The Book of the Week is “The Outsider” by Jimmy Connors, published in 2013. This is the autobiography of the American tennis Hall of Famer.
Born in 1952, Connors grew up in Illinois. His mother and grandmother were instrumental in turning him on to tennis. He started playing in junior tournaments at twelve. However, at that time, there was no money in tennis, so he played to try to get a scholarship to college. That turned out to be a moot point, as his grades were poor, partly due to an undiagnosed learning disability.
Connors was left-handed, and a two-handed-backhand player. Like John McEnroe, he was a hothead on the court and launched profanity-laced tirades when he thought the line judges were making bad calls. He became an “outsider” when he hired a litigious, greedy manager who shook up the then-professional tennis organizations of the early 1970’s.
Read the book to learn about the people who influenced his personal and professional life, and the people who shaped his generation of tennis players.