Jimmy Connors scored a stunning, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over defending champion and top-seeded John McEnroe yesterday in Wembley, England, to win a $175,000 Grand Prix tennis tournament in a match that resulted in both players being fined for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Connors took the title, which he last won in 1976, in a 3-hour 37-minute match, and then was fined $400 by tournament officials for shouting an obscenity on the court.
McEnroe was fined a total of $700, including $350 for racket abuse and abuse of the umpire's chair and $350 for ball abuse. Those fines put him over the $5,000 limit for a 12-month period and he faces a 21-day suspension from the Grand Prix circuit. Any suspension must be ratified by the players' council.
McEnroe, winner of this tournament the previous three years, was seeking his 20th successive victory. He was involved in a running battle with umpire John Parry and tournament referee Colin Hess.
Parry twice announced the score of the match incorrectly and enraged both McEnroe and Connors during the last three sets by continually overruling line judges' calls.
Afterward, McEnroe said, "It's not fun to play tennis anymore. There are so many rules; I don't think anyone knows them all. Tennis is a great sport and if it's to survive you can't suppress everyone's personality. I will not be appealing against the suspension. It does not affect exhibitions or the Davis Cup.
"If I thought these pro council people were human beings, I would appeal, but it's senseless appealing. . . I have lost every appeal I have ever made. It's so frustrating I'm not going to bother."