The Random Tennis News Thread

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The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by The Special Juan on Sat May 04, 2013 3:17 pm

There's not really a thread up for random tennis news that perhaps doesn't require it's own topic.

First of all, it's sad to hear of the death of Brad Drewett, Chief Executive of the ATP. I don't know if anyone's mentioned that and I've missed it.

Secondly, here's an interesting bit of tennis gossip about Evert and Connors: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/05/04/tennis-connors-evert-idUKL3N0DL05G20130504
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lydian on Sat May 04, 2013 3:41 pm

Interesting read about Jimmy and Chrissie, thanks!

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by yloponom68 on Sat May 04, 2013 4:09 pm

Very disappointing to see Connors make this revelation in his book. Could understand a 21 year old version, losing his cool and letting it slip - but a 61 year old, grown, mature man - it says alot about his character, and not in the positive. Surely with his tennis record and all that transpired in his glittering career, he had enough material to sell enough books? Very, very poor form.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lags72 on Sat May 04, 2013 4:50 pm

This is not something Connors can be proud of.

We know just how bland some autobiogs by sports stars can be and for that reason an honest and truthful account is always far more interesting than one which pretty much recounts what was already in the public domain without adding anything new.

HOWEVER ....... there are certain things that are far better left unsaid, not least where these involve the emotions and privacy of other parties.

Connors has crossed the line here in revealing a highly sensitive and painful episode. It might help him sell a few more books, but I consider his betrayal of Evert on this as shameful.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by kingraf on Sat May 04, 2013 5:09 pm

Maybe he is still quite bitter about it. If a woman revealed this, there would be a lot of understanding. Seems to me he has carried this albatross for years, and it obviously played a part in their break up (from his side at least), must say, pretty decent writing to so obviously talk about abortion without slipping up and saying something libellous
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lydian on Sat May 04, 2013 5:25 pm

I was just going to say the same thing, he must have still been very bitter about it all to come out with this years later. I won't judge him or her in whats right or wrong, however I do wonder what he gains about bringing this out, he would know its bound to hurt her...then again maybe he felt he was the one hurt where she just carried on in a callous and dispassionate way given what happened. Who knows...but it's fairly safe to say they won't be saying hello anytime soon!
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by yloponom68 on Sat May 04, 2013 5:53 pm

..."where she just carried on in a callous and dispassionate way given what happened..."

WE don't know what happened, only the few lines from his book.

Whilst it sometimes feel unfair that it is uniquely the woman's choice, the physical and emotional impact looms much larger for her, than for the biological father. As someone who's "been there," it's not easy but there's no justification for what Connors said in this regard. And if Evert is half the lady that she was during her career, we'll never read or hear of this again. Class all the way....and I was/am a diehard Martina fan - but the lady has class by the bucket load. Something Connors lacks.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by hawkeye on Sat May 04, 2013 6:06 pm

lydian wrote:I was just going to say the same thing, he must have still been very bitter about it all to come out with this years later. I won't judge him or her in whats right or wrong, however I do wonder what he gains about bringing this out, he would know its bound to hurt her...then again maybe he felt he was the one hurt where she just carried on in a callous and dispassionate way given what happened. Who knows...but it's fairly safe to say they won't be saying hello anytime soon!

That's very nice of you not to judge Connors but surely you see the irony when you go on to call Evert "callous and dispassionate". I will judge Connors though seeing as how by writing about it he's asking to be judged. I reckon he's using something that he had no business discussing in public as a way to sell his book. Shame on him.

yloponom68. Great post. I agree.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by kingraf on Sat May 04, 2013 6:16 pm

Connors was raised by his mother wasnt he? Men raised by single mothers do tend to take paternal responsibilities with more gusto.
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by Born Slippy on Sat May 04, 2013 6:21 pm

hawkeye wrote:
lydian wrote:I was just going to say the same thing, he must have still been very bitter about it all to come out with this years later. I won't judge him or her in whats right or wrong, however I do wonder what he gains about bringing this out, he would know its bound to hurt her...then again maybe he felt he was the one hurt where she just carried on in a callous and dispassionate way given what happened. Who knows...but it's fairly safe to say they won't be saying hello anytime soon!

