S2 E 16: Jimmy Connors talks tennis with Dennis


This is Dennis Miller option, your source of opinion stories in laughs from comedian and inactive est Dennis Miller and his guy Friday, Christian Blat, what's up Hiroshi? Let's light this candle who, ladies and gentlemen. Dennis nore. Welcome to the Dennis Miller option. I'm your host on a smeller shake it up little today. Joined by my my good friend, my hiking partner, and well, the all time leader in tournaments one during the open period of tennis, the great Jimmy Connors, JIMBO, what's up? My man. Good to be with you just saw you hour and a half ago, and we're back again. Jimmy, and I go hike, and he is the cutest little dog as Scotty. Now. He's a little schnauzer many snatcher, bogey. And it's so cute with bogie when we come back, and we're finished the haggling stand out front of Jimmy's pad for a second. And we're talking bogey comes and he's like eight inches off the ground. He's just tiny little guy, but you can tell he's got the whole guard dog mentality. So he'll run up and brace me. And you know, he looks up at me and literally I'll try to be he's friendly. It's not like it. Thanks, me or anything. But you can see he gets sated when I turn. And I go to the car I go. Okay. Okay. You got me. And then all of a sudden he's like almost like shooting his cups like he understands. He's done his job smaller stuff, or you know that. Well, indeed Jimmy is. Well, like, I said it's a funny to discover another level on a cat because I used to watch him just enjoy him from tennis perspective. And then I can see that. He's translated that sort of indefatigable -bility that you've got to kill me thing into his real life. Just is a strong guy, and he's got strong opinions. And when we talk in the morning, I find a cathartic because it's the opposite of wishy washy, but we ended up talking about tennis because God knows I've ever watched so much tenants in my life, and I'm always enamored of talking to him about it. Most people say they don't want to start at the beginning in these interviews, but I do because there's nowhere else to start man. You had a beautiful based orca off of with your mom, and it's funny. There's always a quartet of people in the book that are referred to it. It's mom and pop and it's a poncho, and it's to mom, and you know, it's it's a it's a pretty amazing. Explain this this group of people who has. Guided you through what is obviously one of the mount Rushmore tennis careers of all time. Well, first of all dentists, I mean, you know, my mom, and my they gave me everything I gave me life, you know. And and and then to come into, you know, an opportunity, you know, to be able to be around the tennis into play the tennis that I happen to take to it. But that grew, but I got to spend time with my mom, and my grandmother, and my grandfather, and and, you know, which to me was the most important that was my family, and my brother was playing tennis at that, Johnny, Johnny. Yes. And so it was really, you know, just, you know, something that as far as family goes was the most important, but I think my mom gave us the tennis to really get us away off the streets and to give us something to work work at it. And to try to get good at maybe get a college education somewhere along the line. But you gotta remember back then no money. So why was I really gonna play tennis? You know to to try to get good. You know, and and that wasn't my mom's idea. Well, I want you to get good. And and I want you to go out and make a lot of money on this. You know, get good get along the way, you know, grow. If you can't get better. And then see where tennis takes you just love the fact she passed on what she was good at. Yeah. I just read Jimmy's autobiography recently, it's called the outsider. Great read, folks. And I had no idea and I call her his mum. I get bring myself to look because it seems to flip. But your mom was a hell of a player when she was. Yeah. She was she was the the best in the Missouri valley, and and her mom, my mom was was quite a player herself. And she was self taught. And then she taught my mother, so I'm third generation. But yeah, she traveled and played Ponsa. Girl was great friend. Bobby Riggs was a great friend. Pauline betz. The the great players of, you know, the women players are the day were all her friends. And you know, she was. You know, even till the day. She died nobody outside of her poncho cigar to people that absolutely love tennis, more than anybody. I've ever been around and and even up until the day she died it was on. It was it was quite an upbringing. When Jimmy says to mom, you have to explain the the vernacular there, but that's closer where with your grandma. It's my second mom, you know, if my mom was out teaching and she did most every day to to supplement the family's income. And so my grandmother my to mom was feeding her sandwiches through the fence. But also taking care of my my brother, Johnny and myself also along the way, so that she could make all that possible to it was it was a really from the very beginning. Whether you like it or not it was a great team. You know, but back then, you know, team did meet anything not like it does today. It was you know, try to make everything possible. So that we can do it. We really liked to do and, you know, play in the tennis back, then Dennis was much different. You know, there was no indoor clubs and great facilities. You know? It was brought up on a current. When I read about how you guys have the Haslett, go armories and a half and playing on wood floors. But. That's what honed my game by game that way at lake it early, brother. Early. We've had that. Jimmy or is the ticket early coming up off the court so fast. If it got in onto your dead because you guys were playing on linoleum essence, right? You know, the spins and everything would just take the ball so quickly. So, you know, the the days of now that where the guys play so far behind the line growing up on the way. I did if I'd played that far back. It would have been non-existence. Now, it was it was a great education. Great upbringing. Well, I I love that. The an believe me folks, this blows holes in every misnomer where they've ever labeled somebody a mother's boy because you are lucky or use stepped up to that like full throatedly. Of course, you are. She was can you? Imagine your mom champion like that. I always get such peace of mind off that that you had those two in your corner. Yeah. Well, you know back then it was criticized quite