Jimmy Connors defeated Stan Smith 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in their match for a place in the quarter-finals of the U.
Jimmy Connors defeated Stan Smith 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in their match for a place in the quarter-finals of the U.S. Professional Indoor Tennis Championships in Philadelphia on Thursday (29 January).
The match was a classic tennis confrontation. The pair, arguably America's finest male tennis players, hadn't met for a year because Smith has been troubled by tennis elbow.
In 1974, they were co-ranked No. 1 in the U.S. For smith the tournament was the start of the long comeback trail after being a Wimbledon ad Forest Hills winner.
He played well, but was no match for his younger opponent. Connors has now won on five of the nine occasions they have met.
He also hinted that Smith still wasn't quite back to his best yet.
"At times tonight he served the way he used to, but he hasn't got all his concentration back. Once he can forget about his arm and get confident again, he'll murder a lot of us guys," he said.
In return, Smith said Connors brand of power tennis was too much for him at this stage.
Connors is now favoured to win the tournament which carries prizemoney of 115,000 U.S. Dollars (about 55,000 pounds sterling).