The sensational autobiography of the most successful and charismatic tennis player of all time
Jimmy Connors was born in 1952 and grew up in East St Louis, Illinois, learning his tennis under the tutelage of his mother Gloria. He became Under-16 national champion and won a scholarship to UCLA, but after winning the Inter-Collegiate Singles title, quit his studies in January 1972 to turn pro.
He won his first major title in the men's doubles with Ilie Nastase at Wimbledon in 1973 and the following year won not only his first Wimbledon singles title but the Australian and US Open too. He went on to win eight Grand Slam singles titles in total, including Wimbledon again in 1982, beating John McEnroe in an epic final. He was the first player to win Grand Slams on all three surfaces (grass, clay and hard), won a record 109 tournaments in his career, was world number one for 268 weeks - over five years - and was still playing at the highest level in his forties.
"An engrossing five-setter, with intense exchanges and no tiebreakers... Like the individualists Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Pete Rose and Chuck Berry, Connors was authentic. The book reflects that swagger." * New York Times *
"Eye-poppingly indiscreet: The Outsider makes most sports autobiographies feel like very tepid affairs in comparison." * Daily Mail *
"Exhilarating... served up at full pelt, as if Connors were charging at readers with his double-handed backhand, complete with sweaty grunts." * Mail on Sunday *
"As spiky and uncompromising as you would hope... candid and funny." -- Marcus Berkmann * Daily Mail, Sports Books of the Year *
"Kudos to Jimmy Connors for valiantly trying to argue in his autobiography, The Outsider, that the current spectacle of Roger Federer, Djokovic and Nadal - whose courtesy and dignity generally match the superlative quality of their play - has nothing on his own era of incontinent litigiousness, oncourt swearing, childish tantrums, umpire abuse, celebratory crotch-grabbing and mutual hatred between top players. Connors' book has the ring of honesty... a magnificent snapshot of his era." -- Ed Smith * New Statesman *