a bit too. You know, as it's always okay for your dad, you know, to to take Wayne Gretzky out, and you know, get him on the ice with the hockey stick Joe Montana. Anna's dad throw football with him. But for some reason, it wasn't okay. For Gloria counters to teach your son how to play tennis and I was taught her game woman's game. You know, very, you know, very easy. No frills, very it'll compact, and you know, one two it wasn't any excess motion in the game. And then and then to have that game come out and to play against the best players in the world and win was. Well, listen, the beauty the beauty of playing a woman's game that eventually led to the most feared return shots in the history. That tennis up to that point is beautiful. I mean, that's a that's a long strange trip. But I'm telling you when people came in on you if they added in the wrong place back in or head. It was coming back like laser. So it might have started a woman teaching boy, but eventually became the unlikeliest power game. You're not that big a cat a lot. My my mom was was nobody to mess with and I say that very respectful. But I mean towards my game, you know, she knew how she wanted me to play and and she stood along with my grandmother on the court, and and told me how to hit the ball in what to do. And and if if I did it wrong, she stopped me, then she didn't wait until the end of the session, Joe because you you you forget, you know, so she she made sure that it was in my mind. She says now you did that never never criticize me never never shot me down. But always said now you did that. Okay. But if you do it this way, right? It might be better. You know, I it was in everybody thought I was pushed into tennis tennis, tennis tennis. So you know, for me, I took to it. And and and wanted to be around it. So I was like a sponge, Sean, everything, right? I soaked up everything that they've been when Johnny was the older one. Right. You would sit there and watch a right? I was second. I got to play second which was fine. That's in. That was always fine with me. Because I I got I. Learn just as much by listening is is I did by actually playing and and you know, was when my brother stopped thirteen I think, and it's not that he didn't quit really loving tennis because you know, tennis's life now in teaches and enjoys it. But when he stopped, you know, it was kind of, you know, he was my my gauge, you know, if I could keep up with my brother or beat my brother than jeez, I was I was improving, and you know, when he stopped and went on and did other things, and you know, kind of took away a good gate truly. Well, you can hear the bass Jimmy hat, folks. I mean, it's it's sorta like the Waltons with a two handed backhand. That's I mean, very is. So it's so loving that. I always think wow. What a safe harbor, and then when you mix into owned, by the way, I always admired that your mom in the book. I'm listen title. No Jimmy's mom, but I kind of know her because she's a part of him. But I love how Dopp table she was when you first went to the you were so little the to Hannah back was sort of you had to write. The the racket, and she kind of I said, I don't know about that, Jim. And then eventually she said, all right. Let's that adaptability. Is kind of interesting to me a lot of people when I was growing up. You know, he's got to you got to change that you got to get rid of that. And I got bigger and was able to hold onto the racket maneuvered a little bit better. And she says, you know, this is working this is working too bad. You know, as they tried to teach me, the one handed back, and I just kept going back to put my other hand on there. And there's good and bad about the two headed back in dente. You know, it's it's great for power. It's great for direction. But on the other hand, I mean, if you're not moving you can't get there. You know, you're you have little less reach. But you know, the for me the good outweigh the bad and turned out to work pretty well. For the movement comes from there's two mom and then two moms us. Is pop and he he trains you to your footwork was well, he was boxer. Right was. Yeah. So you had trained me that way. Yeah. So your foot work Advair? You got there early as you needed to get there to hit that thing. Right. Yeah. He was he, and I say this respectfully and in in some ways harmful, you know, he was tough. And but you know, I knew that if I walked off of there, and he was even a bit satisfied. Then I must've done something. Right. But the way he trained me. And and you know, I was never in the gym was was always on the court. And I was on a track are doing something, you know, outside. I was never inside doing it. But I remember days Dennis when when I'd start jumping rope. And and I you know, I'll Pat myself on the back yard was pretty darn good at it. And and and I'd be jumping in. And I said how much today Paul? Five minutes, and and he'd be walking around, and and you know, kind of going through his own thing and talking to you. So now, why don't you do, you know, why don't you try to get the ten or fifteen away, and we just keep going and just keep going, and he'd be trying to distract me. You know? So that if I'd miss I have to start over, you know. And so, you know, now, I'm trying to listen to him talk. And I'm trying to pick up my face. So he was teaching me two things at once is teaching me, my footwork, and he was teaching me concentration all at the same time without me, even knowing it, you know, so that to me that was the best part of by family upbringing of playing this game and getting into it was that they gave me a such a great opportunity and a chance to get better. And I didn't even realize it. Yeah. You know from day to day. It was never work. It was always so much fun going with them. And and being a part of the day, you know, popular, even the jump roping session open ended the Sunday gray that translates directly in the alright fifth-set. Let sat. Oh up. I'm ready to go, brother. My my grateful through was letting me jump roping walkaway for a second and not told me when it ended. So if we gotta go all night. Let's go right, right. To me winning six two six two was always great, you know, but winning seven five or seven six v or ten eight and a fifth or whatever, you know, so much more is brought into the game because everybody hits the ball. Well, everybody's a great player in my opinion. But it's that one little something that that allows you to to be able to look across the the net to your opponents