That's very nice of you not to judge Connors but surely you see the irony when you go on to call Evert "callous and dispassionate". I will judge Connors though seeing as how by writing about it he's asking to be judged. I reckon he's using something that he had no business discussing in public as a way to sell his book. Shame on him.

yloponom68. Great post. I agree.

Lydian is, I believe, stating what appears to be Connors' belief not his own judgement. I agree though it seems a very poor choice to include it in his book, without even warning her it was to be revealed.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by JuliusHMarx on Sat May 04, 2013 6:23 pm

It would be difficult for Connors to write an autobiography without mentioning his relationship with Evert and the reason why it didn't last.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lydian on Sat May 04, 2013 6:27 pm

Exactly BS. I was surmising the bitter viewpoint Connors, not me, might have held to come out with this admission. I don't agree it should have been said, plus I don't think any rational poster would agree it was a wise move. its only going to upset the other party. However, it doesn't stop us wondering WHY or WHAT must have driven him to come out with it.
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by The Special Juan on Sun May 05, 2013 10:08 am

Apparently it was against Connors wishes and if this is the case then no wonder he's bitter about it. Still, I don't agree with him revealing it at all and it smacks of pettiness. Maybe the reason why he revealed it is purely because he wants more book sales.
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by hawkeye on Sun May 05, 2013 11:01 am

The Special Juan wrote:Apparently it was against Connors wishes and if this is the case then no wonder he's bitter about it. Still, I don't agree with him revealing it at all and it smacks of pettiness. Maybe the reason why he revealed it is purely because he wants more book sales.

"Against Connors wishes"! You really haven't a clue. Connors may have revealed it to get more book sales and perhaps with the idiotic idea that he would get sympathy but all it does is reveal that he doesn't have a clue either. Evert had a lucky escape. She was the one treated badly. I was looking forward to reading this book but I don't think I feel like contributing to Connors retirement fund now.


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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by The Special Juan on Sun May 05, 2013 11:05 am

hawkeye wrote:
The Special Juan wrote:Apparently it was against Connors wishes and if this is the case then no wonder he's bitter about it. Still, I don't agree with him revealing it at all and it smacks of pettiness. Maybe the reason why he revealed it is purely because he wants more book sales.

"Against Connors wishes"! You really haven't a clue. Connors may have revealed it to get more book sales and perhaps with the idiotic idea that he would get sympathy but all it does is reveal that he doesn't have a clue either. Evert had a lucky escape. She was the one treated badly. I was looking forward to reading this book but I don't think I feel like contributing to Connors retirement fund now.


No hawkeye, I don't "have a clue". That's why I said "apparently". You do know what the word means, don't you? The Oxford English Dictionary online defines it as "as far as one knows or can see". Please read posts properly and digest them before commenting. It is better to remain quiet and be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt.
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by Guest on Sun May 05, 2013 11:07 am

The Special Juan wrote:Apparently it was against Connors wishes and if this is the case then no wonder he's bitter about it. Still, I don't agree with him revealing it at all and it smacks of pettiness. Maybe the reason why he revealed it is purely because he wants more book sales.

This.

Pretty disgraceful as far as I'm concerned. No class and no standards. Appears he is the same man in life as he was on court.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by hawkeye on Sun May 05, 2013 11:27 am

The Special Juan.

My point was that Evert was the one who's wishes came first. Connors had no right to expect her to go against her own wishes. You implied with your "apparently" that if Evert had acted against his wishes he had every right to feel bitter. He didn't and he certainly didn't have any right to act vengefully as he has done by revealing something that if he had any clue he wouldn't have. Of course he has every right to feel sad or a sense of regret but that is a very different thing.

