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10/28/2014

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Gary Moser

"Connors played in an era which consisted on players such as John McEnroe,
Ivan Lendl, and Bjorn Borg and he still managed to win eight Grand Slam titles."
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Although it may be merely ignorance on the part of the writer, what a GROSS misrepresentation!

Connors won his first 3 Slams in 1974, and his 4th in 1976.

McEnroe didn't play in his first Slam until 1977; Lendl's first was in 1978.

So, at best, Connors won only FOUR where he had to contend with Borg/McEnroe/Lendl.

nick

Federer listed at 16 slams. Why take away the last Wimbledon win. It was precious.

Gary Moser

Rafa is shown with 11, and Novak with 5, so this didn't come out recently.

Hence, the title of the post starts with "List Needing Revision?"

alex

This article needs updating for sure.

Leon

Some revision, really (the article was published on June 26 2012, just before @17).

sperry

RE: Connor's 109. Check out the competition in... I don't know... A TON of those. I'm too lazy to re-look it up, but just check his wins in his "stellar" year. He beat lots of people you never heard of. Mostly weak 250 type tourneys.

Gary Moser

Even worse, the one "people" [ read: opponent ] we've heard of most,
KEN ROSEWALL, who Jimbo vanquished in not one but two Slam finals that year,
was, what, 5'6" and 145 pounds?.....and 39 years old.

Just a little easier pickings than what we've had lately, huh?

Stella

Gary, you're more expert than I am but Rosewall was no pushover. "Muscles" was good. This was not an age of power tennis as we have now. Nor was fitness, racquet technology up there with the retinue of trainers, dieticians, etc etc that we have now. So beating Rosewall was an achievement , as was staying healthy to play all those "weak 250 tourneys " without todays retinue of helpers.
It's a shock to my system to realise that I was following tennis back then ( since 1960 in fact) , though all we got was wimbledon.

Gary Moser

Stella, there's no hard evidence that I am "more expert" than yourself.
Little if any soft evidence, even. But thanks, anyway! :->

Unfortunately, Rosewall WAS a pushover in those 2 Finals,
winning only 8 out of 44 games collectively.

But I believe my larger point is really the same that you're making:
that this current era of power tennis totally transcends what came before.
And that, even if the best of the old-timers --- and Ken was certainly one of them --
were to have the fitness, racquet technology, et. al. that exists now,
the limited physical stature of some of them --- most notably Ken ---
would IMO make it impossible for them to compete with the Roger/Rafa/Novak juggernaut.

I don't even have to look back to the 1960s or 1970s to reach this conclusion.
In the Sampras/Agassi era, a 5'9" 160-lb Michael Chang made it to FOUR Slam Finals.
In the current era, two same-size-and-same-game-as-Chang guys [ Ferrer & Davydenko ]
have been lucky to make it to ONE between them.

Personal History Note: I may have watched a few matches earlier in my life,
but the first one chronologically that I have a vivid memory of
is Laver's win over Roche in the 1969 USO to complete his 2nd Calendar GS.
No wonder I've been hooked ever since! :->

sperry

Here's the link to his famous 93-6 1974. http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Co/J/Jimmy-Connors.aspx?t=pa&y=1974&m=s&e=0# A year ago or something I was doing extremely intense research on tournament strength. Believe it or not, I programmed a very cool Excel spreadsheet with the draws of all the tournaments. (I never finished the project.) I then put the top 25 (a complex method which averaged ranking by month) and then linked the two sheets. The program found which of the top 25 were in each tournament. I gave the number 1 ranking (say) 25 points, and the 25th ranked player (say 1 point... I don't remember.) One year, and I think it was 74, Connors was the only top 25 player (THE ONLY!!!) in a bunch of tournaments he naturally won. Sorta like Djokovic playing challengers. I daresay with that competition, there are 15 players today that could have racked up a 93-6.

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