say I've got this on you. I know for sure, you know, and I'm sure guys looked at me and said the same thing to me many times, you know, but there's always, you know, I never got tired. You know, when when the fifth came along, I wasn't gonna play less aggressive. I was gonna play more aggressive. You know? So I mean to system what what gets into your mind, and you know, an, and and, but I was always good at finding a reason to push myself. Just that little bit more. You know from a lot of things that happen during my upbringing to you, not even you know, even to my modern day when I was when I was still playing at the top and was good to be able to push myself just a little bit further. Well, then we're talking by the way to Jimmy Connors. And folks, I, you know, Jimmy always soft sells this, but in the open in the open era. There's nobody's won more tournaments in my man hundred nine maybe federal gets there. Maybe doesn't think he's eight or nine out. Once you're near forty over forty and not everybody has run at thirty nine thousand hopefully to me, God bless Fedor. But he still gotta get there seems like a good cat. But nobody has one more tornadoes in the open air than the man sitting across from me always admire that about him. And I'm telling you the drag that out of I read that. And I said what a fucked, and you tell me this. And yeah. It's it's not as living in the moment for a Jimmy. I love the fact that glory Connor Jimmy's mom at some point. She must've thought highly upon us Agoura from youth that she would take. She takes you to him for the Yoda thing sorta right? She she in poncho had a special relationship, you know, from from way back in the day, and I was fifteen and Pancho came through Saint Louis to play into some marketing for an exhibition only, and my mom took me over to to see him. And and she wanted to say Hello. So they got talking, and and I was standing with with my mom, and my grandma and looking at all and she looks up to punch us. He goes, you know, my son. Here's got some talent. You know, he's pretty good. You know, now, I'm thinking, oh my God. How how many times has Pancho Segura heard that, you know? But she heard it from Gloria Thompson, you know, that, you know, from back in, you know, the the days of special days when they were growing up in new each other, so well and all that. So she said she said, I'd like for you know, to try to get him to a certain point of of, you know, seeing what he can do in Pancho said send him out to me. And and so I remember going home that night. And my mom said, you know, what do you think would you like to go to California? And I said what times of the plane leave? Let's let's get on it and go do it. You know, I didn't wanna leave my brother. I didn't leave my home. I didn't want to leave my dogs. I'd I did want to do that. But to to get to where in and I was starting to grow a little bit get a little better and improved in. So for me to to try to get him better even to get into college. You know, I needed to make that move and pretty special. Well, I know it's a big leap from Belleville. And when you get outta LA. You're they're very brief time where you do get some home-sickness, right? But then you start driving around getting the lay of the lawyer and his kids at fifteen or six the pivots can happen. Pretty quickly. Go through you. Come back and say, okay. Let's you go from I want wanna go home to. Let's let's stay. Once I got the lay of the land. There was no going staying for sure, you know, growing up where I did was was special. It was and you know, I look back, and and I really like my midwestern upbringing, but but getting to California Dennis was, you know, and Pancho son Spencer is Ilya dear friend today might be cold this morning. And and you know, so I mean, he introduced me to his friends some, you know, some, you know, the empl- Dean Martin junior does your nose junior and in in a whole host of other friends and just kind of took me in right away. And you know, but you know, I still was and I remember Dino plane with Dino with the first couple of times, and you know, he called me, you know, corn bread, you know. And I you know, I kind of had to take that a little too heart. You know, you know, but it's, but it was he was the golden boy right in the middle of it. The old man's Dean Martin you look like him. He's going to be a flyer. He can hit the ball. He could play pretty good, Tennessee cut. And and you know, but. You know around the club. It was pretty good. But you know, getting out there and playing against the best different different strata. So the club and the promised land in a way turns out to be with Pancho little Pancho at the Beverly Hills tennis club. And then there's home sudden big punch. Jimmy. I'm trying to think you is fifteen sixteen year old boys sitting there and every famous cat, including the great Gonzales walks into the club. What is that like that that club back? Then was was a mecca of tennis anybody who came through California's air from labor to Rosewall to Emerson to Bobby Riggs to kansallis to Charlie Pasarell to Arthur ash. I mean, it was it was beyond and you'd walk in. You don't know who you'd see there? You know? So just hanging around you could you know, there's a game somewhere. Right. But but that was all because of of Pancho Segura was such an attraction such a draw his personality and his reputation and his game. And everything was you know, you walk in there. And it was never dull good kits going on. When tennis wasn't being played. That was the best part of the day. You know, go get your work out. We'll sit around and have lunch, you know, do that. But the the lunches, and and I mean, I go in in the evenings. And Pancho would always take a St.. Team afterwards. And and I hit some balls. And I go up while he was in the steam in stand there and talk to him about tennis. And you know, and I'm sitting there and my clothes, and he says, I think you'd better get out of your Jovian. But but I I wanted to psychedelic stuck at all really did you're right. So the great Gonzalez comes in. And at this point, he's little I must be close to forty or something. Oh, no. Well, when I first met he was younger he was about forty right? So anyway, he comes through and he's a anoints a young guy once in a while ago. Go hit with them, and you're sitting there, and the I don't know tell you you were just telling him that that story recently eventually is little says the big once you with my man here. Yeah. And you guys go out, and