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Jimmy Connors Saved My Life: Part 1

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  • Jimmy Connors Saved My Life: Part 1

    Let's get your thoughts on Joel Drucker's article "Jimmy Connors Saved My Life: Part 1!"

  • #2
    Nice piece. Will be interesting to see where this story goes...

    Jimmy Connors a bit of an enigma to me personally. Never was interested or followed him as closely as other great players. Everyone I spoke with in the tennis industry that had opportunity to work with him said he was an asshole, which says something I guess. But I never met the man so hard for me to make judgments on him. Curious to hear more.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

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    • #3
      Connors versus Krickstein…Redux

      Originally posted by klacr View Post
      Jimmy Connors a bit of an enigma to me personally. Never was interested or followed him as closely as other great players. Everyone I spoke with in the tennis industry that had opportunity to work with him said he was an asshole, which says something I guess. But I never met the man so hard for me to make judgments on him. Curious to hear more.

      Kyle LaCroix USPTA
      Boca Raton
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xY2IrIvfPE

      I wonder if one of those guys you mention was a friend of mine…once upon a time. I was more or less brought up on Jimmy Connors. He was in your face when he was on the tennis court.

      Enigma? To say the least. On the one hand a notorious mama's boy but on the other maybe one of the toughest competitors ever in the game of tennis. Just tough as nails on the tennis court. What a character…let's leave it at that.

      It speaks so highly of Aaron to have such integrity and courage to put something aside that with the years he can look back in amusement. What a touching moment to see him embrace his daughter after she sang the national anthem.

      I wish that I would have had the chance to be his corner man later in his career. We were undefeated in the juniors. He would have never lost that match to Connors if I had been in his corner. Never. God bless him…and Connors too. Tough son of a gun.
      Last edited by don_budge; 10-10-2015, 02:58 AM. Reason: for clarity's sake...
      don_budge
      Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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      • #4
        I was talking to a big athletic guy at the theater here who said he and his partner played somebody else and Aaron when Aaron was about 10 and they lost so he asked Aaron if he would play a set of singles with him and didn't win one point.

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        • #5
          bottle,

          Good video find.
          Aaron is director of St. Andrews CC. The club is 1 mile down the road from my club. It was a packed house. Connors was his old competitive self, if only for 35 minutes, but his body has been torn down. Aaron as fit as a fiddle, ball striking machine, won the match but was generous in giving Jimmy those games. It could have been a complete thumping, a blowout if Krickstein was not such a gentleman and professional. 8-0 for Aaron if it wasn't an exhibition.

          Kyle LaCroix USPTA
          Boca Raton
          Last edited by klacr; 10-10-2015, 04:50 PM.

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          • #6
            The Enigma of Jimmy Connors...

            Originally posted by klacr View Post
            ...a blowout if Krickstein was not such a gentleman and professional. 8-0 for Aaron if it wasn't an exhibition.

            Kyle LaCroix USPTA
            Boca Raton
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xY2IrIvfPE

            What a gentleman. Never an untoward moment from my little buddy.

            Connors on the other hand was another story. He found a myriad of ways to be offensive…all in the name of giving it his all. He's a character. His autobiography "The Outsider" is a classic illustration of who he really is. It seems to be brutally frank and you get an indication just how self-centered he is and was. As an individual sport this sort of self-centeredness is almost a given in players that get to the very top and are driven to stay there. It might manifest itself in different ways but in every one of them there is some aspect of their personality that is over compensated…that aspect is known as the ego.

            But they are asking Jimbo about the game in the interview at about the 6 minute mark before the match. Connors is noticeably a bit reticent about answering a sort of open ended question about the game and how it is today. The interviewer says that back in the day of Connors tennis was in the midst of a "boom". He asks…"today if we had that boom what would tennis be like and how much do we need it?"

            Jimmy Connors response…

            "Well you know…I'm probably the wrong person to ask. I'm not in tennis right now. The fans seem to like it…what's going on today. We could sit here and have a discussion about what's good…what's not so and what I think should happen. But you know…in reality the game is booming and the fans seem to like what's going on and that is really all that counts."