This may be very difficult for you to do but try imagining yourself in Everts position.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by Silver on Sun May 05, 2013 11:42 am

Grab it from a library in the future, hawkeye. That's what I did with Blair's book, not particularly wanting to contribute to his growing post-premiership fortune.

It's a shame that the information has come out in this way, is all that I can say. Unless he discussed it with Evert beforehand, I would argue that it's a bit classless to reveal such sensitive information in such a manner. It's all well and good to feel hard done by in private, and that's fine - but he hasn't earned himself any favours here, and it's going to lead to accusations of being commercially driven.

Good idea for a thread TSJ thumbsup

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by JuliusHMarx on Sun May 05, 2013 12:00 pm

I suppose the question would have come up, when writing his autobiography, as to why he and Chrissie split up. It would be of interest to the reader. He could have lied, stated what he feels to be the truth, or not addressed it at all. Connors has given what he feels to be the truth. He could have continued to conceal it, as he has done for 40 years, but writing an autobiography is usually a decision to reveal rather than conceal. Connors was never one to do things in half measures..
Whether that's right or wrong, I'm not really in a position to judge.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by kingraf on Sun May 05, 2013 12:03 pm

Bye that theory HE, every male who walks out on a
woman because she wouldnt have an abortion is
absolved because its the womans decision.
Nothing against Evert, but to say Connors has no
right to feel bitter is reverse sexism.
If a guy walks out on a pregnant woman he is an
a.ss
But if a woman has an abortion against her
partners wishes, he must tow the line and move
on? Connors shouldnt have put this on paper, but
he has every right to feel bitter.
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by hawkeye on Sun May 05, 2013 12:19 pm

kingraf wrote:Bye that theory HE, every male who walks out on a
woman because she wouldnt have an abortion is
absolved because its the womans decision.
Nothing against Evert, but to say Connors has no
right to feel bitter is reverse sexism.
If a guy walks out on a pregnant woman he is an
a.ss
But if a woman has an abortion against her
partners wishes, he must tow the line and move
on? Connors shouldnt have put this on paper, but
he has every right to feel bitter.

Basically. Yes! Better choose partners carefully. As a man you could be left responsible for the upbringing of a child you didn't plan or risk losing a child you didn't plan but would have liked to have been responsible for. Don't worry though kingraf a women can be left living a life they didn't plan or lifelong regrets too. No one gets away without having to face responsibility. But it is a women's right to choose.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by JuliusHMarx on Sun May 05, 2013 12:48 pm

Ultimately, it is a woman's right to choose, and in this case that choice led to the end of the relationship between Connors and Evert and left Connors unhappy at the choice.
He kept quiet about it fr 40 years, but when writing his autobiography, it would be difficult to leave out that part without a deliberate decision to conceal part of his life, which may be at odds with the whole intent when writing the book.


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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by socal1976 on Sun May 05, 2013 1:17 pm

Jimmy isn't the nicest guy in the world although I still would say one of my all time favorites. When he played he was the guy I rooted for at the time like Djokovic now. But Connors has a right to break up with Everett over this over this reason and if he is writing a book it might not be honorable but what use is writing an autobiography without detailing as much of your life as possible. This is always the conundrum in these tell all autobiographies. The same thing with Agassi's autobiography discussed his meth use and talked some junk on fellow players.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lags72 on Sun May 05, 2013 1:44 pm

JHM : I fully understood the general thrust of your view on this, but I still maintain that even when writing a warts and all autobiography, there are some warts that really are best left concealed.

The fact that "he kept quiet about it for 40 years" does not - IMO - make it right that he should now reveal this highly personal episode in their relationship - even if the episode was ultimately a catalyst for the breakdown of the relationship, and as such would finally explain something that until now had perhaps been glossed over as it just didn't work out, but hey these things happen and we both moved on in our lives in different directions ......