but you fall into place with each other pretty quickly. We did he's. For me to hit with him. He would hit with everybody. But me, but but I would always sit around a wash because he was such a an elegant player and his attitude just kind of fit right in with me. And you know, I love the way he approached thanks. We had different styles because he was six four big serve and volley player, but he moves so well and his groundstrokes for a big man back then were spectacular. So I I wanted to to just watch into see in how he would go about things, and we happen to hit it off. And and what he gave me, you know, little Pancho gave me so much. But big punch. Also, you know, gave me some some things that helped my game and to help my personality and to help my my fight on the court. And and the way I approach my game. So you know, if I can't learn from Pancho Segura Pancho Gonzalez, and that was my fault. It's pretty trippy. Blur man being on a hardcourt and Belleville with their mom and grandmom learning how to do it. And it seems like you're pretty. Quick trip. And all of a sudden you're in the belly of the beast like you said the hub of it all at the Beverly Hills tennis club. And you're probably thinking is this all real? But then punch makes it real real one day talking to you about the US open. Tell that great Gonzalez story. Oh, well, we I spent some time hitting some balls with him and playing with him. And and you know, he asked me one one year when I was seventeen I think as I was going to go to the open sixteen seventeen. And so yeah, I wanted to go try to qualify your junior. Davis. Davis cup. Right. And and so I said, oh good. You know, it comes back, and he says, well, I'm glad you're into the opening says because we're playing doubles there, and you should know. I I said we are. I said I'll I'm there for show. You must've been it was it was beyond. I mean, you know to to be throwing in. He was he was a no frills guy to me anyway. And you know, he I hope he saw something in me that he liked and because of our our friendship, I think he did. But you know, what he gave me was he gave me instant pressure. You know, whenever there was a big point. He told me to take, you know. And you know, what I'm said there were nine point different tiebreakers tiebreaker nine point when it got to four four until you until you told me to take it, and and and you know, which right away, you know, I'm throwing in there, you know, to to be a part of it what it's like to be under that kind of pressure where you know, one point can make the difference. And and you know, what a gift he gave. Yeah. I learned early. But it was also smart. He's he's doing the avuncular thing. The punch thing letting you take. But then you realize after you take serve twice at him descend. Just get it back. Just all of a sudden they go to get it back. That's like credit kill anything on an overhead. Right. He he was you know. I learned more from off the court from them all then then I did on. I mean, not that. I didn't learn on. But you know, I took from Rod Laver I took from Rosewall. I took from Gonzales. I took from everything I I would pick and choose what I like most that not everything about him. Wasn't great. But not everything fit into my game. Where my personnel. Right right clicking. Choose the cart comes of Lou. Same. And exactly. Yeah. So I was I came up at a time. When when you know tennis tennis was in a lull, and and the lull was we had so many loyal fans, you know, but only so many loyal fans. So we if tennis was a tennis was to grow into get in the football baseball basketball league of of importance and crowd appeal something had to change, you know, that had the spread out from the country club to the Hoi. Right. The regular folks exactly the same people who surround the whole at the Phoenix waste management open around the one those cats. That's where you got a that's the sweet spot. You gotta get it out to them. And and and you know, the my generation help that you know, we had we had characters we had charisma we had electricity. We had excitement, you know. But all that that we were trying to put into it. We got criticized. For. Yeah. That's the passage of time the dueled state guys who were great right for God's sake. Sues better, those ozzy's were great. But it's just a the new things here. Right. And they're going to butt heads. That's always going to repeat itself. You know, they got criticized myself nostalgia, Jeremiah's, you know, number of guys, you know, these these guys are bad boys in a we weren't bad, boys. We were just boys being bad. You know? So you know, it was just it was it was such a time because it was wild west, really. And then art show brought to that I read a couple of stories poncho. He might have been the best our at that. My friendliness doc- nasty was was pretty good at it. But Pancho was you might have been. Yeah, he was a full above that on or talking to the great Jimmy Connors and a good cat, man. Good people folks, you can trust me on this woman. I go out and talk with this guy every morning, probably four hundred seven five out of seven mornings. We find something to talk about. And I'm constantly the inspired by Jimmy's pragmatism. Let's say that. That's a big deal for me. Where do you? I win Jim. And we're not talking you're out with Pancho. But where's the first moment where you win a tournament? Go. Oh, I see. I can it's got to be that moment is Jacksonville. Do. I remember something like that Fort Lauderdale that was that was the first tournament I want when I turned pro. Oh was Jacksonville. And but but when I when I figured that that I was starting to make a move. And and my game was really go going to another level was I played ROY. Emerson the great Australian in in the Pacific southwest. And you know, you know, as I got older, and and was towards the end of my career. I understood what it was like to get older, and and to play somebody like me who would have killed themselves to to try to go about it and win and he came out after playing the US open the Pacific southwest in Los Angeles. And was that at the tennis club, Los Angeles tennis. Okay. Yes. And and and I I had to prequalify and qualify to play Roy Emerson in the first round. And everybody says, well, you know, Emerson place Connors, you know, and we started out on we played the poolside court. Never forget it Dennis. And I had poncho when Spencer in like three other people standing there watching and I happened. The win the first set. And after that, I mean, you couldn't get a seat around in the word went out. And and I won that match in three sets and and walked out of there that day and and said to set the poncho, I said, I'm I feel like I'm on my way. And and never forget, he took a me and Spencer to dinner, and he told me, right? Then he says, you may feel it you says, but but don't ever think you got it. You know that that you are on your way always strive to to be better. And never forget that everything I've read about the the ozzy's MO came off so classy classy with you at the end. