Jimmy Connors Net Worth 2023, Biography, Age, Height

By Alice Moreno

James Scott Connors, born September 2, 1952, in Belleville, Illinois, stands out as an iconic American tennis player. Dominating the tennis world, he held the top ATP ranking for a groundbreaking 160 consecutive weeks between 1974 and 1977. His career spanned several decades, in which he set impressive Open Era records with 109 titles, playing 1,557 matches and securing 1,274 match wins.

Among his remarkable achievements, Connors won eight major singles titles. These encompassed five US Opens, two Wimbledons, and one Australian Open. In 1974, he won three major titles in a single year, a significant feat in the Open Era. His prowess led him to finish as the year-end number one in the ATP rankings multiple times from 1974 to 1978.

Outside the court, Connors has been influential as well. With a net worth of $30 million, he partnered with major brands for endorsements, including Nike, Wilson, and Reebok. He began his professional journey in 1972 and decided to hang his racquet in 1996, leaving behind an indelible mark on the sport.

Quick Facts About Jimmy Connors

NameJames Scott Connors
Age71 (1952.09.02)
Weight155lbs(70kg)
Height5’10″(178cm)
BirthplaceBelleville, Illinois, U.S.A.
ProfessionAmerican Tennis Player
Turned Pro1972
PlaysLeft-Handed, Two-Handed Backhand
Highest Single Ranking1 (1974.07.29)
CoachGloria ConnorsPancho Segura
Singles Career High1 (1974.07.29)
Doubles Career High7 (1976.03.01)
Prize Money Singles & Doubles Combined$8,641,040
Net Worth$30 million
EndorsementsNike, Wilson, Reebok, Estusa, Nestle, Slazenger & Jet-X.
FatherJames Connors
MotherGloria Connors
SiblingsJohn Connors
Marital StatusMarried
SpousePatti McGuire
Children2

Jimmy Connors Biography

Jimmy Connors was born on September 2, 1952, in Belleville, Illinois, USA, to parents James and Gloria Connors. Standing at 5 feet 10 inches and weighing around 155 pounds, Connors was not the most physically imposing player on the court, but he more than made up for it with his tenacity, skill, and mental toughness. 

He turned professional in 1972 and quickly rose through the ranks, capturing his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open in 1974. What set Connors apart was his extraordinary two-handed backhand, a rarity at the time, and his ability to excel on all surfaces. He is one of the few players to have won the US Open on three different types of courts: grass, clay, and hard court. Over his illustrious career, he amassed eight Grand Slam singles titles, including five US Opens, two Wimbledons, and one Australian Open.

Jimmy Connors’ earnings from prize money and endorsements contributed to a net worth estimated to be around $30 million as of 2023. He has endorsed a range of products and companies over the years, including Nike and Wilson, the latter producing the T2000 steel racket that became synonymous with Connors’ game. His competitiveness and on-court antics made him a crowd favorite, and he leveraged this popularity into a series of lucrative sponsorship deals. Despite often being a polarizing figure due to his aggressive style and occasional run-ins with officials, Connors enjoyed enormous commercial appeal.

Off the court, Connors has been involved in a variety of ventures, including a brief stint as a commentator and running his tennis academy. He is also a family man, having been married to Patti McGuire, a former Playboy Playmate, since 1979. The couple has two children. 

Though Connors never made a formal announcement about his retirement, his last competitive match was in 1996. He has been in the public eye through various ambitions. He continues to be a living legend in the tennis world, representing both the transformative and traditional aspects of the sport.

Jimmy Connors Early Life

Jimmy Connors was born and raised in East St. Louis, Illinois, located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. He was raised in a Catholic family. His early exposure to tennis was guided by his mother, Gloria, and his grandmother. At the young age of nine, Connors competed in his first US Championship—the US boys’ 11-and-under in 1961. When he was 16, his mother took him to Southern California in 1968 to receive further coaching from tennis veteran Pancho Segura.

By his teenage years, Connors was making waves in the junior tennis circuit. He clinched victories at the Junior Orange Bowl in both the 12- and 14-year categories, becoming one of only nine players to win the prestigious event twice. His talents didn’t stop at the junior level; in 1970, he marked his first win in a professional tournament by beating Roy Emerson in the first round of the Pacific Southwest Open in Los Angeles. A year later, in 1971, he won the NCAA singles title as a freshman at UCLA and achieved All-American status.

Jimmy Connors Career

Jimmy Connors Career

Jimmy Connors turned pro in 1972 and immediately made a splash by winning his first tournament, the Jacksonville Open. He opted not to join the new Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) but still managed to win the 1973 US Pro Singles, defeating Arthur Ashe.

In 1974, Connors was nearly unstoppable, boasting a 99–4 record and winning the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. He faced opponents like Phil Dent and Ken Rosewall in these major finals. Notably, he was not allowed to play in the French Open due to his affiliation with World Team Tennis.

By 1975, Connors had established his reputation but faced tough losses in Wimbledon and US Open finals. John Newcombe and Arthur Ashe were among his key opponents. He bounced back in 1976, winning the US Open against Bjorn Borg.

