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Last Updated: Monday, 8 September, 2003, 04:48 GMT 05:48 UK
Connors makes emotional return
Jimmy Connors
Connors won five US Open titles between 1974 and 1983
Jimmy Connors returned to the scene of his greatest triumphs as he was among several tennis legends honoured on the final day of the US Open.

The five-times champion was at Flushing Meadows to take part in a ceremony opening the US Open Court of Champions.

It was the first time the 51-year-old had been back since he walked off the court for the last time 11 years ago.

And he clearly enjoyed being back in New York, where his pumped up performances made him the most popular figure in the history of the tournament.

"This was my atmosphere," he said.

"My greatest day was the day I left here. The reason I say that is because I didn't leave anything out, especially at this tournament.

I had better get back into a little bit of shape
Connors on his impending return to action
"When I walked out of here, I left DNA out there on that court. I say that with pride. In walking away, in not playing here any more, it was the toughest thing I ever did.

"I made my reputation here, really. No, I didn't make my reputation, this place made my reputation. I just happened to be along for the ride."

Connors, who won the title in 1974, 1976, 1978, 1982 and 1983, received a lengthy ovation at Arthur Ashe Stadium, along with Chris Evert, Billie Jean King and Rod Laver.

And after staying away from the game since his retirement, Connors revealed that he plans to make a dramatic comeback - of sorts.

He hopes to gather fellow American tennis legends John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi for a battle of the generations doubles match in December in Las Vegas.

"It's very promising," said Connors. "It's a matter of getting the guys to play. The activities of getting it on television are proceeding.

"I had better get back into a little bit of shape in case that happens."



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