Jimmy Connors Biography
- Born: 02-09-1952
- Birth Place: Belleville, Ill., USA
Jimmy Connors Biography
One of the most influential players in the history of tennis. His game was volatile and dramatic but his winning streak lasted over 20 years and encompassed Grand Slam and Wimbledon titles.
As a child, Jimmy Connors moved with his family to California. There, he studied tennis under the tutelage of professional players, including the great Pancho Gonzalez.
One of the most enduring and influential players in the history of tennis, he is the joint leader in men's tournament victories, having won a record of 125 singles titles, including eight Grand Slam titles and nine Champions Tour titles.
During his career, he also won 21 doubles titles, including two Grand Slams and two Champions Tours.
Between 1974 and 1977, he was Wimbledon champion twice during his career - once in 1974, playing against Ken Rosewall; and again in 1982, against John McEnroe.
Though No. 1 for a staggering 263 weeks in the '70s, it took him eight years to win that second Wimbledon title. Three times he lost in the finals, to Arthur Ashe in 1975 and to Bjorn Borg in 1977 and 1978. The 1977 defeat to Borg was a legendary match, with Connors rallying from 0-4 in the fifth set to tie before the Swede won the final two games.
He was also denied a shot at the Grand Slam in 1974 because he was banned from the French Open after signing to play in World Team Tennis. Because the Association of Tennis Pros (ATP) - which Connors refused to join - and the French officials opposed WTT, entries of WTT players were refused.
It was during that same year that the world's No. 1 male player was involved in a romance with the No. 1 female player, Chris Evert. However, the relationship eventually ended despite rumours that they had planned to marry. In 1980, Connors married Playboy model Patti McGuire. They have two children and currently live in California.
In 1991, Connors amazed the tennis world by reaching the semi-finals of the U.S. Open at the age of 39. It was a testimony to both his enduring athleticism and his uncompromising competitiveness - often manifested in his volatile and dramatic court behaviour.
In 2006, Connor announced plans to coach current US tennis ace Andy Roddick. He has also worked extensively as a tennis commentator for US and British television networks.