Deemed as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Jimmy Connors has surely marked his name in other fields as well. But fame is such a funny thing.
The same thing that makes you a fan favorite can be the downfall of your career.
This top-listed tennis player sometimes drove backward because of his bad behavior. Despite all of the negativity, Jimmy always had his true dedication towards tennis and never really let go of it.
In the history of the 90s, no one on the entire tennis history could compare with Jimmy’s ranking and stats. Not to mention, Connors playing style has been influential for the development of the flat backhand.
Starting from early life, let’s get to know the biography of Jimmy Conners in more detail. And here we have quick facts as shown below:
|Full Name||James Scott Connors|
|Known as||James Connors|
|Nickname||Brash Basher of Belleville|
|Birth Date||2 September 1952|
|Birth Place||East St. Louis, United States|
|Residence||Santa Barbara, United States|
|Education||East St Louis Senior High School & University of California, Los Angeles|
|Father’s Name||James Scott Connors|
|Mother’s Name||Gloria Thompson|
|Siblings||1 (Johnny Connors)|
|Age||27 years old|
|Height||5’10” (178 cm)|
|Weight||68 kg (150 lbs)|
|Name of Children||Brett Davis and Aubree Leigh|
|Beginning of Professional Career||1960|
|Playing style||Left-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Coach||Gloria Connors, Pancho Segura|
|Honors||World Championship Tennis singles, Inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame, Inducted into St. Louis Walk of Fame,|
|Victory||Wimbledon doubles champion, U.S. Pro Championship singles champion, Wimbledon singles champion, Ranked number one tennis player in the world|
|Net Worth||$12 million|
|Coaching Career||Andy Roddick (2006-2008), Maria Sharapova (2013), Eugenie Bouchard (2015)|
|Merch||The Outsider: A Memoir, Autographed Tennis Card|
|Last Update||July, 2022|
Jimmy Connors | Early Life & Family
Jimmy was born on 2nd September 1952 in East St. Louis, Illinois. His father, James Connors, used to work as a toll bridge attendant. Meanwhile, his mother, Gloria Thompson, used to be a Tennis player.
Aside from his parents, Jimmy has a brother named John “Johnny” Connors.”
In fact, Jimmy was nurtured by his mother and grandmother, Bertha Thompson, when it comes to Tennis.
As for his education, Connors attended St. Philip’s grade school with his brother. After that, he went to East St. Louis Senior High School.
Likewise, for his further studies, Jimmy enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles.
As mentioned above, Jimmy’s mother, Gloria, was a tennis player who also learned to play with Bertha, her mother. Both of them were eager to teach Jimmy.
It is also said that Gloria was more than prepared to teach Connors tennis. In fact, she cleared the land behind her house to build a tennis court.
Similarly, Bertha tried to teach her first son, Johnny, but he didn’t show much interest. So they gave their 100% to groom Jimmy to become champion.
Not only in the beginning, but his mother Gloria has also been his primary coach. Thus, the family moved to California to support his tennis career. There, Jimmy sometimes trained with Panchi Gonzalez and Panchi Segura.
Similarly, just at the age of 8, Jimmy played his first U.S Championship in the eleven-and-under division.
By the time, Jimmy became so much mature on the court. Besides, he was even ready to play against top professionals by the age of 18.
Accordingly, in 1970, he made it to the quarterfinals in doubles of the U.S with Gonzalez. Later, while being at University, he won the National Intercollegiate singles title as a freshman.
Eventually, in 1972, Jimmy dropped college to play tennis full-time.
Jimmy Connors | Grand Slams Champion
Immediately after dropping out of college, Jimmy won his first professional title in Jacksonville, Florida. Eventually, he completed that year’s season ranking on number eighty-three.
Moreover, with time, Jimmy continued to win titles with record-breaking ranks.
Just only in a year, Jimmy ranked number one in the U.S, tying with Stan Smith. Jimmy further won the Wimbledon doubles title in 1973.
Later, in 1974, Jimmy won Grand Slam singles events, his second year as a professional. The same year, he won the Australian Open and the U.S. Open.
Moreover, for most male professionals, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) became the new union.
But Jimmy chose to join the World Team Tennis (WTT) though ATP and French Open did not allow ATT to compete in a tournament that year.
Career Stats & Peak Years
As time passed, Connors excelled in his field and bagged many titles. In 1973, 1976, and 1978, Jimmy ranked number one in the world.
Keeping his winning streak, Jimmy won the U.S Open singles title on hard court. Similarly, he became the first player to earn over 2 million dollars in his career.
Consequently, Jimmy won U.S. Open singles title on hardcourt in 1982 and 1983 as well.