            A less than enthusiastic endorsement as to how the game is being played today. Connors was a part of this wonderful elite group of players that were playing when the game went Open back in 1968 that was still playing with the original equipment. There was a tremendous "boom" in the game the likes of which had never been seen and probably never will again. The equipment was a rather serious issue back when it was changing even though it never got much media exposure. It was so quietly ushered in without controversy. The tennis government has always had a rather tight rein on things…even now it seems as if Connors has sort of been "muzzled" to prevent him from criticizing the game overly. Even though he did say that he is no longer "in the game".

            Jimmy Connors was one of the very last to change equipment. No matter how you might no approve of him as a human being or the way that he behaved at times…he was utterly devoted to the game as much as he was utterly devoted to his mother. In some senses Jimmy really had a lot of balls. A lot of audacity as well.
            don_budge
            Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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            • #7
              Originally posted by klacr View Post
              bottle,

              Good video find.
              Aaron is director of St. Andrews CC. The club is 1 mile down the road from my club. It was a packed house. Connors was his old competitive self, if only for 35 minutes, but his body has been torn down. Aaron as fit as a fiddle, ball striking machine, won the match but was generous in giving Jimmy those games. It could have been a complete thumping, a blowout if Krickstein was not such a gentleman and professional. 8-0 for Aaron if it wasn't an exhibition.

              Kyle LaCroix USPTA
              Boca Raton
              The big question, as one gets older, is how one is doing? I felt almost sorry as McEnroe went easy on Connors in the Ploughshares. And I certainly understand that there may be items that one can't control-- especially in Grosse Pointe which according to a nurse friend of mind may be the cancer capital of the world and is doing her thesis on all possible causes. I wonder what Dr. Krickstein would have had to say about that. Around here everybody talks about the Kricksteins all the time.

              I'm certainly not trying to say that Jimmy Connors is sick in any way. I know absolutely nothing on that score. But he's had replacements, right? I'm lucky as hell that mine has speeded me up (or so Sarah, a local pro, suggested on Friday night) rather than slowed me down.

              Doesn't matter who you are or what your troubles. There are some you can control and others...

              Steve has got me once again about to read the Connors autobiography although I may have to get through the next thousand pages of A GLASTONBURY ROMANCE first (I'm hooked).

              It is absolutely great to hear (and see) that Aaron Krickstein is in such great shape, and I will tell any Grosse Pointe citizenry I know who don't know that.
              Last edited by bottle; 10-11-2015, 05:09 AM.

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              • #8
                Connors had at least one hip replaced. Not sure about #2. If not, I'm sure it's coming. Yeah...Krickstein, The pride of Southeastern Michigan.

                Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                Boca Raton

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                • #9
                  Jimbo

                  Beautiful. I look forward to future installments. I was never in the "tennis industry." But as someone born in 1966, Jimbo and Chrissie made tennis in the USA on par with Monday Night Football. Their many temples lie in ruins all around the country: dilapidated tennis courts that are now parking lots or basketball courts or skateboard ramps, with the old lines still visible, circa 1975. "Come on, Keep your eye on the ball...step and hit..."

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                  • #10
                    I have his book with the same title. Really enjoyed it.
                    Regards, Phil

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                    • #11
                      Phil,

                      You don't miss anything. Been arguing with Joel about excerpting it for awhile. Glad he finally relented.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by klacr View Post
                        bottle,

                        Good video find.
                        Aaron is director of St. Andrews CC. The club is 1 mile down the road from my club. It was a packed house. Connors was his old competitive self, if only for 35 minutes, but his body has been torn down. Aaron as fit as a fiddle, ball striking machine, won the match but was generous in giving Jimmy those games. It could have been a complete thumping, a blowout if Krickstein was not such a gentleman and professional. 8-0 for Aaron if it wasn't an exhibition.

                        Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                        Boca Raton
                        Aaron was and is such a genuine, great sportsman. What a credit to tennis. Along the lines of Stephan Edberg, the very highest end of simply being a good person.

                        Comment

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