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Oh, you know, what we I I always liked the Australians, and the reason the reason being I like their work ethic. They also party hardy don't play. Yeah. You know, which was which was good. But they always went out there. They were ready to play and afterwards, whatever happen. But I also liked the camaraderie, you know, that's something that I never had. I was never a part of that that may that was my fault. But you know, they travelled together, you know, the South Africans travelled together, my great friend, David Schneider, South African we traveled with with three or four other the players from South Africa, and the, but but in the United States was different because there was so much competition. You know, if you know, not only within the tennis playing Arthur ash or STAN Smith are are Roscoe Tanner or are Eddie Dibbs, or you know, all the guys that I grew up with. But also, we're we're fighting for, you know, two lines on the front page against all the other great athletes from Ali of fraying, you know, Jackie. Steward and racing. You know, whatever we're fighting for such a tiny tiny piece of the pie. You see today with the Ryder Cup Jim every year. They get that Ryder Cup together for every two years for golf, and you can see the EU guys all are able to mesh more seamlessly into a cohesive team right and Petrie creed can fake for a week that he's part of a team. But you know, he's been brought up to be sorta like you or with its killer be killed. You're out of here on your own is so something about the being off the electric Griddle that is the United States of America, the competitive nature, which is its beauty. But also it makes it hard to mesh seamlessly over here. You have to be beyond good to creating excitement, you know. Whereas in a lot of other countries, you know, if you're just if you're one of the best, and, you know, you're you're so far above because of you know, you're not producing so many greats out of. Out of tennis or out of other sports. You know, but but here it was the competition and everything was so was so not when Tony Roach wins in Alice Springs, when he's eighteen the word goes out, right right throughout the land. Right. There's something happening out not near the on their Ayers Rock. There's a kid with Rosie who's gonna perfect, you know, the good game travels. Over here. You're right. You're going up against Lee consisted, sixty nine months. There's loose story. Every second though, you kinda getting buried poncho. Then begins to punch a cigar begins to go out on the road with. I was so enamored of what he was a brilliant. Tactician wasn't he? Yes. He would. I I never watched anybody else play it. I always felt that my game was good enough. And if I was going to win go play my game. And if it wasn't good enough, you know, go play again. But poncho would go study my opponents and come back and say, you know, JIMBO and not many people call me that and I've told you that and and when he come back, and he'd say now, you know, when when you get to this point and this happens, and then you you've got to play the ball here. And when you play the ball here, you're booth and has to be like this. I mean, he, you know, he didn't he thought it out? He he gave it all to me. But he gave it all to me and such a condemn. Matter way, Dennis that, I didn't even know he's giving it to me. It's perfect for you. Because you're like a dog will run through a wall. If you get fed at the right time, somebody who respect I was I was at and I would've been and and I did, you know, I've got the scars to prove it, which you know. I wasn't. I wasn't afraid to do that. And and to put it all out there and to to leave it all out there because when I walked off the court. I was done always pretty good about that. I would know. But I didn't want to look back and say, jeez. If I'd have done this. You know, I could have you know, maybe I could have one I never felt that way. If I didn't figure it out there. I wasn't going to figure it out five minutes later. Yeah. I ran into John Lloyd last week in in Florida. He was with the rob Schneider where we're doing together. John light, lovely cat. I know you're good friends with him. And he told me. Unsolicited. I said, you know, I'm haiku Jimmy's. Yeah. I know you are and he's at I'm telling you for a year that guy hit the ball screws. He didn't miss a shot. I guess you're twenty one and you go a hundred and three right? One hundred wins three losses in the course of sees didn't lose many of that year. I I had a pretty good year that ios good. Well, he said that the one of the great injustices Johnson was that you had one three or four that year. And you would he's listened the French. He's rolling Garros at that point was like playing in a truck rally. I it was mud right? The balls were they might as well been billiard balls. But he said he couldn't lost. He wasn't missing any shots. But that year what what happens they screw around. Right. But there's turf issues, and you don't end up at the French. Now, I got banned from the French because I played team tennis, which was Billie Jean King came Ben with this new idea for tennis where I played for Baltimore. But there are Pittsburgh had a team and. New York had a team and Dallas had a team Houston had it. So we travel around, but they they hooked into all the great players. I played labor played Rosewall play new compla- Jeremiah's played, you know in Pittsburgh. So Vitas an rainy FOX Goolagong there. There's a lot of you know, great players. But the tennis powers be thought that that was going to interfere with the actual playing of of the tournaments too. So there was a lawsuit filed to keep to keep myself in Yvonne out of Goolagong out of the French. And you know, because we were the only ones to to win the grand slam because we had one Australia. And so if that isn't cut off your nose despite your face to think of these old bureaucrats not have