Listen: Jimmy Connors, Arthur Ash, Raymond Arsenault discussed on Only A Game
"Jimmy Connors may be America's greatest tennis player. Arthur ash may be its most influential. They couldn't stand each other Ashra really disliked anyone who had a kind of braggadocio anyone who preened himself in the way that Connors did. That's university of south Florida professor and historian Raymond Arsenault. He just wasn't one to attack anyway, always gave everybody the benefit out. But as a member of his family told me once the only person that he really didn't like on the tour was Jimmy Connors was brilliant, but craven the other quiet revolutionary with a powerful sense of patriotism. Here's only games Gary Wallich on Arthur Ashe's clash with his greatest nemesis when that unfolded on and off the court. The quarrel between Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe probably began with the Davis Cup the annual international team tennis event that dates back to nineteen hundred. According to Raymond Arsenault their attitudes towards playing on the US team were diametrically opposed, I think, asked the minute tremendous amount to him because it affirmed his notion of self worth that he was a citizen, a proud citizen, and they was respected enough to represent his nation as was the first African American to represent the US in Davis Cup competition. He had played on the US team in eight different years. By the time, Jimmy Connors was dominating men's tennis in the mid seventies, but Connors refuse to join the team. This irradiated. Ash could never understand why Connors didn't share any of that sentiment that it didn't mean anything to him. If he didn't make money out of it, he didn't seem to want to do it in June of nineteen. Seventy four. Arthur Ashe was elected president of the association of Tennis Professionals. A new governing body created to represent the interests of male tennis players. Well. They're never been anything remotely like a tennis players union and the national federations around the world and tennis promoters. We're really making all of decisions and the players felt that they were left out that they needed a voice Connors refused to join the ATP. Instead, he kept playing a member of world team tennis or WTT. In nineteen seventy four WTT filed a ten million dollar lawsuit against ATP executives and a major sponsor of the European Grand slam events for barring WTT players just hours before ashes, election as president of the ATP Connors and his agent joined that lawsuit, ash was infuriated. So we wrote a letter to the members of the ATP in which he described Connors as brash arrogant and unpatriotic, but letter became public on June twenty first nineteen, seventy five. Just two days before Wimbledon's. First round began Connors and his agent filed. Another lawsuit, this time it was for libel and it named ash and his letter, specifically Connors and his agents sought three million dollars in damages ashes, fighting in and on more than one court. Wimbledon was really special to him. The thirty two.."