Bill Tilden and Jimmy Connors books - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2004, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Bill Tilden and Jimmy Connors books

Please pardon my asking this on the Womens Blast Forum, but I'm not sure where I'd find more people in tune with this sort of thing. I've heard that there is a new book out on Bill Tilden and also a biography of Jimmy Connors as well.

I'd love to find out more about Big Bill, his career, and his life after tennis. He's always been an intriguing character and I very much want to find out more on him.

Connors was never a favorite of mine in the 80's, but I think a bio on this great player could give some insight on mens tennis in the 70's and 80's. My interest in this pales in comparison to the ladies, but I did pay attention to it at the time.

Anybody have any more info.?

Last edited by HanaFanGA; Aug 12th, 2004 at 04:40 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2004, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HanaFanGA
Please pardon my asking this on the Womens Blast Forum, but I'm not sure where I'd find more people in tune with this sort of thing. I've heard that there is a new book out on Bill Tilden and also a biography of Jimmy Connors as well.

I'd love to find out more about Big Bill, his career, and his life after tennis. He's always been an intriguing character and I very much want to find out more on him.

Connors was never a favorite of mine in the 80's, but I think a bio on this great player could give some insight on mens tennis in the 70's and 80's. My interest in this pales in comparison to the ladies, but I did pay attention to it at the time.

Anybody have any more info.?

I haven't heard anything yet. I too would love to read about Connors. As for Bill Tilden the only book I've read so far is of course Deford's book on him. Tilden is always seen as this rather tragic figure in tennis and often his life makes for sad reading. After Tilden was arrested it seems his only friend in Hollywood was Charlie Chaplin. If a new book does come out I hope it brings out the good things about him not just the sad parts.

Last edited by RoanHJ; Aug 12th, 2004 at 07:27 PM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2004, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoanHJ
I haven't heard anything yet. I too would love to read about Connors. As for Bill Tilden the only book I've read so far is of course Deford's book on him. Tilden is always seen as this rather tragic figure in tennis and often his life makes for sad reading. After Tilden was arrested it seems his only friend in Hollywood was Charlie Chaplin. If a new book does come out I hope it brings out the good things about him not just the sad parts.
Interesting pairing, Charlie Chaplin and Bill Tilden. Charlie was actually a pretty good tennis player in this time, and I imagine they played many times at the Los Angeles Tennis Club and the Beverly Hills Hotel. Hell, they probably played in Norma Desmond's back yard next to the swimming pool!

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2004, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoanHJ
I haven't heard anything yet. I too would love to read about Connors. As for Bill Tilden the only book I've read so far is of course Deford's book on him. Tilden is always seen as this rather tragic figure in tennis and often his life makes for sad reading. After Tilden was arrested it seems his only friend in Hollywood was Charlie Chaplin. If a new book does come out I hope it brings out the good things about him not just the sad parts.

Me too. That's one reason why I'm so curious about his life post-tennis. I'm hoping to hear some good things to go along with all of the bad stuff that happened. Tilden and Gottfried von Cramm are two historical male figures that I'm very interested in learning more about.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2004, 11:49 AM
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Hi HanaFan --


What I always do to check out new tennis books is go to amazon.com, go to advanced search under books, then type in tennis.

The Connors book sounds very personal. It's called "Jimmy Connors Saved My Life." The blurb says the author got very close to Connors, only to find out he's a self-centered jerk.

A book by Bill Scanlon [a pro from the 70s and 80s] promises to dish the dirt on all the male pros of the time.

These two bokks aren't published yet.


The Tilden book is a reprint of Frank Deford's that Roan mentioned. Highly recommmended IMO. If you want some "happier" stories of Bill check out "The Match". It's about Althea Gibson and Angela Buxton, but Bill fugures in to it a little. Angela went to Califrnia to improve her game. Because she was Jewish the big clubs wouldn't let her in. Since Tilden was also an outcast he offered to coach her. They used to hit on Charlie Chaplin's courts on his abandoned estate. Tilden still had the golden touch-the next summer Angela made the finals of Wimbledon.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2004, 01:42 PM
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Jimmy Connors book

This was the message on May 2004 newsletter from tennis bookshop website.