you and Goolagong to the French. It's just my boggling listen at you know, I've told you Dennis on, and and I speak to you, very candidly. You know about a lot of things, and you know, a lot of things I wouldn't say here. But but I I will say this. I mean, I I love tennis. I love everything around you, you know. But the the game itself is is beyond anything that I've ever expected to be a part in a part of a lot of the stuff around. You know, how that goes? It's like anything else, you knows my mind when I think about that Avante, and you young you, and I mean, you are charismatic. She was I remember when she won Wimbledon. It was in spite of the walkabout, I remember great Sports Illustrated because she got the walkabouts where she'd go away for a while. It was pleasure to watch her movement. She was elegant elegant player, and and your she went on some walkabouts, and and you know, up and down during the course of the match, but she was something to watch. So three out of four that year. Lloyd, assures me, thanks, John. The he assures Jimmy was buddy. Thanks. Yeah. He's a he was a cool guy. But crise looks like he's twenty. Five years old the guy so fit, but he said forget that he's a Jimmy will never tell you that. And then here's the thing. I love Jimmy. They have some clay court Chevy. I don't know if it's in the Annapolis. Maybe Jimmy ends up winning on clay. And they say any ends up winning it against whoever won the French. And they say well would this be your fourth grand slam? Can you say in your head? And in the book is not in my hat. This isn't the French Open. I didn't win. I love the part of you about that. You wouldn't even like do that sucky thing. Just no, I haven't I haven't won the French Open. Now. For me. I missed it. Did I have a chance, maybe, you know, whatever, you know, some people think I would have some people don't you don't though those who mind matter and those who don't matter don't hide you that goes, but but for me, I mean, I I held I held a grudge. You didn't go for a while. They didn't go for like six six years after that, you know, whether I want it then or not so diff is another question. But you know, I I was in a lot of ways a little too strong minded in some things, you know. You know, it's fun to learn. Fuck you infringe. Well. Sees go into the berlitz center out here. Any different? Jimmy, would you come? You need me at the moment. The thing about JIMBO is. And you folks, you have to remember JIMBO here. I go saying shouldn't say thing about Jimmy is the Australian Open you told me when I went to the stroke at open, and you wanted your first year, and you want a second year, I guess for your reasons, but you told me there was one shower stall nail that you hung your stuff on lucky to it. It was not what it is. But you did win one of those. But then an essence you stop going there. So when we think about these eight single titles that mister Connors one in grand slams for a long time, you earn for six years. You said the French you were playing off two year. It was opened a Wimbledon. I was Ellis enough. Yeah. You know? It was good for me. I mean, going down to Australia back, then it was in December. They eventually changed the date to after January, but it was over Christmas and new year. I went for two years, I want it wants to nukem in the finals once and I I didn't go back. But you know, I mean, you know. Criticize that, you know, I I only one, you know, in today's to fifty two hundred fifty thousand dollars tournaments and things like that. You know, I hate to burst. Everybody's bubble Dennis. But Wimbledon was to fifty day, you're walking eighteen grand or something if you wanted or some it was just some crazy amount of money. If that now, you know to you know, to go into to play these terms going down to Australia you've lie down there. You lose money. You know? So I mean over Christmas, by the way, folks, this is how miscarried they had the Australian Opie had the split and go down over your Christmas break right to be done there. Hey, I love. The fact you got the first one in and then you blow dodge it was good. It was good. And by the way, do when you go down to play nuke every time. I read a book about tennis, and they play a match and Austria, it's they talk about the degrees celsius that it's always like forty four celsius, which I think like one seventeen and then on top of it. You've got a beef fifty two sides flies coming down. You're right. It was an experience. It really was. I mean, it was so hot down there. And and you know, that's in the middle of their summer. But I'm telling you, if you if you're not in shape down there, then you know, that that to me, you know, is is what tennis is all about, you know, there's more to it than just playing the game, you know conditioning, and heart and guts, and in mind, and will and just everything that you put on not NS forget about working on your game. Right. You know, don't take that away from the game. You know, sometimes the matches do go long. But you know, to me I like seeing an Dowell, you know, when is four all into fifth still, you know with that kind of energy in in in you know, that passion for the game. And that's all part of the game to me, you know, so to go down and play long matches in the heat. I liked playing at noon, I like playing at noon in Washington DC, you know, in the middle of the summer when when it's hot because I always felt I had an advantage as I was in good shape. And and and then, you know, kind of fit into my game, and you can see how STAN. Ahead of the curve shape. Was so important because there is the one time I think you're playing Chang. We'll you just go blotto on the court at the French Open. Right. Or I I did I, you know, some as you were coming back from something you weren't quite up to speed. I just had reconstructive surgery, and I was out for a year and came back, and I was trying to get back into into playing matches. And I played the French want a couple of matches and played Michael Chang. And you know, he was he was young in coming up and had won the French before, you know, it was it was at the top, you know, in in his game in his element. And and we remember we were two-sets-to-one he was up, and I happened to win the four set, and I'm kind of walking around, and I'm looking up, and I always had a friend used to travel with my friend Billy from back in Belleville. And I remember looking up to in Denison. And like kind of said, you know. What all these people doing here? You know? And