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Jimmy Connors: “When I was coming up, it was always a hostile crowd; the tennis elite weren’t used to my attitude”

American tennis legend Jimmy Connors recently shed light on the hostility he faced from the elite players because of his unapologetic approach. Jimmy Connors is a name that resonates through the halls of tennis history. His exceptional talent and fierce determination not only earned him eight Grand Slams but also had a big impact on the sport.



The former World No. 1 first rose to prominence in the 1970s when his unrivaled talent and brash attitude captivated audiences but also made him a subject of hostility and criticism. At the time, the sport was usually dominated by professionals with a refined image and elite backgrounds. In a recent Spotify podcast, Advantage Connors, the American opened up about his approach back in the day and how he liked performing in front of an unsupportive crowd.



The 70-year-old claimed that he relished a hostile atmosphere while performing and hoped for a massive audience to witness his exquisite skillset whenever he stepped on the court.“When I was first coming up, it was always a hostile crowd. You know, I kind of liked that. And the reason being is, you know, I always felt you know, you’re for me or against me, but you’re there, you know, and I said this before, I didn’t want to play in front of 1200 people in a gymnasium in Jacksonville, Florida. I wanted to play in front of 25,000 people and hundreds of millions and more on TV,” he said.



Furthermore, Jimmy Connors claimed that the elite players weren’t accustomed to his attitude, which he thinks assisted him in evolving the sport from “country clubs” to “blue-collar workers.” “Hostile for the first number of years they were towards me because, you know, I was a different, a different personality, I had a different attitude, I had a different approach to my game and the way I wanted to play it and what it meant to me. The tennis elite weren’t used to that kind of attitude. You know, I took it from the country clubs to the hopefully the blue-collar worker,” he added.



Jimmy Connors recalls a meme of Novak Djokovic lifting Grand Slams in his 40s

Jimmy Connors recalled a hilarious meme of Novak Djokovic

In his Advantage Connors podcast, Jimmy Connors talked about Novak Djokovic’s everlasting consistency despite facing challenges from young blood in the sport such as Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune. He also recalled a hilarious meme of Novak Djokovic winning Grand Slam crowns well into his 40s and 50s.“Somebody put up a picture, I saw on Twitter, Djokovic, where he was 40 or 50 years old, and he is still out there making a speech on Centre Court of Wimbledon. And I loved it,” Connors said, laughing, on the Advantage Connors podcast.

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