Most autobio writers use some sort of 'professional' adviser when putting together their material, and I feel that such an adviser might have been able to suggest an alternative approach along the following lines :

"It was never my intention to break off my engagement to Chris, but I know that the circumstances behind this decision are still regarded by Chris as very personal and private, and not something she would ever wish to be made public. And so I have chosen to respect her wishes on this."

Now ..... I do appreciate that this would have led to all sorts of ongoing speculation but it's a fact of life that people will ALWAYS speculate and judge - even when presented with the full facts. You can never stop speculation, however much you reveal.

Connors had to choose between sticking to an autobiography primarily about his hugely impressive sporting achievements OR turning it into something more akin to a kiss and tell story.

I'm just disappointed that by going for the more sensationalist approach he deemed his readership and sales figures to be more important than the feelings of a woman he once loved.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by JuliusHMarx on Sun May 05, 2013 1:56 pm

Connors is nothing if not bloody-minded. It may be that having made the decision to 'reveal' himself in an autobiography, he was not willing to conceal certain things just because they might upset people - not if he felt that it was his self-appointed job to tell the truth about his life at this point. I doubt that he felt it was sensationalist, just a decision that he had made and that he was going to stick to.
I'm not saying that's right, that's just how he is. As Agassi said "he is who is...he never changes. We should all be so true to ourselves." And Agassi didn't like him.
Connors psyche is a fascinating one.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by kingraf on Sun May 05, 2013 2:08 pm

People always want tell alls until they got told something they dont like.

From the quote, it doesnt seem like he went into too much detail, nor does he seem to critique Evert, he merely skimmed through what is actually a very big event in his life (and a life-changing one in Everts)
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by socal1976 on Sun May 05, 2013 2:09 pm

I agree Julius I always could watch and have interest in Connors he was in my mind the toughest competitor in the history of the sport. And one of its greatest showman. Jimmy competed at the highest levels long after his shots became obsolete and he lost his speed and athleticism. One of my fondest memories was his run to the semis. Considering the guy played both Rosewal and Sampras is rather amazing.

But he is not really known as a nice guy to put it kindly. The thing is it is 40 years ago. So I could see the desire to set the record straight in a book and make money doing it at the same time.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by hawkeye on Sun May 05, 2013 2:30 pm

This is what Chris Evert has to say

“In his book, Jimmy Connors has written about a time in our relationship that was very personal and emotionally painful,” Evert said in a statement obtained by RadarOnline.com. “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.”



http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/chris-evert-slams-jimmy-connors-book-abortion-claims-article-1.1335426

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lydian on Mon May 06, 2013 4:36 am

Is this why Tomic lost tamely to Stepanek? Outrageous...

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/05/john-tomic-arrested-assaulting-bernard-tomics-hitting-partner/47337/#.UYddRYy9KK0

This bit is disturbing ... "The French radio station RMC is alleging that John Tomic struck his son while at the tournament in Monte Carlo and that Bernard was bleeding around his jaw area."

Is it any wonder Bernard is struggling with his own behaviour in recent times?
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by hawkeye on Mon May 06, 2013 4:50 am

lydian. I've just read that. Shocking! This is from The Times

Thomas Drouet, a Frenchman who had been working with Tomic Jr since the start of the year, was pictured with injuries to his forehead, nose and neck after an apparent confrontation with John Tomic in the car park of the players’ hotel here at the Mutua Madrid Masters.

It is understood that a number of top 20 players witnessed what happened to Drouet, the police were summoned and Tomic Sr, a Bosnian by birth, spent a number of hours in custody before being released yesterday evening. In the meantime, his son was beaten 6-3, 6-2 by Radek Stepanek, of the Czech Republic, in the opening round of the tournament.