I looked at you know, it's kinda you know, when you stick your head through the wall. And you see, you know, you know, you don't ever want to do that. You don't you know, because I I saw the the really bad part of that. And and, you know, for me not to continue that match, especially with the French, and you know, in the full set with you know, but I I was out and and I walked off and. A way trainer friend Bill Norris who had known me since I was a kid. And you know, it was the the best on the men keeping everybody playing helped me off in as I walked in here to bags ready for my all aliens put the saline and there, you know, so I wouldn't cramp, and I wouldn't you know, wouldn't just suck two bags up. She marched from. I walked I I walked out of there. And I said to him I go to be okay. You know, and it worked out. Okay. Well, that's you don't want to stick your head through and see it like Jimmy said that can get scary. But every once in a while on the other side of the room you stick your head through. And it's just I think the praise in the zones over us, but you did have a year where you played muscles rose well in the finals of both the Wimbledon and the the US open, and that spot that was pretty much as close as you. I don't know. Perfect exists in view that was as close as you got. Right. That's as close as and to be honest with you as close as I had ever gotten. You know, even after that. I mean, it to my mom, I told my mom I said I had two matches in one year. Like that. You know? I never forget. I said, you know, I went out, and I just couldn't miss a ball. And it just everything that came off. My racket was perfection. And and she says don't get used to it. Yeah. Yeah. Becau. Because you know, Tennessee in its grind tennis was a grind. But you know, you go and you play and and I was young and I had a chance to to win Wimbledon. Now. I never ever thought that you know, I got one chance I better take advantage of it, you know, and to go onto play like that in I had other chances to win Wimbledon three or four again enjoy want it in eighty two. But you know, that that eighty-two might not have ever come along. You know? So, you know, you got to you know, you got to like, my great friend, Lloyd bridges told me when years and before I even turn pro says you gotta strike while the irons hot. And and you know, I I I I had to I had to win that you know, that, you know, in in my time, my feeling was you know, if you've been around and playing for a while it's time to go. You know, just like, you know, when I came in courier Sampras and Edberg and Becker and guys like that. I was getting older, you know, they wanted to tell me Jimmy. It's time to go. You know, move aside. Right. You know, let us take over the nature the circle of life. Yeah. And, but you know, to to go out into play those the greats like, I did, you know, I I went from played guys from the sixties the seventies eighties in the nineties. Now, you know, and you know, for me to go back to say that a play against the the grates that I played against now, you're like, Robert Wagner. I always think R J bridged old Hollywood new Hollywood. There's not many people get that timeline. It's a you are able to say that you knew all these you'll tell me about Lou Hoed, I'll think well Jimmy, but some of these cats on the way up on the way, he meets the current batch thing about the Rosewall matches. He's thirty nine I believe at that point and in his finished shape. Probably as anybody out of Australia ever, except for the aforementioned MO where they always say was the most amazingly and shape cat in the world, but you would thirty nine and you brought up courier to he punctuates. But you would thirty nine have a thing at the open where it's you've stepped into the I don't know that must've. Felt great. You all remember it folks going to stay who wasn't staying up late watching Jimmy at one thirty climbing walls. It was beautiful brother. Tell me. What are you know, what you've ever tell me tell me again, what that felt like brother what a run? Well. My my thoughts of coming in after my research Orie was that that if I could get in some shape up my goal was to play the US open, and and I didn't really play enough and this is same year where you white outed with Chang. Rowing garrison. Right. So three months later. So my goal was to was to try to get into the US open. And and my ranking when it came time to get in wasn't good enough to get in. I had to take a wild card. So when when the draw comes out it, you know, the the draw was that I played McEnroe. Yeah. No. And I'm saying all right. Yeah. You know, playing you know, and I look in the drought. It's not John McEnroe who I had so many great matches Patrick McEnroe. So, you know, but still it was a MAC. Was it was a rivalry by name? And and I tournament started on you know, on an in an evening match. And you know, I I was playing good enough. You know, Patrick has gets me down two sets to love and in in a heartbeat. And and so now, I'm I'm struggling to stay in the turn amount. And and and I my I mean, I I love I love my friends, you know, the Stasi clerk and guys like this. But you know, when when you're looking over your down to Sesa love getting up and leaving the stadiums. He's going. He's he's partying, you know. So so I ended up, you know, coming back and winning that match in five sets. And I I was so hyped on us. I got home like two thirty in the morning and couldn't sleep. And wouldn't you know took a nap and got up and was out practicing at ten o'clock the next day. And and I, you know, I thought you know, to me that was business as usual, you know, go out and try to win this match. You could come back. And and I knew that something might have happened special was Boris Becker came never forget and down three quarts down came over and shook my hand in. Oh, and I said he said you say I can't remember exactly what he said. But is pretty cool. You know, -gratulations that I said that must have been most of it. All right for somebody to write for like that to a state because those guys is supposed to act disaffected young Tonneins broS in general is supposed to this effective with their so for Becker to stride records. I thought that was pretty cool. And you know, and then from there, it's just, you know, my, you know, my Kirckstein, Phil. I remember my passion for the game though. You know, I thought if I could maybe get stuck into that tournament a little bit. And now I was because I played five hours already almost