www.tennisbookshop.com

"THE NEW JIMMY CONNORS BIOGRAPHY: My friend Joel Drucker, a well-known American tennis journalist, has told me that he has recently completed a new book to be called "Jimmy Connors Saved My Life". The book is due out in August. I once asked JC in Antwerp if he planned a life story, to which he replied that everything he wanted us to know was already in the public domain, anything else was his business and nobody else's! I have always thought that a definitive biography on Connors was needed, and now here it is. Reading the pre-publicity, it would seem this is not so much an authorised biography, rather it is about one astute tennis observer's twenty years relationship with Connors and his observations taken from previous interviews and articles. Joel was closely involved with Connors in the 1980's and the experience has clearly left its mark. I hope to be able to offer copies of this new book in my September newsletter."
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2004, 02:06 PM
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While on the subject

Does anyone know of or have the following book that I have come across on the internet. The name of the book is "Grand Slam tennis Encyclopedia" by Jim Savage and published in 1994. I have only one or two references to it and amazon is out of stock. But there are no real details.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2004, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HanaFanGA
Please pardon my asking this on the Womens Blast Forum, but I'm not sure where I'd find more people in tune with this sort of thing. I've heard that there is a new book out on Bill Tilden and also a biography of Jimmy Connors as well.

I'd love to find out more about Big Bill, his career, and his life after tennis. He's always been an intriguing character and I very much want to find out more on him.

Connors was never a favorite of mine in the 80's, but I think a bio on this great player could give some insight on mens tennis in the 70's and 80's. My interest in this pales in comparison to the ladies, but I did pay attention to it at the time.

Anybody have any more info.?
World Tennis once did an interview with Ellsworth Vines where he and his wife (Verle, I think her name was) talked about Tilden. From what I read, it seemed like the Vineses were very fond of Tilden, and remained friends with him even after the scandal. Mrs. Vines mentioned that they even attended his funeral, and that she was the only woman there. Vines said that he considered Tilden one of the greatest, and I particularly remember this comment from him: "So what if he was a little different? He could play! "

Verle Vines also had a touching story to add about how she once went out with her husband and Tilden, and on seeing a flower-girl, told her husband that he never sent her any flowers. Apparently Tilden heard this remark and arranged to have a flower sent to her every day for the rest of his life. If you ever get the chance, you might want to read this interview. I don't remember the exact issue it was in, but I definitely know that it was in the post-US Open issue of 1990, so you might want to look up the Oct '90 or the Nov '90 issues of "World Tennis" if you can find them. (God, I don't even know how I remember all of this stuff! Now if only I can remember every morning where I left my glasses the night before )

BTW there was also a play on Broadway about Tilden sometime earlier this year. Has anyone seen it?

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2004, 08:47 PM
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Vines had a serve like Roddick. He hit a serve so fast at Wimbledon that the receiver claimed he never even saw the ball!

I'd forgotten that poignant interview. The Flower part was so sweet. Didn't Vera also saythough that after the scandal she wouldn't have Bill over to her house?
I know she regretted it later-but times were different then.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2004, 09:10 PM
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About a year ago I read Don Budge's autobiography and what stood out for me was how hostile Don seemed toward Tilden. As I recall, he starts the book off with his famous Davis Cup match against Von Cramm. He writes about Tilden and how he was coaching the German team. I can't remember everything off hand but as I recall at one point Ed Sullivan, I think it was him, became so angry with Tilden he almost punched him. I hope I got that story right or at least close enough Later on, Budge makes a comment about Tilden and how he and his friends were taking more money than they should have from the pro tour he was doing with Don. Then finally toward the end of the book Budge does this "Best ever" in tennis thing and he makes some more negative comments about Bill. Again as I recall, since I don't have the book in front of me, he points out Bill never had any real competition etc. during his era. I came away from the book with the impression Don didn't like Tilden very much.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 15th, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Tilden really liked Germany-I think he was coaching the German Davis Cup team when Budge had his famous matches with Von Cramm. Dunno how much much of Don's dislike factored into it.

Tilden's sexual preference didn't earn him Don's like either. Budge said Tilden once took some players to a Caberet in Berlin. He used some funny phrase to ddescribe his disgust at that side of "Tille" as George Lott called Tilden.
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