There is no doubt that the ATP, the governing body of the men’s game, has only one course of action, which is to suspend Tomic’s father from attending any event until the outcome of police inquiries.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lydian on Mon May 06, 2013 8:34 am

Interesting commentary on the situation:
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/tennis/poster-boy-for-mad-tennis-parents-club/story-fnddklvw-1226635855887

The truth will out in the following days but surely Tomic Snr's time is up now.
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by Henman Bill on Mon May 06, 2013 5:28 pm

Very poor form for Connors to put this in the book without pre-warning her.

I do think, going against the majority opinion perhaps, that he would have a right to tell his story if he wanted to, even if she didn't want to see that.

I don't think much of Connors in general though.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue May 07, 2013 4:24 am

I think you will find HB that Connors wive(s) would agree. He hasn´t been the most pleasant man I could name.. story had it he was a bit of a wife beater, allegedly
Strangely though when Chris Evert and he broke up Chris´s father blamed her (though until now I never knew this story) and he wouldn´t talk to her for a couple of years he was very fond of Jimmy apparantly.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by JuliusHMarx on Tue May 07, 2013 4:33 am

Connors has only had one wife - married since 1979.
HN - I've added 'allegedly' - to avoid a possibly libellous statement (just in case).
As it happens, it's not a story I've ever heard about Connors.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue May 07, 2013 5:20 am

Well I know she left him on one occasion if indeed there was only one... I saw an interview with him on tv some years ago and my memory may be a little "foggy" but even he didn´t paint a pretty picture of himself ... so I stand corrected if I am wrong. He has always been a confrontational person on and off court so nothing that is reported about him greatly surprises me. Though as a tennis player I did like him.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by JuliusHMarx on Tue May 07, 2013 5:46 am

Yeah, there was at least one separation - his book apparently talks about "his battles with gambling and fidelity that threatened to derail his career and his long-lasting marriage".
We just have to be a bit careful about what we write in order to save the Admins any potential headaches.

It should be an interesting book, because, certainly within tennis, Connors was always very self-aware of the behaviour that drew criticism.
His remoteness and aloofness in the locker room, he considered necessary as part of the mental battle against his opponents. He wasn't the active bully that Lendl was, he simply and deliberately made no effort to interact with most of his fellow players, and many found that intimidating.
On court, his abrasive nature and vulgarities were often to engage the crowd. He didn't care if he was hero or anti-hero, loved or loathed, as long as he could work the crowd and get them involved.
Part of this was his attempt to bring tennis to the 'average Joe', away from the elite gentleman's game many saw it as in the early 1970s. He would rather have someone as a tennis fan who hated him, than someone who wasn't a tennis fan. In many ways, from a commercial perspective, he was the most important figure in tennis in the 1970s, certainly in the USA.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue May 07, 2013 5:59 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:Yeah, there was at least one separation - his book apparently talks about "his battles with gambling and fidelity that threatened to derail his career and his long-lasting marriage".
We just have to be a bit careful about what we write in order to save the Admins any potential headaches.

It should be an interesting book, because, certainly within tennis, Connors was always very self-aware of the behaviour that drew criticism.
His remoteness and aloofness in the locker room, he considered necessary as part of the mental battle against his opponents. He wasn't the active bully that Lendl was, he simply and deliberately made no effort to interact with most of his fellow players, and many found that intimidating.
On court, his abrasive nature and vulgarities were often to engage the crowd. He didn't care if he was hero or anti-hero, loved or loathed, as long as he could work the crowd and get them involved.
Part of this was his attempt to bring tennis to the 'average Joe', away from the elite gentleman's game many saw it as in the early 1970s. He would rather have someone as a tennis fan who hated him, than someone who wasn't a tennis fan. In many ways, from a commercial perspective, he was the most important figure in tennis in the 1970s, certainly in the USA.



http://www.yourememberthat.com/media/11963/Connors_Confronts_McEnroe/#.UYjBW6x5Brc

