ESPN 30 for 30 This Is What They Want: Jimmy Connors' Film Is Must-See TV

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Tennis great Jimmy Connors looks on after an interview during Day Eleven of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

The latest installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 film series, This Is What They Want is sure to both entertain and educate sports fans everywhere.

With the 2013 World Series taking a night off on Tuesday, the hour-long film is must-see television.

This Is What They Want premieres on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The documentarydirected by filmmakers Brian Koppelman and David Levienhighlights the rise of tennis and American legend Jimmy Connors, specifically his memorable run at the 1991 U.S. Open.

Connors, an eight-time Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1, won five straight matches at age 39 to somehow reach the semifinals at Flushing Meadows. 

He would finally lose to Jim Courier, but not before surviving several dramatic matches that won over sports fans and propelled tennis into the upper echelon of spectator sports. 

The film examines Connors' legacy as well, revisiting his glory days and highlighting his unforgettable rivals who helped popularize tennis in the sport's golden age from the late 1970s to early 1980s.

Connors and his adversaries paved the way for today's superstars like Rafael Nadal.
Connors and his adversaries paved the way for today's superstars like Rafael Nadal./Getty Images
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Connors' improbable run at the U.S. Open 22 years ago began in heart-pounding fashion, as he battled back after losing the first two sets against Patrick McEnroe to win his opening-round match in five sets.

After cruising through the second and third rounds, and pumping up the crowds in the process, Connors won a thrilling five-setter against fellow American Aaron Krickstein in the fourth round. Connors swept the final two sets, including a fifth-set tiebreaker, to advance to the quarterfinals, per 30 for 30 on Twitter:

After coming from behind once more to knock off Dutchhman Paul Haarhuis in the quarterfinals, Connors had officially gone from tournament wild card to semifinalist in less than two weeks. 

According to the film summary, Koppelman and Levien grew up just minutes away from the National Tennis Center in New York and were captivated by Connors' journey in 1991. As a result, viewers can expect much more than a simple recap of Connors' tear.

In fact, there's a lot more to This Is What They Want. The film tells the story of how the sometimes overlooked game of tennis became a marquee sporting attraction.

Through decades-old highlights and interviews with the players responsible for lifting the sport to new heights, This Is What They Want entertains throughout, making it must-see television for those who call themselves sports fans.

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