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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Ashe upsets Connors to take first Wimbledon
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

July 5, 1975

Two weeks ago Jimmy Connors announced a $5 million libel suit against Arthur Ashe for having criticized Connors' refusal to join the U.S. Davis Cup team. Connors had previously filed three other suits for a total of $20 million against the Association of Tennis Professionals, of which Ashe is president.

So there's no love lost when the fiery Connors and cool Ashe meet in today's Wimbledon final. Connors, the defending champion who hasn't lost a set in the tournament, is a 3-20 favorite, 9-10 to win in straight sets. Just in case Connors has forgotten about the Davis Cup controversy, Ashe is wearing a blue warmup jacket with "USA" in red on the chest when they come out for the match.

After Connors win the first game, Ashe takes him apart. Relying on "junk," Ashe chips, dinks and lobs his way as he astonishingly wins 12 of the next 13 games. His 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 victory enables him to become the first black man to win Wimbledon.

When the dismantling is complete, Ashe puts one more dagger into his adversary, pointing out how Connors had put about 70 percent of his errors "into the middle of the net. He hardly ever put the ball beyond the baseline -- that's a sign of choking."

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