The one to be remembered... however although I know the what Jimmy Connors was I still found him to be an incredibly entertaining player.. and as you say he knew how to work the crowd.. he made McEnroe look more of a spoilt brat than he already was.. but it was in in the "spirit" of the game in those days... cant see it working now though ..even shirt tearing is tolerated too well Rolling Eyes

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lydian on Tue May 07, 2013 6:03 am

I remember him playing Wimbledon in the late 70s/early 80s when he was at his sheer competitive peak - a bristling character on-court who seemed easy to rub up the wrong way. You could see an almost insatiable hunger to win behind his eyes. Funnily enough, his grunt when serving almost directly reminds me of Novak's serving grunt.

This is the way - though - autobiographies should be written, i.e. after the person's career is done and they go on to do different things and get time to reflect back. It makes the reflection more wholesome (or in this case warts and all ). I cant abide the modern obsession of people (non-entities in the main) writing so called autobiographies whilst they're still in their 20s or 30s. As much as Nadal's book was interesting I'd far rather read about him after his career is done when he's able to put a more rounded picture into place, plus doesn't hold back for fear of offending anyone he's currently competing against. Federer's autobiography, if and when that comes out, I would think will be interesting given he's straddled 2-3 eras of players (late 90s, mid 00s, late00/10s). Like he did with Sampras, I still hope we get to see him play Dimitrov on grass before he hangs the Prostaff up....sorry, I digress.
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by JuliusHMarx on Tue May 07, 2013 6:15 am

When Connors first started doing it, it wasn't in the spirit of the game either. But I think he wanted it to become part of the game, to get tennis to the working man, the way baseball and American football was. When he played Laver in an exho (1974-ish) in Vegas, the US crowd hated Connors - he responded by telling them to 'F off' as he walked onto the court.
It's hard to know what part of this was simply his crass and uncouth nature and what part was him knowing full well that it would whip the crowd up and get tennis into the sports headlines.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by JuliusHMarx on Tue May 07, 2013 6:17 am

lydian, for Connors, it wasn't a hunger to win, it was a fierce hatred of losing.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by Haddie-nuff on Tue May 07, 2013 6:29 am

Connors worked on the premise that "bad press was better than no press.
He was a showman, a show off, an attention seeker. His grunted louder to deliberately annoy McEnroe and there was an intense hatred between the two it was almost like WWIII out there. During that period I confess you were on "one side or the other" and I hated McEnroe and loved Jimmy..In my latter years Ive come to enjoy Johnny Mc more than I hever did when he played. But it was a battle that you never wanted to miss .. the only thing missing was they never drew blood. !!!!! Great entertainment though.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lydian on Tue May 07, 2013 7:21 am

Hmmm, 'wanting to win' vs 'fear of losing' (or rather fear of failure) is an interesting topic of discussion.

My feeling is 'fear of losing' is a little overplayed, its almost an urban myth. For me, they're one and the same, flipsides of the same coin. When your will to win is massive you cant abide losing and come to fear doing so. But I don't believe the fear of losing side of the coin fundamentally drives competitors on more than their wanting to win. Fear of losing is a negative thought, wanting to win is a positive. Yin and yang...with one comes the other. However, what drives tennis players to make drilling shots into the corners, or play winning volleys or aces is a positive mental outlook. They have to at core be hugely positive to be champions. If you're driven mainly by a negative outlook (fear of failure) then that's not going to be enough to win in my opinion, it builds too many mental barriers.

Winners above all have to be positive and aggressive in their intent in match situations. All overt competitors hate losing but I still believe its the emotional/physical benefits of winning that fundamentally drives them on. Winning is self-defining, an outlet for pent up aggression, a basic drive if you will - and for me is what drove guys like Connors, Federer, Nadal, Sampras, et al, in the first place. I don't believe its the negative side that elevated them even further beyond their peers - I just believe they want it that little bit more and are able to push through the mental barriers that seemingly hold others back - but happy to hear otherwise.
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by summerblues on Wed May 08, 2013 11:15 pm

lydian wrote:My feeling is 'fear of losing' is a little overplayed, its almost an urban myth.
Did you not post - some years ago - on the old 606 a post (I believe perhaps referencing some study, perhaps across numerous sports?) about how the fear was what was driving many of the great champions? It is all vague in my memory but I seem to remember that you were leaning towards agreeing with that view then.

