Tennis Prose



The “Vicious Competitor”

Reading the Jimmy Connors “The Outsider” book, one of many passages that jumped out of the page and sparked profound thought was a quote by Pancho Gonzales that embedded in a young Jimbo.

Over a half century later Connors still remembered it and included it on page 61…

“The great champions were always vicious competitors. You never lose respect for a man who is a vicious competitor, and you never hate a man you respect.”

Connors added: “That seemed a pretty good code to live by…. I learned a lot, not just by studying his game but by seeing the kind of killer instinct he brought to every match.”

I remember Tracy Austin once saying during the US Open on USA Network in the 1990s that “tennis is a fistfight without the fists.”

I also remember Jim Courier making a referece in the early days of his TV commentating career about “stepping on the opponent’s throat” when you have him down…

It’s fairly safe to assume Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Serena are “vicious” competitors and to overcome and overtake them, these new NEXTGEN players will need to summon or manufacture a vicious element into their competitive spirit.

Unfotunately Amazon or Tennis Warehouse does not sell vicious competitor pills.

“To be the best in the world at anything, you need to get blood on your hands.” – Philip H. Anselmo

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