By Chris Oddo / Friday, August 23, 2013
The New York Times has its special U.S. Open edition of the magazine running this Sunday, and the Time's website provided tennis fans with a sneak peak, running a lengthy Q and A with Jimmy Connors entitled, “Jimmy Connors, Ladies Man.”
Jimmy Connors spoke for the first time about Maria Sharapova in an exclusive interview with the New York Times. He didn't say much.
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In the article, which breaks off into a Q and A after three paragraphs, Connors talks about his recently severed ties with Maria Sharapova. Gossip hounds steer clear, because Connors isn't saying much:
In the interview, done by James Kaplan, Connors goes on to lament the one-dimensionality of modern tennis. Here's what he had to say about the subject:
Q. Your partnership ended abruptly after she lost her first match at a U.S. Open tuneup in Cincinnati. What happened?
A. No comment.
Q. Were you surprised?
A. I was just told my services were no longer needed. I wish her all the best, and I’ll always be a fan. Whenever this happens, it’s mutual.
Q. So was this a mutual decision?
A. It’s her decision for sure. She’s the player, not me.
Q. Is this the downside of trying to work with a player who has already accomplished so much?
A. I guess it depends on what you’re looking for. Taking someone from No. 2 to No. 1 — there’s a lot less room.
Read the full article here
Q. What do you think about the modern game? In your book, you give the impression that it’s pretty two-dimensional.
A. One-dimensional. Outside of a few guys, it has become just a flat-out power game, with the emphasis too much on just one stroke, the serve. And so the variety and the imagination and what guys like Sampras and Nastase and Mac and Gerulaitis and Laver and Gonzales brought to the game is mostly gone. Not that today’s players aren’t great — they are. But outside of the top few, it just seems to be so much one way.
In my day, the crowds would come and see Mac hit a tough volley or Nastase hit a topspin lob, then they could go out and play that afternoon and hit one like that and say, “I saw McEnroe do that, and I can do that, too.” That would just grab the people more into the game itself — the excitement of not only watching the tennis but also playing it. It’s very difficult for a regular guy to go hit a 150 m.p.h. serve without having his shoulder end up in St. Louis.
Connors also fields questions about Andy Roddick (“He got tired of me), and his rivalry with Johnny Mac (“Even today, when we just go out and hit some balls at the Open, I don’t want to miss. And he doesn’t either. We’d go at each other on a backyard court if there was nobody watching.”)
Go to the New York Times Magazine U.S. Open Issue Here