Jimmy Connors | Bad Boy Days
To illustrate, Jimmy had always been the best of best in Tennis since the beginning. Hence, all eyes were on him, and even a small mistake harmed his public image.
Additionally, Jimmy got public attention from his emotional outbursts and antics on the court.
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Despite the fame of his playing style, ranking, and excellent return of serve, he has also been called punk, maverick, and street fighter rolled into one.
Truly while being down, Jimmy grunts and curses like a guttersnipe. Sometimes, he even wields his racket switchblade-style toward the crowd.
For some instances, Jimmy was even called “Bad Boys” of American tennis. Despite having a great character as a tennis player, his personality made him the ultimate bad boy.
Once, Jimmy and his American tennis rival John McEnroe claimed that many of the world’s best tennis players are boring. This clearly shows up that they are not ashamed of their characters.
Moreover, his difficult love life further affected his character even more.
In 1975, his relationship with his fiancee Chris Evert ended. That same year, he lost the Wimbledon finals.
After his tumbling love life, in 1978, Jimmy met Patti McGuire. Moreover, Patti was a Playboy Playmate-of-the-year, and they married just after 3 months of getting to know each other.
Accordingly, they welcomed their first child Brett Davis in 1980.
Just like his other relationship, their marriage was about to end in 1983. However, they succeeded in reconciling and welcomed another child, Aubree Leigh, in 1985.
Jimmy Connors | Comebacks
After devoting maximum time to his family, Jimmy was still energizing himself to play tennis. On the other side, maximum players of his age were retiring.
At the age of thirty-nine, considering difficulties including wrist surgery, Jimmy got into the French Open. Accordingly, the year 1991 became the only year he did not win the Grand Slam title.
Similarly, in the same year, Jimmy came to the 1991 U.S. Open that already was his favorite competition.
Despite his age, Jimmy was ranked 174th in the world. There he got a wildcard entry for the tournament. On the whole, Jimmy defeated many young and great players.
Eventually, Jimmy referred to the year 1991 as his comeback as “the summer of all summers.”
Jimmy Connors | Awards and Achievements
1971: National Intercollegiate singles title, Named All American
1973: Wimbledon doubles champion, U.S. Pro Championship
1973-75/1978-79/1983-84: U.S. Indoor Open singles champion
1974: Australian Open singles champion, U.S. Indoor Open doubles champion with Frew McMillan, U.S. Clay Court doubles champion with Ilie Nastase, Named Player of the Year
1974, 1976, 1978-79: U.S. Clay Court singles champion
1974, 1976, 1978, 1982-83: U.S. Open singles champion
1974, 1982: Wimbledon singles champion
1975: U.S. Open doubles champion with Ilie Nastase, U.S. Indoor Open doubles champion with Ilie Nastase
1976: Ranked number one tennis player in U.S. and world, Cologne Cup
1976/1978-80: Pro Indoor singles champion
1976/1981: Davis Cup Team
1976/1985: World Cup Team
1977: World Championship Tennis singles
1978: Ranked number one tennis player in the world
1991: Reached U.S. Open semifinals at age 39, Included in 25 Most Intriguing People by People magazine
1998: Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame
2001: Inducted into St. Louis Walk of Fame
Jimmy Connors | After Tennis
After 1991, Jimmy totally stopped playing professional tennis. But he still competed occasionally on the ATP tour up until 1996.
Back in 1993, he organized the Champions Tour for men over 35 years old.
In fact, in 2001, Jimmy was still ranking among the top twenty of the seniors’ tours.
Furthermore, he showed interest in other sports, especially golf. In 1994, Jimmy participated in the AT&T National Pro-Am golf tournament.
Likewise, involving his elder brother Johnny, they invested in a riverboat gambling operation in St. Louis.
In 1992, he even co-authored a book called Don’t Count Yourself Out! Staying Fit After 35.
In accordance, he became a spokesperson for products like Liberto Denim, Reebok Hard Court shoes, and other Homedics Thera P Magnetic Wave products for pain relief.
Jimmy Conners | Net Worth
Being a former top most ranked player of the world, Jimmy Conners’ net worth is estimated to be $12 million.
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Frequent Question (FAQs)
Was Connor better than McEnroe?
Jimmy and McEnroe were top competitors against each other. Analyzing their career stats, Connors is likely to be forward in most counting categories for singles, from matches won to titles.
Are Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe friends?
While in their prime years, Connors and McEnroe were fierce competitors. Hence, they are no best friends in any form or manner.
Moreover, John always said he preferred Pete Rose as his tennis nemesis.
Which teams were Jimmy coached?
To whom was Jimmy engaged?
Jimmy was firstly engaged with former Miss World Marjorie Wallace but split up and later married to Playboy model Patti McGuire.