I seem to recall that you may have also been using it to explain Fed's relatively poor 5-set record - something along the lines of you thinking that he may have been relatively rare among the great champions in lacking that fear.

I never quite made up my mind whether or not I agreed with that view but it struck me as intriguing enough so it got stuck in my memory.


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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lydian on Thu May 09, 2013 4:33 am

Hi SB,

Good memory of the Federer post on 606 in April 2010 although it wasnt about fear of losing per se. That said I did comment on it by saying (as I also expanded on above)...
"Its often thought that at the highest level players are not driven by a desire to win but a fear of losing but I think they are flip sides of the same coin".

That post also went on to cover three areas I think you're referring to which came out of study analysis by Dr. ROLAND CARLSTEDT, chairman of the American Board of Sport Psychology. The post referred to is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A66523502 (I first brought the study up in 2008!). The 3 traits champions like Federer exhibit were:

1. High levels of repressive coping (ability to withstand stress)
2. Low levels of neuroticism (don't allow themselves to get anxious)
3. High levels of hypnotic susceptibility (able to 'zone' into the moment)

Now No.2 may seem at odds about the points I make about him panicking in 5 setters but I did also comment on this back on the old 606 in Aug 2008 when I said....

"In terms of Federer & psychology, he used to chuck racquets around but saw a psychologist when he was around 16-17 and alot of those issues were resolved. Its not the high repressive coping that had been his problem at that point, it was the level of inbuilt neuroticism he had. Federer probably has a naturally high neuroticism level. In other words, he had a tendency to panic in matches when the going got tough (this is why he's a better front runner, when he doesnt have to panic). He has even admitted this and has had to work on increasing his self-belief further in these situations to a level where he didnt panic anymore. So, yes in some respects I agree that Federer on-court today is probably not the true underlying Federer. But that doesnt matter because he has learned to modify his behaviour and I dont think its causing him real issues."
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by kingraf on Thu May 09, 2013 8:03 am

I dont think fear of defeat and drive to win ard the same thing, obviously in tennis the one and the other lead to the same endpoint- victory, but thats due to the mechanisms of the game (one winner) rather than any psychological insight.

You see it on reality shows all the time, like Million dollar money drop, when contestants are asked wether they want to continue playing (risking whatever wininings they have for the chance to win a million dollars) or go home with a guaranteed smaller amount. Same thing in football, some managers choose to be content with a draw, then chase victories.

Let's look at cricket, for example, lets assume there is one ball left in a t20 match, the batting team needs five to win, therefore as long as the bowler bowls a legal delivery, the batsman needs to score four to tie or a six for victory. One batsman will go looking for the four, to tie the game and avoid defeat, and try win if in the super over the othe will go all or nothing and try hit a six... Are these guys really two sides of the same coin? I suspect Federer would be more inclined to hit a four and work his way to a victory in the Super Over, rather than go for the win in one fell swoop (see: USO 11 comments)

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by summerblues on Thu May 09, 2013 10:49 pm

kingraf, I agree with you that fear of losing and desire to win are not flip-sides of the same coin. But I do not read Fed's USO 11 comments as indicating anything in this context.

To me, Fed is someone who likes to practice hard, get his game in shape to give himself good odds, and then have those odds play out on the court. He is not the kind of guy who enjoys defying the odds. To me, that is one of the reasons why his 5-set record is relatively modest but also why he bounces back well from the losses.

