Winter Premier Auction 2021

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/3/2021

On July 5, 1975, just five days shy of his 32nd birthday, Arthur Ashe quietly made his own statement of freedom as he defeated fellow American Jimmy Connors in the finals of Wimbledon, becoming the first and only African-American male to have ever won the Wimbledon men's singles tennis championship. Made out of ivory, Ashe wore this choker in the finals, but did nothing of the sort, beating the heavily favored Connors in four sets and making the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Ashe was seeded sixth and a 10-1 longshot against Connors,  the defending champion and number one ranked player in the world. Added to the drama was the fact that Connors had recently filed a $3 million lawsuit against Ashe for comments that Ashe made that spring, saying that Connors was "seemingly unpatriotic" for refusing to play for the Davis Cup team for the United States.
Ashe used all of his intelligence, experience, talent and probably a  dose of hidden anger, besting Connors in four sets, 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.
Ashe's game plan was to serve wide to Connors' backhand and hit slicing approach shots. He won his first service game to love and quickly broke his opponent's serve in the first set. Ashe took the first set in just 19 minutes and secured a second 6-1 rout almost as fast.
Connors, 22, later admitted: "I couldn't find an opening. Whether I served wide balls, or kicks he was there. Everything he did was good: fine returns, short and long, and hard serves and volleys."
The pressure on Connors began to show as he angrily threw his towel under the umpire's chair and released a chain of expletives. Tension built the third set as Connors found his game to win the set 7-5.
Undaunted, Ashe broke Connors' serve in the ninth game of what was to be the final set. The match ended swiftly as Ashe reached 40-15 with his service game and punched home a winning volley after a weak two-handed return by Connors.
After the match Ashe said: "I always thought I would win because I was playing so well and was so confident." A few days later,  Connors dropped the lawsuit.
This was the centerpiece of Ashe's golden year, in which he won nine out of 29 tournaments, earning an overall 108-23 match record and unseating Connors briefly at number 1 in the United States. The necklace is in overall excellent condition with some wear from usage. Derived from the Arthur Ashe family.

Estimate: $20,000+



Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $3,500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $9,007
Number Bids: 9
Auction closed on Saturday, April 3, 2021.
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