40 Facts About Jimmy Connors

1. James Scott Jimmy Connors was born on September 2, 1952 and is an American former world No 1 tennis player.

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2. Jimmy Connors held the top Association of Tennis Professionals ranking for a then-record 160 consecutive weeks from 1974 to 1977 and a career total of 268 weeks.

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3. Jimmy Connors finished year end number one in the ATP rankings from 1974 to 1978.

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4. Jimmy Connors grew up in East St Louis, Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St Louis, and was raised Catholic.

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5. Jimmy Connors played in his first US Championship, the US boys' 11-and-under of 1961, when he was nine years old.

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6. Jimmy Connors won the Junior Orange Bowl in both the 12- and the 14-year categories, and is one of only nine tennis players to win the Junior Orange Bowl championship twice in its 70-year history.

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7. In 1971, Jimmy Connors won the NCAA singles title as a Freshman while attending UCLA and attained All-American status.

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8. Jimmy Connors turned professional in 1972 and won his first tournament, the Jacksonville Open.

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9. Jimmy Connors was acquiring a reputation as a maverick in 1972 when he refused to join the newly formed Association of Tennis Professionals, the union that was embraced by most male professional players, in order to play in and dominate a series of smaller tournaments organized by Bill Riordan, his manager.

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10. Jimmy Connors won eight Grand Slam singles championships: five US Opens, two Wimbledons, and one Australian Open.

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11. Jimmy Connors is one of thirteen men to win three or more major singles titles in a calendar year.

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12. Jimmy Connors reached the final of the US Open in five straight years from 1974 through 1978, winning three times with each win being on a different surface.

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13. Jimmy Connors chose not to participate in the season-ending Masters Cup between the top eight players of the world and was not eligible for the World Championship Tennis finals because he did not compete in the WCT's regular tournaments.

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14. Jimmy Connors was the recipient of the Martini and Rossi Award, voted for by a panel of journalists and was ranked World No 1 by Rex Bellamy, Tennis Magazine, Rino Tommasi, World Tennis, Bud Collins, Judith Elian and Lance Tingay.

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15. In 1976, Jimmy Connors captured the US Open while losing in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

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16. Jimmy Connors was ranked No 1 by the ATP for the entire year and was ranked number one by World Tennis, Tennis Magazine, Bud Collins, Lance Tingay, John Barrett, and Tommasi.

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17. Jimmy Connors was generally ranked third in the world those years.

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18. In 1975, Jimmy Connors won two highly touted "Challenge Matches", both arranged by the Riordan company and televised nationally by CBS Sports from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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19. Jimmy Connors won all three meetings with Rod Laver in tour events.

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20. Jimmy Connors defeated another of the next generation of tennis stars, Ivan Lendl, in the 1982 US Open final and soon regained the No 1 ranking.

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21. Jimmy Connors continued to compete against younger men well into his 41st year.

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22. In July 1988, Jimmy Connors ended a four-year title drought by winning the Sovran Bank Tennis Classic in Washington, DC It was the 106th title of his career.

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23. At the 1989 US Open, Jimmy Connors defeated the third seed, Stefan Edberg, in straight sets in the fourth round and pushed sixth-seeded Andre Agassi to five sets in a quarterfinal.

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24. Jimmy Connors walked off the court after hitting a winner against Chang.

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25. Jimmy Connors was allowed only one serve per point and Navratilova was allowed to hit into half the doubles court.

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26. Jimmy Connors was seeking to enter the French Open, but the ATP and French officials opposed WTT because of scheduling conflicts, so the entries of WTT players were refused between 1974 and 1978.

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27. Jimmy Connors dropped Riordan and eventually the lawsuits after losing to Ashe in the 1975 Wimbledon final.

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28. Jimmy Connors explained that this necessitated his rushing to meet the doctor at the entrance to the grounds, and then convincing Nastase to help him try out the splint on a practice court.

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29. In Grand Slam Singles events, Jimmy Connors reached the semifinals or better a total of 31 times and the quarterfinals or better a total of 41 times, despite entering the Australian Open Men's Singles only twice and not entering the French Open Men's Singles for five of his peak career years.

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30. Jimmy Connors was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1998 and Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 1986.

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31. Jimmy Connors was even booed at Wimbledon—a rare show of disapproval there—for snubbing the Parade of Champions on the first day of the Centenary in 1977.

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32. Jimmy Connors was taught to hit the ball on the rise by his teaching-pro mother, Gloria Jimmy Connors, a technique he used to defeat the opposition in the early years of his career.

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33. Jimmy Connors hit his forehand with a semi-Western grip and with little net clearance.

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34. Jimmy Connors's serve, while accurate and capable, was never a great weapon for him as it did not reach the velocity and power of his opponents.

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35. Jimmy Connors used lead tape which he would wind around the racket head to provide the proper "feel" for his style of game.

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36. In July 2013 former women's world No 1 Maria Sharapova announced on her website that Jimmy Connors was her new coach.

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37. Jimmy Connors was engaged to fellow tennis pro Chris Evert from 1974 to 1975, and they each triumphed in the singles events at the 1974 Wimbledon Championships, a feat labelled "The Lovebird Double" by the media.

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38. On November 21, 2008, Jimmy Connors was arrested outside an NCAA basketball game between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California at Santa Barbara after refusing to comply with an order to leave an area near the entrance to the stadium.

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39. On July 24, 2018, LiveWire Ergogenics, Inc announced that Jimmy Connors joined the firm as a spokesman and advisor.

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40. In December 2019, Jimmy Connors appeared as himself on season 18 episode 9 of Family Guy titled Christmas is Coming.

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