really.

He might have had a shot, but I doubt he would have won it. Borg would have frustrated the hell out of Connors on that court surface and he was never that good on the red clay as he was elsewhere.

Santorofan
01-05-2005, 11:04 PM
Fedex: You might want to re-read my actual post, as I didn't state any tournament equated with another...I merely mentioned it in passing. Further, I made the point that Borg was not yet in his prime in '74, while Connors clearly was, so had Connors not been banned from the French that year, his chances looked rather good. Borg had a good year in '74, but nothing like Connors. Thus, Connors clearly had more than a "shot" at the title as you say; he stood as one of the favorites.

Further, I don't think most pros actually consider the U.S. Clay Championships a joke tournament by any means, but feel free to keep on saying that if you'd like. Yes, nothing is on par with the Slams concerning actual prestige, but let's not get carried away with hyperbole...again, I am also a Federer "fan" per se, but I was merely pointing out a comparable year-end record in recent history...no, not exactly the same, but simply comparable (key word). ;)