Tennis....and United States champion Jimmy Connors overcame an ankle injury to beat Rumanian Ilie Nastase?
Tennis....and United States champion Jimmy Connors overcame an ankle injury to beat Rumanian Ilie Nastase six-two, six-four on Sunday (26 November) in the men's final of the Gunze International Championships in Tokyo.
SYNOPSIS: Nastase, in the near court, serving to Connors, then hitting a clean winner from the return.
That bad ankle was worrying Connors, who was finding it hard to reach Nastase's best returns. Yet the American broke service.
A serious of good rallies delighted the crowd, as did the power of Nastase' smashing, a sign of early, and misleading, confidence.
Less mobile than usual, Connors was slow to get his champion's game into the groove. Later, he did, until he was in line to serve for the match.
Sometimes, Nastase can fade badly. This time he didn't, and delayed Connors's triumph with solid play.
Match point, and it is quickly over, Nastase's return flying out of court. As usual, Nastase has to offer Connors a loser's handshake.
In Tokyo, the champion gets a certificate showing spectators and television fans how much he has won. Connors has the last laugh, pocketing the winner's cheque for ten thousand dollars. Nastase has to be content with five thousand dollars, which will, however, buy a lot of aspirin for the headache Connors gives him.