Jimmy Connors wins his 109th and final professional singles title, defeating n°181-ranked Gilad Bloom 2-6 6-2 6-1 in the final of the ATP Tour event in Tel Aviv.
The 109 professional singles titles for Connors is the most of any male player in tennis history and dates back to 1972 when he wins his first title at London’s Queen’s Club tournament.
Ivan Lendl eventually wins 94 pro singles titles in his career that ends in 1994 for second place on the all-time list, followed by John McEnroe with 77 singles titles.

The only players to win more titles than Connors are Martina Navratilova with 167 singles titles and Chris Evert with 154.

Jimmy Connors, US Open 1991

Chris Evert plays her final match as a professional, defeating Conchita Martinez 6-3 6-2 to help the United States to a 3-0 victory over Spain in the final of the Federation Cup in Tokyo.

Chris Evert:

If this is it, I think I’m going out on the highest note possible. I came here thinking this is my last tournament scheduled for this year, and maybe forever, and what better note could there be to end it on, playing on a great team for my country.

Martina Navratilova:

I think all of us really wanted to win it for Chris, but she won it for herself, too. She won all her matches so she played a huge part in it. It was great to be on the team with her.

Austin wins the match, and Navratilova wins the heart

Excerpts of The 100 greatest days in New York sports by Stuart Miller

“At Wimbledon, the French and Australian Opens, there can be no final set tiebreaker, but at the US Open it’s do-or-die. And in 1981 Tracy Austin and Martina Navratilova squared off in the first final set tiebreaker.

Austin had won the Open at 16 in 1979, but in 1981 she’d been sidelined by sciatic nerve injuries. Navratilova had won Wimbledon twice and the Australian Open in 1981 but was still an erratic, emotionally vulnerable player.
She’d been an American citizen that summer, endured tabloid stories about her sexuality, finally subdued rival and top seed Chris Evert in the semis, and was desperately eager to win.

Navratilova seemed to have the trophy in her grip after grabbing the first set 6-1. But Austin, noted for her steely determination and concentration, began grinding away. Navratilova’s aggressiveness and gambling proved her undoing as she blew several break points with unforced errors – she’d make 43 to Austin 17 by day end.
Austin snuck off with the second set 7-6, 7-4 in the tiebreaker.
The third set was equally tight. Down 6-5, Navratilova committed 8 unforced errors and double faulted twice, but saved 3 match points to force another tiebreak. Then Austin showed her greatness, switching suddenly from hitting short to Navratilova’s backhand to slamming balls deep to her fierce forehand. This bold move rattled Navratilova, who fell behind 6-1, then double faulted.”


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The Museum holds personal collections of equipment, dress and archive material relating to Wimbledon champions, pioneer players and stars of the court from each generation. This collection is continually updated with new material from competitors on the current professional circuit.

If you enjoy tennis, history of tennis and want to know more about Wimbledon behind the scenes, a visit to the Wimbledon Museum is a must-do. You can also take a Wimbledon guided tour, read my recap here.

A few pics of the player memorabilia collection.

Wimbledon Museum

Outfit worn by Bjorn Borg when he won his fifth consecutive Wimbledon victory in 1980: close-fitting Fila shirt, short shorts, headband, wristband, socks and Diadora shoes.

Wimbledon Museum

Wimbledon Museum
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The Legends Trophy (Trophée des Légendes) is a great opportunity to watch some familiar old faces play in a friendly and funny atmosphere. Two men competitions are scheduled: players under 45 and over 45.

Six teams take part in each competition, divided into two pools of three teams. The winners of each pool meet in final.
And for the second year there will also be a women competition, with 3 former world number one (Navratilova, Hingis and Davenport).

Under 45:
Pool A: Enqvist/Muster, Kafelnikov/Medvedev, Boetsch/Pioline
Pool B: Ivanisevic/Stich, Santoro/Woodbridge, Bruguera/Krajicek

Over 45:
Pool A: Gomez/McEnroe, Cash/McNamara, Pernfors/Wilander
Pool B: Bahrami/Woodforde, Nastase/Sanchez, Forget/Leconte

Women:
Pool A: Navratilova/Novotna, Maleeva/Tauziat, Majoli/Martinez
Pool B: Davenport/Hingis, Zvereva/Gigi Fernandez, Temesvari/Testud

Some pics of Peter McNamara and Pat Cash training yesterday:

Pat Cash

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In this week’s Tennis Buzz: Federer is not happy with Navratilova’s comments, Sharapova wears her grandmother’s underwear and Djokovic is flying high.

Following Djokovic’s victory in Indian Wells, Federer has dropped to number 3, and Navratilova predicts it will be hard for him to get back to number one:

Roger is on the other side of the float, I don’t think he’ll ever play as well as he did three or four years ago—that’s not to say he can’t still win a slam, but it’s difficult to see him climbing back to No. 1.Nadal is dominating and Djokovic’s confidence is off the chart. Roger has lost three matches (this season) to Djokovic and lost to him at U.S. Open last year as well, it will get under his skin.

And Federer is grumpy:

Maybe she missed the London World Tour Finals. Maybe she was somewhere else climbing Kilimanjaro. I love her. Look, I think she’s been an inspiration to my wife [Mirka] and I always love seeing her, but if you had the microphone in front of you and you get a negative question, you get dragged into it. And she’s in front of the microphone a lot of times like other experts and eventually you can’t just say only good things. You have to also say more negative things.

I must say I agree with Navratilova: Nadal came back succesffuly from injury, Djokovic plays the tennis of his life, and Del Potro is again a Grand Slam contender but Federer is so used to be praised for everything he does -even for breathing air- that every little critic is a drama for him.
What a hard life for Federer….

During this time, number 2 Novak Djokovic was playing tennis on wings of flying plane in this HEAD commercial…
[youtube width=”640″ height=”390″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebBMqcjoo94[/youtube]

whereas Nadal stars in this commercial for Armani Jeans and Emporio Armani Underwear:

[youtube width=”640″ height=”390″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbfFeXPkvsQ[/youtube]

And speaking of underwear, Maria Sharapova graces the cover of Russian Tatler’s March issue… in her grandma’s underwear:

More pics on Sharapova’s website.