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by Brian Halton
Pastel on Board
22″ x 18″
Jimmy Connors (aka ‘Jimbo’) held the top ranking for 160 consecutive weeks from July 29, 1974 to August 22, 1977 (record at that time) and an additional eight times during his career (a total of 268 weeks). He won eight Grand Slam singles titles and two Grand Slam doubles titles with Ilie Nastase. He was also a runner-up seven times in Grand Slam singles, a doubles runner-up with Nastase at the 1973 French Open, and a mixed doubles runner-up with Chris Evert at the 1974 US Open.
In 1974, Connors became the second male in the open era to win three or more Grand Slam singles titles in a calendar year (Rod Laver being the first in 1969 and having been joined since by Mats Wilander, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic). Connors’ victory at the 1976 US Open came during the brief period (1975-77) when that tournament was held on clay courts, which makes him one of only five men (along with Wilander, Andre Agassi, Federer, and Nadal) to have won Grand Slam singles titles on all surfaces. Connors is also the only man to win U.S. Open singles championships on grass, clay, and hard courts, which is a feat that will never be duplicated.