Note: Like a monk copying manuscripts in the dark ages, I have faithfully copied the following sentences from a source with the strangest of titles: Jimmy Connors Saved My Life, by Joel Drucker.* As I rearranged each sentence into separate chapters of my own making, I contemplated each sentence for a moment, a minute, a lifetime.
Chapter 1: “Kill or be killed.”
Chapter 2: “Raised by Women to Conquer Men.”
Chapter 3: “Belleville was Sparta, a warrior’s boot camp. Beverly Hills was Athens, a hedonist’s delight.”
Chapter 4: “I’m not Mr. Connors. That was my father. Mister this, sir that. All that formal crap.”
Chapter 5: “Shove their country clubs and rich daddies right up their Protestant butts.”
Chapter 6: “His game tilted toward the edge. His temperament was anti-Establishment.”
Chapter 7: “Connor’s unprecedented skill at hating his opponents was the rocket fuel of his career.”
Chapter 8: “Connors had the guns. His biggest gun was his crosscourt backhand.”
Chapter 9: “No one had ever thrown himself at every ball with such intensity.”
“Now the metal was about to come alive in ways no one could imagine. It was time for Connors and tennis to go electric.”
Chapter 10: “To get a stadium rocking like that is a kick you can’t believe.”
Chapter 11: “By the end of the decade, Connors played 15 of the 16 highest rated TV matches in tennis history.”
Chapter 12: “For the eighth and final time (more than any tennis player), Connors was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Chapter 13: “While Connors floated into myth, I walked in history.”
Chapter 14: “When you think of Connors, cherish the fight. Cherish the struggle for survival.”
About Joel Drucker:
One of the most knowledgeable and talented writers on any sport, Joel Drucker has written superbly and widely on tennis since 1982. As part of Tennis Channel’s team since the network stared airing in 2003, he has produced an endless stream of work as a writer, story-editor and producer on all things tennis. His writing has also appeared in many other venues, including the New York Times, Tin House, Huffington Post, Salon, Tennis Magazine, Racquet Magazine . . . In 2016, he was named historian-at-large by the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Published in 2004, his Jimmy Connors Saved My Life is quite simply one of the best books on tennis ever written. It is available for purchase at Amazon. To learn more about Joel Drucker and his many accomplishments as a writer and producer, you can visit his website. Just so readers know Joel Drucker approves of me copying all these sentences from his book, he wrote me after seeing this writing on “Jimmy Connors”: “I’m honored that you’ve found my work a source of inspiration and creation.”
Artist Bio: A retired Colombian naval officer, Leonardo Luque earned his fine arts degree in 2012 from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Bogota, Colombia. A high-ranking senior tennis player in men’s 60 singles, Leo has drawn all his life and is especially interested in the beauty and motion of the human body. Over the past year, Leonardo Luque has created original portraits of numerous players in action for “Tennis Players as Works of Art,” including Ken Rosewall, Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, and John McEnroe. He currently resides with his family in Boca Raton, Florida.
“Jimmy Connors” was first published with the National Senior Men’s Tennis Association.
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