Jimmy Connors Saved My Life: A Personal Biography

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9780973144383: Jimmy Connors Saved My Life: A Personal Biography

Drucker provides the most thorough examination ever attempted of one of the most complex characters in recent sports history. He has combined meticulous research and dozens of interviews with his first-hand experience to craft a book that is both a comprehensive biography of Connors and a memoir of the author's life. as it intersected and ultimately clashed with the tennis superstar.

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From the Inside Flap:

In Jimmy Connors Saved My Life author Joel Drucker provides the most thorough examination ever attempted of one of the most complex characters in recent sports history. Jimmy Connors won a record 109 professional tournaments, including eight major championships, and during the 1970s was the world’s No. 1 ranked player for a then unprecedented five consecutive years. But his place as perhaps the most important player in tennis history was forged as much by the forcefulness of his personality as the power of his groundstrokes. Connors ignited a tennis revolution. As Drucker writes in this illuminating work, Connors bulled tennis into a multi-million-dollar era of national television, rich endorsements and international celebrity. He personified the notion that an athlete could be both a sports superstar and cultural icon, and by a fusion of rage, desire, ambition and talent Connors showcased the sport as no one before him.

Through meticulous research, dozens of interviews (including many hours spent with Connors over the years) and his own first-hand experience, Drucker recounts Connors’ life story, following him from his St. Louis working-class beginnings under his taskmaster mother and grandmother, through his early successes, and on to his major triumphs and rivalries against the likes of Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Andre Agassi. Ultimately revealed is a man who, controlled by his mother, despised by many rivals and censured in the press for his on- and off-court volatility, became the game’s first TV superstar and achieved all his life’s ambitions save one: happiness.

But more than a biography, Jimmy Connors Saved My Life is a tale of how, through a life-long obsession with Connors, Drucker found meaning and serenity in his own life. Connors once confided to Drucker that "no other writer knows me as well as you do." That was because Drucker, as a teenage fan and later as a journalist, had soaked up every bit of information he could about his hero and, after their initial meeting in 1982, became a confidant of the tennis superstar. For a time, Drucker believed they were genuinely close, only to eventually realize that Connors, selfish, narcissistic and paranoid, had no close friends.

In chronicling the life of the enigmatic superstar, Drucker reveals in candid detail the profound emotional impact Connors had on him as his own life intersected and ultimately clashed with the tennis superstar. What results is much more than a fascinating biography of a major sports figure. Jimmy Connors Save My Life is the story of two successful journeys: a single-minded march to superstardom, and an emotional passage to self-discovery.

About the Author:

Joel Drucker is one of the world's leading tennis journalists whose work has appeared in numerous magazines. The 1999 Tennis Writer of the Year, Drucker served as technical editor for Patrick McEnroe's book, Tennis for Dummies. He has worked extensively in television as a co-producer and writer for CBS, ESPN, HBO, TNT and The Tennis Channel. He is an on-air commentator for the international broadcast of the U.S. Open. He lives in Oakland, Calif.

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Joel Drucker
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