Roger Federer reached a rare and special milestone over the weekend and received recognition from the best possible source.
Federer defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 to win the Dubai Tennis Championships, marking his 100th career singles tournament title. Not only did beating Tsitsipas give him some revenge after his Australian Open loss, but it also made him the second player to win 100 career singles tournaments. The other to do it is Jimmy Connors, who holds the record with 109 career singles titles in the open era.
Connors sent a great tweet welcoming Federer to the club, saying it was lonely and nice to have some company.
Some players don’t like having their records broken or athletes encroaching on their turf. Connors is acting the complete opposite, which shows great character.
Having Federer reach 100 wins is a nice thing for Connors too because it puts into perspective just how incredible his career was.
Jimmy Connors has very little sympathy for the players dealing with the heat at the US Open.
Several players have retired from their matches at the US Open this week due to the heat, which reached highs of 97 degrees on Tuesday. Novak Djokovic needed four sets to beat Marton Fucsovics in his first-round match on Tuesday. He asked for a trash can during a side change in case he needed to vomit. He and Fucsovics also received a 10-minute break after the third set, which they both used to take an ice bath.
Boris Becker, Djokovic’s former coach, posted a photo on Twitter of Nole and said it was a “scorcher” and “hot/humid” day at the US Open on Tuesday. Connors was not moved. He said that for the money at stake, he “would have played at 12 noon in the Sahara” and said conditioning is part of the game.
The 65-year-old won eight grand slams during his tennis career, including the US Open five times. He was known for being a fiery player with questionable on-court antics.
Given how hard he pushed himself and his passion for the game, it’s not too big of a surprise that Connors has little sympathy for the struggle players are going through this week. After seeing a tweet like that, it’s also no surprise he didn’t last very long in his most recent coaching job.
Just about everyone has an opinion about Tiger Woods in the wake of the golfer’s recent DUI arrest, and that includes tennis legend Jimmy Connors.
On Wednesday, Connors sent a tweet saying he is rooting for Tiger and urging the 14-time major champion to “get it together.”
Connors has struggled with gambling addiction, and he went into detail about it in a book he published several years ago.
“I was trying to find that daily thrill especially after I quit playing, even if it was just three seconds,” Connors explained, via a 2013 article from ESPN.com. “And then it doesn’t always happen. So then you just chase more. … Whether it was watching a basketball game or a football game, or laying cards or rolling dice or whatever.”
It would be unfair to jump to conclusions about Tiger’s personal life without knowing all the details, and that is the basis of why Charles Barkley vehemently defended Woods this week. Tiger’s career has obviously taken a downward turn, and that makes him an easy target for criticism. But unless people like Jack Nicklaus know something the rest of us don’t, it seems premature to say Woods needs “help.”
Maria Sharapova’s partnership with Jimmy Connors lasted about as long as a lead when Brandon League’s in a ballgame.
Less than five days after raving about Connors, Sharapova fired her new coach. She lost to Sloane Stephens in the second round of the Western & Southern Open last week after blowing a one set lead. By Friday, reports had said Sharapova fired Connors, who was hired in July. According to Tennis.com’s Matt Cronin, Sharapova had her father make the termination call to Connors.
Cronin says it was Sharapova’s father, Yuri, who initiated the hiring of Connors, which might be why Maria asked him to make the call to chop the head.
Sharapova is without a coach entering the US Open, which begins next week. Cronin says some observers at Cincinnati believe Sharapova’s problematic shoulder was affecting her again. No matter how you look at it, Sharapova’s in a bad spot leading up to the major.
Racquet clap to Beyond the Baseline
Maria Sharapova seems happy with Jimmy Connors in her first month working with her new coach.
Sharapova announced her hiring of Connors in July, three weeks after she lost to qualifier Michelle Larcher in straight sets in the second round at Wimbledon. She is playing in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati this week, marking her first tournament under the tutelage of the eight-time major winner. In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Sharapova said some of what Connors can offer is “priceless.”
“His philosophy is there’s no substitute for hard work,” Sharapova said Monday. “He certainly emphasizes that in every single practice.
“At this stage of my career, no one’s going to come in and change something drastically. But his experience and work ethic are priceless. It’s been nice.”
Sharapova worked together with Connors briefly before the 2008 Australian Open, back when Michael Joyce was her coach. She has won four majors and been ranked No. 1 in the world, so she’s not exactly looking to reshape her game. She recognizes that and hopes Connors will make a difference with smaller things.
“Certainly I know what it takes to accomplish something. I’ve been there. It was more about the work ethic that I knew he was going to put in, and the experience. He’s been there, done that.”
The biggest obstacle Sharapova will look to overcome is her struggles against Serena Williams, against whom she has lost 13 straight matches. It’s extremely early in their coach-player relationship, but maybe Connors will be the difference for Sharapova, just like Ivan Lendl has proven to be with Andy Murray.
Chris Evert responded to Jimmy Connors revealing personal details about their past relationship, saying that she is “disappointed” he went public with their story.
Connors and Evert were at the top of the tennis world when they dated in the ’70s. He was 22 and she was 19 when they were planning to get married in 1974 before something got in the way.
In his new memoir, “The Outsider,” Connors implies that he impregnated Evert and that she had an abortion. He says the incident led to them calling off their wedding plans.
Evert seems bothered that Connors revealed the story without consulting her.
“In his book, Jimmy Connors has written about a time in our relationship that was very personal and emotionally painful. I am extremely disappointed that he used the book to misrepresent a private matter that took place 40 years ago and made it public, without my knowledge. I hope everyone can understand that I have no further comment,” Evert said in a statement issued through her agent.
It’s quite understandable why Evert would be upset with Connors over the matter. As she said, this all took place over 40 years ago and had been buried in the past. Why would anyone want a secret like that coming up?
Connors is trying to sell his book and knows that a juicy gossip item like that would help him get attention. It was pretty inconsiderate for him to make the revelation without notifying Evert first.
Connors, 60, won eight grand slam singles titles during his playing career. Evert won 18 grand slam singles titles during her career.
Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert were one of the most popular couples in sports in the 1970s. The two tennis stars were at the top of the food chain in their sport, which in many ways made them the ideal power couple. Connors and Evert were engaged to be married in 1974, but they split just weeks before their scheduled wedding date. The reason why may surprise you.
In his new memoir, “The Outsider,” Connors implied that he and Evert called off their wedding because of a complication that arose in their relationship when Evert became pregnant.
“An issue had arisen as a result of youthful passion, and a decision had to be made as a couple,” Connors wrote in the book, via the NY Post. “Chrissie called to say she was coming out to LA to take care of the ‘issue.’ I was perfectly happy to let nature take its course and accept responsibility for what was to come.”
Connors was 22 at the time and Evert was 19. Having come from a strict Catholic home, Evert reportedly felt that the timing of the pregnancy was bad and that she had no other choice. Connors said she asked him to handle the “details” and had already made up her mind.
“Well, thanks for letting me know,” he said he told her. “Since I don’t have any say in the matter, then I guess I am just here to help.”
Connors said he later told Evert that it would be best if they “take a step back” in their relationship, which did not sit well with her and ultimately led to the split. He said they fought hard to work out their issues but that it became difficult because of their rising status as sports stars.
“Can two No. 1’s exist in the same family?” he wrote.
It seems to be working out fine for Jay-Z and Beyonce.