"Jimmy Connors really has only one weak spot" – When Arthur Ashe revealed his tactics during the 1975 Wimbledon final
Ashe became the first black man to win the singles title at SW19 by beating then-reigning champion Connors 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in the final.
The three-time Grand Slam singles champion appeared on the Dick Cavett Show in 1980 and spoke about his win over the then-World No.1. Ashe said that Connors' only weakness was his low forehand passing shot, and he tried to exploit that:
"Jimmy Connors really has only one weak spot and that's his low forehand passing shot or approach shot...coupled with the fact that the harder you hit the ball, the better he likes it. I tried to play upon those two things."
Further elucidating how good Connors was, Ashe cited the semi-finals of the same tournament:
"You want to hit the ball over with no pace and secondly, you want the ball to take as funny a bounce as possible when it hits the grass, so you don't want to hit anything flat. Roscoe [Tanner] had played Jimmy in the semifinals. I had never seen Roscoe serve better; he got about 60% of his serves in and lost in about an hour and 20 minutes."
Arthur Ashe also claimed that while he played the way he normally does, he did not serve hard. Instead, he served wide while hitting the ball down the middle the rest of the time so as not to give Connors too many angles:
"He hadn't lost a set until the final so I'm saying to myself, 'Whatever I do, I can't serve hard, I'll play the way I normally play. So I hit the ball down the middle with a lot of underspin and I served wide to both sides... You serve wide on the forehand side and the backhand side to take him off-court. Rest of the time, you hit the ball right down the middle so you won't give him any angles."
Arthur Ashe and Jimmy Connors met seven times
Arthur Ashe and Jimmy Connors locked horns seven times, with the latter leading 6-1 head-to-head. The first meeting between the two came at Boston in 1973, with the latter winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
The 1975 Wimbledon final was the only match Ashe ever won against Connors. The last meeting between the two came in the final of a tournament in Memphis in 1979, with Connors winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.