Over the years, American tennis has produced players that have gone on to become legends of the sport. From the likes of Billie Jean King to Serena Williams and Andy Roddick, these players have dominated the sport during their illustrious careers. Among them was tennis legend, Jimmy Connors.
The 69-year-old dominated men’s tennis during the 80s and the 90s. During his legendary career, he went on to win eight Grand Slam singles titles. Connors once criticized another legendary player whose name adorns one of the most prestigious stadiums in the world, Arthur Ashe.
Jimmy Connors once gave a strong reply to Arthur Ashe
Reacting to Connors’ achievement at the Wimbledon Championships in 1972, Arthur Ashe said that as an American, he would rather win the US Open than the Wimbledon Championships. Slamming Arthur Ashe for his comments, Connors said, “Why would Arthur say that? Because I won Wimbledon? Everybody says Wimbledon is the biggest title in the world. Then I win it, and everybody tears it down.”
Further, he went on to add, “Even if I hadn’t won it I would still say Wimbledon is the biggest tournament. If Arthur had won Wimbledon, ask him which title he thinks is the biggest.”
Connors defeated Ken Rosewall in the final of the 1974 Wimbledon Championships to win his maiden grass-court Grand Slam title. Subsequently, he also went on to win the US Open that year to cap off a memorable season that also included the Australian Open title.
Connors’ rivalry with Arthur Ashe
During their careers, the two legends often saw each other on the opposite ends of the tennis court, with most of their matches keenly fought. However, Connors dominated in his rivalry with Arthur Ashe. In the seven matches played between them, Connors managed to emerge victorious in all but one encounter.
Further, Connors also had another heated rivalry with another iconic American tennis Champion, John McEnroe. Unlike Ashe, McEnroe proved to be a much tougher opponent for Connors, as he could only win 14 of their 34 match-ups.