Became A Grand Slam Champion
Connors continued to win titles at a record pace. In only a year he reached the number one ranking in the United States, tying Stan Smith. In 1973 he also won the Wimbledon doubles title with Ilie Nastase. By 1974, only his second year as a professional, Connors was winning Grand Slam singles events. He began the year by winning the Australian Open, and he then went on to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, which was then a grass court at Forest Hills.
Connors had a shot at winning the Grand Slam in 1974 by capturing all four major titles. He only missed the French Open title because he was not allowed to play in that tournament. In 1972 the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) became the new union for most male professionals. Connors, however, chose to join the World Team Tennis (WTT) organization instead of the ATP. Because the ATP and the organizers of the French Open did not approve of the WTT, they did not allow WTT players to compete in the tournament that year. Connors and his manager, Bill Riordan, responded by filing a $10 million anti-trust lawsuit against the ATP and its president, Arthur Ashe, but the lawsuit was eventually dropped.
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