Jimmy Connors Reveals All in New Memoirs

by John on May 12, 2013

J.S. Connors

I first heard rumblings about Jimmy Connors’ new memoirs, “The Outsider,” last Sunday. The snippets weren’t flattering. Connors hinted in a story in the New York Post three days before that former fiancée, America’s on-court sweetheart Chris Evert, got pregnant and then had an abortion as they became the biggest stars and the most popular couple in the sport back in 1974. That teaser set the Twitter world abuzz. Damn! Why was Jimbo, the erstwhile Bad Boy of tennis, throwing Chrissie under the bus? Savannah in her trendy tennis blog Savannah’s World posted: “For many this revelation has put Connors right back among the top douchebags of the sport.” A female acquaintance of mine chimed, “What a worm.” I didn’t check with any guys. Still I wondered why the hell Connors would do this? When I heard Jimbo was going to be interviewed on “Rock Center with Brian Williams” on Friday night I thought I would wait and reserve judgement. After all Connors had become a favorite of mine back in the early 1970s when I first started to follow tennis. It was actually a love-hate relationship at first. I loved his aggressive, no holds barred, brash style of play. The way he pounded opponents into submission with a relentless ground game the likes of which hadn’t been seen before. I didn’t much care though for the precocious wiseguy persona he displayed on the court. Very ungenteel. As Connors aged though he became more mellow, even if he wouldn’t admit it, and that was the player I really enjoyed and saw play more than a few times. In the “Rock Center” interview with Harry Smith, the 60-year-old Connors was his usual honest and candid self. Just like the straight shooter he’d been throughout his career. What you see with Connors is what you get. Nothing PC. Connors understandably has drawn an angry response from Evert for the abortion claim, but has no regrets about including it in the book. “It was a big part of my life back then,’’ Connors said earlier Friday. “We were young, and it was 40 years ago. It was an emotional and painful time for both of us, and we had to deal with the effects.” Tough decisions with tough consequences. Situations Connors has never shied away from. Maybe he should have skipped this detail though. The book comes out on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Keith January 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Hello John, I happened across your blog today while searching for some tennis info. I saw this post and just had to comment. It appears that I started following tennis around the same time that you did in the 70s. I was a big Vilas fan who gradually became a Connors fan for many of the reasons you listed. Plus the old US Open Krickstein and Haarhuis matches were wonderful for Jimmy. But after I heard about the Evert events in his book, I’ve totally written Jimbo off. Perhaps he’s being completely honest, but it comes off as sleazy way to sell books. As he told many umpires, he’s a bum!

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