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Jimmy Connors was born in 1952 and grew up in East St Louis, Illinois, learning his tennis under the tutelage of his mother Gloria. He became Under-16 national champion and won a scholarship to UCLA, but after winning the Inter-Collegiate Singles title, quit his studies in January 1972 to turn pro. He won his first major title in the men's doubles with Ilie Nastase at Wimbledon in 1973 and the following year won not only his first Wimbledon singles title but the Australian and US Open too. He went on to win eight Grand Slam singles titles in total, including Wimbledon again in 1982, beating John McEnroe in an epic final. He was the first player to win Grand Slams on all three surfaces (grass, clay and hard), won a record 109 tournaments in his career, was world number one for 268 weeks - over five years - and was still playing at the highest level in his forties.
Winner of the Autobiography/Biography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2014. It’s been a long wait for an autobiography from tennis superstar Jimmy Connors and here, from the heart, a full and frank view of his life and tennis. Less of a blow-by-blow account of the famous matches than an inside view of the rise of professional tennis, the politics, the relationships, the factions and the razzmatazz of the circuit. Now on his third hip replacement, Jimmy Connors may have given up playing but he’s lost none of his love for the game and the fans. Like for Like Reading Open: An Autobiography, Andre Agassi Andy Murray: Seventy-Seven: My Road to Wimbledon Glory, Andy Murray
Jimmy Connors is a working-mans hero, a peoples champion who could tear the cover off a tennis ball, just as he tore the cover off the country-club gentility of his sport. A renegade from the wrong side of the tracks, Connors broke the rules with a radically aggressive style of play and bad-boy antics that turned his matches into prizefights. In 1974 alone, he won 95 out of 99 matches, all of them while wearing the same white shorts he washed in the sink of his hotel bathrooms. Though he lived the rock star life away from tennis, his enduring dedication to his craft earned him eight Grand Slam singles titles and kept him among the top ten best players in the world for sixteen straight yearsfive at number one.In The Outsider, Connors tells the complete, uncensored story of his life and career, setting the record straight about his formidable mother, Gloria; his very public romance with Americas sweetheart Chris Evert; his famous opponents, including Bjrn Borg, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, Ivan Lendl, and Rod Laver; his irrepressible co-conspirators Ilie Nastase and Vitas Gerulaitis; and his young nemesis Andre Agassi. Connors reveals how his issues with obsessive-compulsive disorder, dyslexia, gambling, and women at various times threatened to derail his career and his long-lasting marriage to Playboy Playmate Patti McGuire.Presiding over an era that saw tennis attract a new breed of passionate fansfrom cops to tycoonsConnors transformed the game forever with his two-handed backhand, his two-fisted lifestyle, and his epic rivalries.The Outsider is a grand slam of a memoir written by a man once again at the top of his gameas feisty, unvarnished, and defiant as ever.