In my mind, what irked him was that Djoko clearly chose suboptimal course of action, yet ended up with the optimal outcome. Djoko could have possibly won that point - and match - without going for broke. In fact, a priori (i.e., before hitting the return), the odds to do that would have been better if he had not just blasted the return. Blasting the return gave Djoko worse odds but it just happened to work. In some cases, going for attack does give the best odds, and I expect in those cases Roger would not have been annoyed if Nole attacked - so I do not think Roger's comments were really about "go for win" vs "fear of losing".

In any event, Roger had no business being irked - nowhere in the rules does it say that Nole cannot swing for the fences. Smile

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by socal1976 on Fri May 10, 2013 12:10 am

summerblues wrote:kingraf, I agree with you that fear of losing and desire to win are not flip-sides of the same coin. But I do not read Fed's USO 11 comments as indicating anything in this context.

To me, Fed is someone who likes to practice hard, get his game in shape to give himself good odds, and then have those odds play out on the court. He is not the kind of guy who enjoys defying the odds. To me, that is one of the reasons why his 5-set record is relatively modest but also why he bounces back well from the losses.

In my mind, what irked him was that Djoko clearly chose suboptimal course of action, yet ended up with the optimal outcome. Djoko could have possibly won that point - and match - without going for broke. In fact, a priori (i.e., before hitting the return), the odds to do that would have been better if he had not just blasted the return. Blasting the return gave Djoko worse odds but it just happened to work. In some cases, going for attack does give the best odds, and I expect in those cases Roger would not have been annoyed if Nole attacked - so I do not think Roger's comments were really about "go for win" vs "fear of losing".

In any event, Roger had no business being irked - nowhere in the rules does it say that Nole cannot swing for the fences. Smile

Great post summerblues, going big like that was a risked but it was kind of a shot that if you pull it off can rattle a player for a bit and Federer with all his experience afterwards lost his composure. I think it is the same thing fear of losing and wanting to win at least in tennis where its one v. one.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by socal1976 on Fri May 10, 2013 12:13 am

Haddie-nuff wrote:Connors worked on the premise that "bad press was better than no press.
He was a showman, a show off, an attention seeker. His grunted louder to deliberately annoy McEnroe and there was an intense hatred between the two it was almost like WWIII out there. During that period I confess you were on "one side or the other" and I hated McEnroe and loved Jimmy..In my latter years Ive come to enjoy Johnny Mc more than I hever did when he played. But it was a battle that you never wanted to miss .. the only thing missing was they never drew blood. !!!!! Great entertainment though.


Great post Haddie, I have to agree and I saw it exactly the same way. I loved Connors and couldn't stand Mac. I don't think we have ever seen a rivalry with those type of talents and combustible personalities who really didn't like each other at all. The first match that I still remember was the 83 final in the USOpen between the two. 1 vs. 2 both Americans, both stars, and probably the two most hated figures in the sport. It was gladiatorial.

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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lydian on Fri May 10, 2013 3:05 am

Those analogies don't work re: fear of losing, that doesn't explain it at all. Not gambling £100,000 to go to the next round is far too literal...thats obviously fear of losing money. Its one/pair of contestants vs the show and their future livelihoods. Try applying that psychology to a tennis match where both players have the same result to lose. Its simply not the same thing vs. whether Federer et al are driven by will to win or fear of losing, i.e. what is driving them to want to win is much deeper psychology than gains on a gameshow so I'd prefer to see a better explanation of the relevant difference where highly mental & physical sport is concerned thanks OK
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

Post by lydian on Tue May 14, 2013 5:56 am

Court case vs John Tomic pushed back to October as Thomas Drouet (the guy assaulted) didn't show up.

I smell some politics going on...out of court settlement no doubt made by Bernard to Thomas to shut him up so dad can keep attending matches. Probably all engineered by Tomic Snr as usual.

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/05/case-involving-tomics-dad-pushed-back-october/47437/#.UZH7ApBwZhE
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Re: The Random Tennis News Thread

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