Jimmy Connors’ memoir, The Outsider, comes out Tuesday, which means it’s time to dig up some classic pictures of Connors, his bowl cut and his trusty Wilson T2000.
Oh, and his shorts. His very tight, white shorts.
After the jump, check out some photos of Connors with former fiancee Chris Evert and rivals and in action during a memorable career that included eight Grand Slam singles titles.
Connors and Chris Evert: Coined “The Love Double,” the two started dating in 1972, got engaged and broke up before they were to be married in November 1974. “I know I strayed, several times, over the two years we were together, both at home in California and on tour,” Connors wrote in the book. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Connors and Ilie Nastase: Frequent doubles partners and lifelong friends, “Nasty” was Connors’ trusty sidekick on and off the court. “His vice was women, and they loved his good looks, his charm, and his floppy jet-black hair,” Connors wrote. “Hanging around him could flat wear you out.” (Terry O’Neill/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Connors and John McEnroe: The first time Connors laid eyes on McEnroe was in the men’s locker room at Wimbledon before their 1977 semifinal. “He looked like the Pillsbury Doughboy with a headband,” Connors wrote. “I had to ask myself, how the hell did he even qualify?” Connors won 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. (Bride Lane Library/Popperfoto/Getty Images)
With his trusty T2000, Connors shot down Bjorn Borg 7-5, 7-5, 7-5 in the 1975 U.S. Open semifinals. This was the year Forest Hills moved from grass to Har-Tru clay. Connors dreaded playing on it. “What the hell were they thinking,” he wrote. (Tony Triolo/SI)
It must be said. Connors had (and still has) a good head of hair. (Walter Iooss Jr./SI)
Sometimes he just couldn’t help himself. (Jacqueline Duvoisin/SI)
Connors at Wimbledon: “In my day, the bounces were inconsistent and very low,” Connors wrote, “so taking the ball out of the air was more of a priority.” He wasn’t kidding. (Walter Iooss Jr./SI)
Connors’ last hurrah: At 39, Connors did the unthinkable and made the 1991 U.S. Open semifinals. “The fans are giving me everything they have, and they’re demanding everything I have,” he said. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I doubt I ever will again.” (Manny Millan/SI)