In 1977, Connors reached both the Wimbledon and US Open finals but lost to Borg and Guillermo Vilas respectively. Throughout this period, he was often ranked No. 1 by the ATP and other tennis authorities, though there was competition for that top spot, especially from Bjorn Borg. 

In 1978, Jimmy Connors lost to Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon but beat him at the US Open, which was played on a hard court for the first time. Connors stayed ATP No. 1 by year’s end, but many rated Borg higher because he also won the French Open. From 1979 to 1981, Connors consistently reached the semifinals in major events and was usually ranked third. He won the WCT Finals in 1980, beating defending champion John McEnroe.

In 1982, Connors made a comeback. He beat McEnroe to win Wimbledon and defeated Ivan Lendl at the US Open, reclaiming the No. 1 spot. He and McEnroe swapped this ranking a few times. Connors finished 1982 as ATP’s Player of the Year. In 1983, he won his fifth US Open, again beating Lendl, and ended the year ranked third. Connors had a complex rivalry with both McEnroe and Lendl, sometimes leading, sometimes trailing in their head-to-head matchups.

Jimmy Connors had a standout year in 1984, making the finals of Wimbledon and the WCT and ending the year ranked No. 2 behind John McEnroe. In 1985 and 1987, he again showed his prowess by making the semifinals in major events and holding the No. 4 ranking. Throughout the ’80s, Connors had memorable matchups against John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl. Despite age and injuries, he made a stunning comeback in 1991, reaching the US Open semifinals at 39. His last major appearance was in the 1992 US Open, and he played his final ATP tour match in 1996. Connors, coached early on by his mother Gloria and later by Pancho Segura, was known for his fighting spirit and flat backhand.

Over the years, Connors displayed remarkable longevity, competing against younger players well into his 40s. In 1992, he even played a Battle of the Sexes match against Martina Navratilova, which he won. Though he had a controversial on-court demeanor, his influence on the game is significant, particularly his style of hitting the ball on the rise, taught by his mother and honed by Segura. 

Singles Career

MetricDetails
Career Record1274–283 (81.8%)
Career Titles109 (1st in the Open Era)
Highest RankingNo. 1 (July 29, 1974)
Australian OpenW (1974)
French OpenSF (1979, 1980, 1984, 1985)
WimbledonW (1974, 1982)
US OpenW (1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1983)
Tour FinalsW (1977)
WCT FinalsW (1977, 1980)

Doubles Career

MetricDetails
Career Record174–78 (68.9%)
Career Titles16
Australian Open3R (1974)
French OpenF (1973)
WimbledonW (1973)
US OpenW (1975)

Jimmy Connors Contemporaries and Rivals

Jimmy Connors had a career that spanned over two decades, and during that time, he faced off against a multitude of great tennis players, forming some of the most memorable rivalries in the history of the sport. One of his most famous adversaries was Björn Borg, the Swedish sensation known for his ice-cold demeanor and topspin-heavy game. The two had several epic battles, particularly at Wimbledon, a venue where their contrasting styles and personalities made for electric tennis.

Another significant rival was John McEnroe, an American contemporary known for his fiery temper and incredible touch at the net. The rivalry between Connors and McEnroe was not just about the clash of playing styles—power baseline game vs. serve-and-volley—but also a clash of personalities. Both were known for their emotional on-court behavior, although they expressed it in different ways. McEnroe’s confrontations with officials were as legendary as Connors’ fierce competitiveness and crowd engagement. Their matches often had an added layer of drama because of these elements.

Ivan Lendl was yet another key opponent for Connors. Lendl’s powerful groundstrokes and tactical acumen presented a unique challenge for Connors. The two faced off multiple times in the 1980s, a period that saw a changing of the guard in men’s tennis as younger players like Lendl began to take over. Their matchups were usually grinding baseline battles that could swing either way, adding another layer to Connors’ legacy as a fighter who could go toe-to-toe with anyone.

Arthur Ashe, Rod Laver, Ilie Năstase, and Guillermo Vilas are a few other noteworthy players that Connors competed against during his illustrious career. Each brought their own set of challenges and contributed to the rich tapestry of opponents that helped define Connors’ legacy. These rivalries were more than just athletic contests; they were cultural events that transcended tennis, captivating audiences worldwide and contributing to the global popularity of the sport.

Jimmy Connors Achievements

Awards:

  • 1974: ATP Player of the Year
  • 1982: ITF World Champion
  • 1982: ATP Player of the Year
  • 1991: ATP Comeback Player of the Year

Hall of Fame Inductions:

  • 1986: Inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Hall of Fame
  • 1998: Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Records and Milestones:

  • 1973: Won men’s doubles title at Wimbledon
  • 1974: Won US Open singles title on grass
  • 1975: Won men’s doubles title at the US Open
  • 1976: Won US Open singles title on clay
  • 1978: Won US Open singles title on a hard surface
  • 109 Singles Titles: Holds the record for most by a male player
  • 16 Total Doubles Titles
  • 1,274 Match Wins: Most in the male open era
  • 82.4% Winning Percentage
  • 401 Tournaments Played: Record until 2008
  • 31 Grand Slam Semifinals: Record until surpassed by Roger Federer in 2012
  • 41 Grand Slam Quarterfinals: Record until surpassed by Roger Federer in 2014

Other Honors:

  • Star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame
  • Ranked as one of the 21 best players of all time by Jack Kramer in his 1979 autobiography
  • He was listed among the greatest male players of all time by Fred Perry in 1983

Jimmy Connors Post Retirement

After retiring from professional tennis, Jimmy Connors shifted into a role as a commentator and coach. He worked with NBC-TV in 1990 and 1991, covering the French Open and Wimbledon. Connors has been a commentator for the BBC and the Tennis Channel as well.