so to get stuck into the tournament. You know, maybe something good would have happened and it turned out. Geez. What a what a memory and a great. I guess listen you serve courier comes in and the semis. And you're just I don't know. It was what it wants. It's it's one of the high points of your tennis career, right? It doesn't always have to end in victory. But you left it all out there. Once again, it was the worst player for me to play really at that time because especially at that point of the tournament because he was no miss guy. He was fit yet. And he never would miss. He keeps the ball in play. And he had power I needed at that time because I was wearing down a bit. I needed to play a guy like Edberg, right? Somebody. That, you know, serving volleyed with a points for quick, and you know, but but his semi was Lendl. I'd wanna play him either. Because he was he was a courier type. But Jim came out. I mean he handled. I mean that crowd was during that eleven days deputy handled his business he handled his business was right? He didn't let the crowd get into it in any way. And and believe me, I mean, if if I could have gotten stuck into that match with him they would have done something for kraken enroll in a crowd would and he took care of his business and played. And I I always I look back. And and I always thought I mean, he plays Stefan Edberg in the final. I thought that you know, after he beat me I thought that he would win. But an Bergman Edberg me. Yeah. Well, folks, every time you step out on that court. And this is from the ultimate neophyte. I am not a good athlete, but I've watched enough of it. And I've known some tennis players, you gotta remember. And this is why I always admire boxes the most in some weird way. When I think about Lee and Joe Frazier. Joie on one hundred and ten degrees. And they you know, let's face facts tennis is the closest thing to that. But you're not thumping each other in the head, you know. And I always think that God somebody's got to step up there and do that. And that's the cool thing about tennis, and a terrifying thing, you can be it can be six six zero six own a second and the kids not gonna take his foot off a guess, whoever is trying to take nor would you and your young exactly. And and you're out there alone. He's not even allowed to receive coaching from the stands and always think man, these guys are near money because nobody's out there, helping you. There's no nine guys in baseball or eleven and football or five and hoops where he can hide it's you it's as close as you can come to boxing say without getting punched in the head and no time limit. Yeah. That was the good thing about it before the tiebreaker came in. I mean, you know, if you're a Pancho Gonzalez played a match at Wimbledon that went over two days five sets over. I mean, eighteen six. Ecksteen with John Borg at one point or something like that. I think the tiebreaker that was tiebreaker hold that was their tiebreaker. You're talking about games could go forever. Yeah. The fifth sector go, you know, until I think it was eighteen sixteen in the fifth or and then and then not an eighteen sixteen time that I remembered eighteen sixteen games in. There was a match at Wimbledon six six years ago. John is ner played I'll think of his name here. But they went think seventy two seventy in the fifth games that was over. I was doing the TV for and hope you're getting paid piecemeal. I'm thinking how you know. I'll pass it out watching it. You know, go on, you know, it's ten o'clock, then we have to come back and Manno man that was just went on forever. See Reardon would have struck. You the paid by the game. That's right. I miss him for that. To some good negotiating for me. We're talking to the great Jimmy Connors. And I would be remiss at the end if I didn't say not only was this cat the blessed with women as life for his young. He meets one of the all-time. Great things. His wife. Patti who I loved dearly. She's sweet and she's fun. She's allies. And he's got a beautiful daughter. So. Like a pad pocket, Patty or something, you know? And boy you've had good luck with Dame's in your life. Jim book I've been lucky, but I ended up with the best. Yeah. And she is she changed my life when I met her Dennison, and listen, we've been married forty years and with with every marriage, companionship it, oh, there's there's ups and downs. But you know, it seems that for me it's always been about her and the way she handled things because she's been, you know, the glue behind everything to tell everything together. And and so she allowed me to play tennis until I was fifty. Yeah. You know through the regulatory, and then the senior tour, and now it's her time, you know, she as well room. She loves Lauren ballroom, dancing, and, you know, a love loves the practice loves go into the competitions and everything, and you know, so she stayed home enough. So I'm happy to stay on with a little bogie. It's a long. Circuitous trip other one eventually life takes you to point where you run up to protest at the referee's chair or the empire's chair, and it's Patty knowing how to put you in your place. I always think accepting when you'll tell me so she said when you're off on some river wider, your something's got a bug up your ass. She has these things where a right. This is a rap on this. Jimmy. I always say how funny the Jimmy up ran into essentially the ultimate on fire at some point. And he's as in love with the Pires, it could be boy, I had my wrist with them. And I try to get away with a few things with her. I can't do it. Geico too tired rather. I love you. Cattleman in your that. That is the Dennis Miller option Jimmy Connors, and we will see you next time and Christian we got any business that tend to or we get. No, I just want to let people know that if they'd like to leave us a voicemail, eight six six five zero nine seven two six eight and on next Tuesday's show will be joined by the great, Mark Stein. But that's all the business. We have oddly enough, Mark Stein. One six times at rolling here. Flinging them up. There you go. All right, folks. Talk to you next time. Bye bye. Thanks for listening to the Dennis Miller option exclusively on Westwood One. Dune into new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday on the Westwood One app. Westwood One dot com and on that Papa casts and remember to rate review and share until next time. That's the show and we are out of here.

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