What is doing Ivan Lendl right now? - Interview for the German STERN magazine
I have found an interview with Ivan Lendl in the current issue of the German magazine STERN. I translated it the best I could.
What is doing Ivan Lendl right now?
Interview by Andrť Gronewoud, STERN magazine 19/2007
The born Czech, who wore down his opponents and often the viewers as well, was sovereign for 270 weeks of the tennis world rankings
Mr. Lendl, do you still get recognized on the street?
Rarely. Iím looking a bit different now. My short hair is very practical, I donít need much shampoo.
And you have gained a few kilos.
Although Iím perching on my bike nearly every day, what I really enjoy. I canít sit the whole day on the sofa at home. Iím only playing tennis one or two times a year for charity.
Why donít you play more often?
I donít have a racket anymore. I donated them and have to loan it when I play. But the main reason is that Iím not able to play the way I would like to as I have problems with my back. When Iím doing something I want to give 100%. There is no half-heartedness for me.
Do you watch tennis at least?
When Roger Federer is playing the Grand Slam tournaments. The guys today are larger, much more athletic and have these killer-shots, which has to do with the advancement of the rackets. Without Federer everyone would say how enthralling the tournaments are. Thatís bad luck, but Federer is just to good.
Have you secluded with tennis completely?
No. My big family requires a lot of time, but once in a year Iím going to the US Open, where Iím also meeting John McEnroe. We say ďHiĒ Ė thatís all. We will never become friends. It will always be something special that I was able to beat him in the final of the French Open 1984 when I was down two sets.
Are you proud of your career?
I have achieved more that I have ever dreamed of. Of course I would have liked to have won 25 Grand Slams, gladly Wimbledon.
Are you still annoyed about the missed chance?
Let me say it like this: I donít have nightmares. The people alleged that I would have extra disposed a grass court at home in order to have better opportunities at Wimbledon. Rank nonsense!
You had a legendary match at the French Open 1989 against Michael Chang, who surprised you with a serve from below.
And who ate plenty of bananas. It wasnít an eminent match, no final. And I always liked Michael. I was able to laugh about the match even at that time.
Thatís hard to believe. We always thought you were going to the cellar in order to laugh.
I was concentrated. Whether Iím on the golf course today with my daughters or standing in the final of a tournament in former times: I want to have success.
What are you thinking about Boris Becker today?
We lost track of each other. I have seen him the last time a few years ago at a golf tournament. He was one of my biggest rivals and we had great matches. The Wimbledon final in 1986 against him I would have loved to have won of course.
Are you obsessed with golf like you have been with tennis?
No. Tennis was my absolute priority, today my family is my preference. Iím technically like a golfer, but I couldnít compete with the professionals. Iím not playing golf daily and only accede a few contests.
Iím accompanying my daughters to their tournaments, but Iím not their caddie. They have to carry their things themselves. Iím cheering them, try to help. They want to risk often to much. Iím very proud of them. But everyone who has daughters who are in the puberty know what Iím going through.
Do you get a chance to speak at all at home with six women?
Not a bit. I can only prevail against my German sheep dog. He is the only one who listens to me.