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on 26 June 2017
I was initially apprehensive as I thought it would be a ghost written journey with little depth. However I have found it a compelling read. His style is natural and he comes across as an honest guy who has personal flaws like we all do. He is aware and open about any failings and surprised me with his candid revelations. It's not a Tolstoy but a great read.
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on 9 September 2017
I have really enjoyed this book and finding out more about Jimmy Conners. He hasn't always had it easy and is great to see the tenacity he has shown throughout his life. Part of the great tennis revolution as well. Nice to hear his opinions on the top players at the time too. Yes if you a tennis fan and want to know more about legendary players you need to read this book.
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on 17 February 2016
Bought as a gift for my tennis mad partner!! Jimmy is one of her all time favourites and she is currently loving this book
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on 22 March 2017
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on 17 August 2017
Legend of my tennis childhood
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on 17 March 2017
As other reviewers have mentioned the style of the writing in this book isn't great. There will be an anecdote told, a small space and then the text sets off in a completely different direction. Sometimes it feels like he's decided that he's told us too much and so he just abruptly changes topic.

It's an honest book (or at least Jimbo tells us that he's being honest) but I struggled to overcome my perception of him (before starting this book) as being money driven and a gambler. And that he based many of his decisions around either one or the other.

He certainly had a big gambling problem and I think it's the amount of gambling that happened around games that shocked me the most. Are players still allowed to place bets on their own results?

There are certain people that he never made any attempt to get along with but those of us who are not involved in the professional tennis circuit can never understand what it's like. Even now some journalists seem to think that Murray should hang out with Djok once they've finished a match. It's an odd perception.

Anyway. Apart from the jerky writing style - it was a fairly interesting read and I zipped through it. End of the day - I'd far rather watch a re-run of one of his matches with Mac or Nasty. Now THAT was entertainment. As much as I love watching Murray v Djok now - I do sometimes hanker for the days of the bad boys of tennis.
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VINE VOICEon 30 June 2013
Jimmy Connors was one of the most compelling players of the open era of tennis, and when you watched him play you always knew he'd give it his all. I had high hopes of this book and although I enjoyed it I found it left me feeling sad. Connors has made a fortune and won the adulation of millions, but he is not a happy man. While he is clearly a good and loyal friend - he adores Ilie Nastase and the section on the great Vitas Gerulaitis, who died tragically young, is particularly touching - he also has an uncanny knack of falling out with everyone. Promoters, agents, former friends, umpires, even his own brother (whom he was involved in litigation with for over a decade)- all fall out of favour. As everyone knows by now, Chris Evert is portrayed in an unflattering light as a prissy control freak, and he seems to have a completely irrational hatred of Andre Agassi, because of some off-the-cuff remark Agassi made early on in his career.

There is a lot of score-settling in this book, and Connors still seems to be brimming with anger. There are also some great descriptions of matches, but you don't get much feel for what it was like being on the tour in those days - perhaps becasue Connors didn't really socialise with his peers. The real hero of this book is his wife Pattie, who seems to be little short of a saint. To do Connors credit, he clearly adores her and is ashamed of how badly he has behaved at times (having told her he no longer wanted to be married, he cut up her credit cards when she dared to consult a lawyer.)

This book isn't in the same league as Agassi's autobiography (which I highly recommend) or McEnroe's. I found it an interesting read, but it left me with the feeling that I wouldn't much like to spend time with Jimmy Connors.

Update on 24/7/13: Connors has recently been taken on by Maria Sharapova as a coach. Now that should be interesting ....

Further update on 22/3/13: That didn't last long - Sharapova sacked Connors after one match. Perhaps there will be a chapter on this in the paperback version?
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on 18 July 2014
I've been a bit of a Jimmy Connors fan for years after watching re-runs of his matches on Wimbledon and seeing him interviewed a couple of times at Wimbledon, most notably the time before last I saw him at The Championships ('08 or '09) before making a surprise appearance this year and doing some commentary for BBC. When I found out he had released an autobiography last summer I knew that I had to get it. I have previously read John McEnroe's autobiography, which I really enjoyed and found insightful so I was hoping for the same from Jimmy.

I wasn't around when Jimmy was playing professionally and I got into tennis in '06 so my interest in McEnroe and Connors comes from footage of how they played and who they are now. I'm a big fan of current tennis but I think I find something exciting about the way it was back then and the personalities which is quite different from nowadays.

The book starts in an interesting time in his career in 1981 where he tells us people have been saying he's 'finished, washed up, done' and how he was determined to work his way back to the top and be better than anyone believed he could be. The story takes us through Jimmy's upbringing in East St Louis, Illinois and how his mum taught him to play alongside his grandmother nicknamed 'Two-mum', due to her being like a second mother to him. The struggles are discussed including a savage attack on public courts where his mother, gran and grandfather were brutally assaulted by two youths. His mother went on to be his manager through his professional career alongside coach Pancho Segura. Alongside word-class tennis was life off the court - partying with Ilie Nastasie (but always in moderation) - his close friend, an on-off relationship with Chris Evert, former Miss world Marjorie Wallace and his Wife - Playboy model Patti McGuire. Jimmy had problems with tennis federations and promoters, with lawsuits and with other players. Jimmy reflects on those issues with good humour as he did back then. Jimmy came to the fore when tennis was becoming popular with your average Joe and not just the Country club upper crust. It was a golden age for tennis and alongside McEnroe, Borg, Nastase Gerulaitis and Lendl; made the sport appealing for everyone. Jimmy pioneered the aluminium racket when the sport was transitioning from wooden racquets. He was the outsider and never really fit in with the clan of players that coalesced at the time.

Connors gives some interesting views throughout the book including his thoughts on today's tennis. Jimmy was a founder of the seniors tour and he tells us how he just didn't want to stop and had to keep going. He tells us he stills plays tennis every day even after 3 hip operations (he doesn't like the uneven number due to his OCD!). He discusses family life and even though there's been struggles how he's been married to the same woman for 35 years. Even in his later years Jimmy wasn't living it down quietly getting intro trouble with the Santa Barbara police department at a college football game with his son, for which he got arrested! The book ends with heartfelt acknowledgements to those who helped him through his life and tennis career.

I really enjoyed reading this book and in many parts it was more blunt and revealing than Johnny Mac's autobiography. Jimmy puts it all out there including an abortion that Chris Evert had against his wishes which the press had a field day with when the book was released and Evert didn't know he had included it. Jimmy approaches life with humour and honesty and that's what helps make this book so enjoyable that he tells it like it is and doesn't hold back. I would definitely recommend this for any tennis fan.
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on 1 December 2015
A great insight into the workings of the Connors career. Highly strung like his T2000 racket. Tells about his relationships within his life. Talks about his special relationship with his mother. Very honest account of his life. Good read.
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on 9 June 2013
The most important and significant tennis player of the open era finally opens up about his life and times being the world number one tennis player of the 70's. Sometimes angry, other times moving he gives allot of insight into what drove him and even distracted him in his quest to be the best and most exciting tennis player of his era and perhaps all time. However, there are moments where he leaves the finer details to your imagination hence my 4 out of 5 stars.
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