In coaching, He joined Andy Roddick in 2006, helping him reach the US Open final. Connors also coached Maria Sharapova in 2013, which lasted just one match. 

Apart from his roles in media and coaching, he authored an autobiography titled “The Outsider” in 2013. The book won a British Sports Book Award in the “Best Autobiography/Biography” category.

Jimmy Connors Net Worth

Jimmy Connors Net Worth

Jimmy Connors, an American tennis player, mainly earned tournament prize money. Over his career, he collected around $8.6 million from these winnings. In total, his net worth is estimated to be $30 million.

Apart from his earnings on the court, Connors had associations with several big brands. He secured endorsement deals with companies like Nike, Wilson, Reebok, Estusa, Nestle, Slazenger, and Jet-X. These partnerships significantly contributed to his overall wealth.

Jimmy Connors Endorsements

Jimmy Connors was known for his unique choice of tennis rackets. While most pros used wooden rackets, Connors played with a “Wilson T2000” steel racket until 1984. He briefly switched to a Wilson ProStaff in 1983 but went back to the T2000 in 1985. He finally moved to a graphite racket in 1987 when he signed with Slazenger. He also signed with Estusa in 1990.

He made good money from endorsements. The estimated total earnings from these deals are in the tens of millions. Connors worked with big-name brands like Nike, Wilson, Reebok, Nestle, Slazenger, and Jet-X. These partnerships added significantly to his income.

Jimmy Connors Family

Jimmy Connors was born to Gloria and James Connors. His mom, Gloria, was a former tennis player, and his dad worked as a toll-taker on the Mississippi River Bridge. Gloria was Jimmy’s first tennis coach and taught him to work hard and be competitive.

The family moved to East St. Louis when Jimmy was young. There, he practiced on public tennis courts. These were different from the elite clubs where many other pro players trained. Sadly, Gloria passed away on January 8, 2007, at the age of 82.

Jimmy Connors Personal Life

Jimmy Connors had a high-profile relationship with fellow tennis star Chris Evert in the mid-1970s. They even got engaged but broke it off before getting married. Connors later married Playboy model Patti McGuire in 1979. The couple have two children and live in Santa Barbara, California. Patti battled cancer and has successfully recovered.

Connors had a few career ventures off the tennis court. He auditioned to host a TV game show and invested in a gaming company with his brother. He even bought a casino, but it never reopened. Connors has also been in some legal trouble, but nothing major. He has worked as a spokesman for a cannabis-based products company and appeared on a TV show.

In 2005, he had hip replacement surgery. Connors has also faced some legal troubles. He was arrested in 2008, but the charges were dropped. Recently, he became a spokesman and advisor for LiveWire Ergogenics, a company in the cannabis industry. He also made a cameo in a “Family Guy” episode in 2019.

Jimmy Connors Education

Jimmy Connors went to St. Phillip’s grade school with his brother John. He then attended the University of California at Los Angeles for one year. During that year, he won the National Intercollegiate Singles and became an All-American in 1971.

Jimmy Connors Philanthropy

Jimmy Connors has been involved in charity work. He participated in the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s tennis camp in Denver. The camp is called “Dare to Play.” Connors said he was excited to help the campaign and perform outdoors.

Conclusion

Jimmy Connors is a tennis legend with a record 109 singles titles. He has won more matches than any other male player in the Open Era. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and has various awards to his name. 

Off the court, Connors has been involved in many roles. He’s been a coach, a commentator, and even tried his hand at business. He’s also given back to the community through his work with charities like the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

In summary, Jimmy Connors is not just a tennis great but also a versatile individual. His influence extends beyond the tennis court, making him a notable figure in both sports and philanthropy.

FAQs

How many Grand Slams has Jimmy Connors?

Connors won eight Grand Slam singles championships: five US Opens, two Wimbledons, and one Australian Open. He did not participate in the French Open during his peak years (1974–78), as he was banned from playing by the event in 1974 due to his association with World Team Tennis (WTT).

Is Jimmy Connors still married to Patti McGuire?

Yes, the couple has been together for more than 40 years. They have two children- a son named Brett and a daughter, Aubree.

Who is better, John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors?

The Connors–McEnroe rivalry was a tennis rivalry between Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, who played 34 times between 1977 and 1991. Their head-to-head was 20–14, favoring McEnroe.

Alice Moreno
About the author

Hi, I'm Alice Moreno. I've been writing about celebrities since 2005. I love sharing stories about famous people and finding out how much they're worth. I studied Journalism and enjoy digging for facts to make sure everything I write is true.

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