What's Ivan Lendl up to? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Since he retired I haven't heard much from Lendl. I remember seeing him at one of Rafter's U.S. Open finals in the late 90's b/c of his relationship with Tony Roche but nothing other than that.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 05:59 AM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Here is the latest on Lendl.

20 Years Later: Ivan Lendl Remembershttp://www.tcpalm.com/tcp/tennis/article/0,1651,TCP_1064_2930787,00.html

Ray McNulty: The victory that changed perceptions
Until he defeated John McEnroe in the French Open final for his first Grand Slam victory 20 years ago, Ivan Lendl -- now a part-time Treasure Coast resident -- was viewed as incapable of winning the big one.
By Ray McNulty sports columnist
June 2, 2004

Ivan Lendl doesn't plan to dust off the tape and stick it in the VCR.

He isn't watching this year's French Open and letting his mind nostalgically drift to 1984, to an unforgettable five-set final against John McEnroe, to an triumphant twist of fate that changed his tennis life.

Truth is, he doesn't think much about it.

"It's not as if I see the French Open and replay the match in my mind," Lendl said in a matter-of-fact tone. "It was a very big match for me. It was my first Grand Slam title. But it was a long time ago.

"The only time I talk about it is when somebody asks."

Somebody did.

Everybody should.

Especially this week.

It was 20 years ago that Lendl -- then the hardest-working man in tennis, now 44 and retired and an avid golfer who lives half the year in Connecticut and the other half in Vero Beach -- finally broke through to win a major championship.

And he did so in a most dramatic and improbable way ... against a seemingly unbeatable opponent.

Lendl lost the first two sets and trailed 2-4 in the fourth before rallying to defeat McEnroe 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 on a surreal, Sunday afternoon at Roland Garros.

Not only did Lendl ruin McEnroe's best chance of winning at Roland Garros -- the loss gnawed at McEnroe for years -- but he also proved to a legion of critics that he wasn't a gutless choker, that he was good enough to win the big one, that he possessed the indomitable heart of a champion.

"I knew what people were saying, but I knew it wasn't true," Lendl said. "It's true that I lost my first four Grand Slam finals, but you have to look at who I played against and where I was in my career. Just getting to those finals was almost an over-achievement. I wasn't that good yet."

Those championship-bout losses came against three of the game's all-time greatest players: Bjorn Borg (1981 French Open), Mats Wilander (1983 Australian Open) and Jimmy Connors (1982 and '83 U.S. Open).

And when McEnroe, then the world's best player, swept through the first two sets of the 1984 French final, there was no reason to believe Lendl was ready to be anything more than a good opponent.

Even after Lendl won the third set, McEnroe appeared to take control of the match with a service break in the fourth.

"Down 2-4 in the fourth, things weren't looking good," Lendl said.

But Lendl fought back, breaking McEnroe's serve twice to get even.

And when Lendl took the match to a fifth set, McEnroe began to wilt.

"Winning the third set got me back into the match," Lendl said. "After the fourth set, it was anybody's match. Fatigue came into play, and I knew I was in better shape than he was.

"I just had to keep trying, keep working, take advantage of my opportunities. You do that, and maybe something goes (your) way. So that's what I did. And, eventually, it was my match to win."

On match point, a tired McEnroe pushed a can't-miss volley wide.

Lendl was no longer a punch line.

He was a French Open champion.

"It was my time," Lendl said. "I was good enough to win. And knowing I was good enough to win a Grand Slam title -- knowing I had done it -- gave me the confidence I needed to win more."

Lendl would win two more French championships, two Australian titles and three U.S. Open trophies. In fact, he played in eight consecutive Flushing Meadows finals from 1982-89.

But he never won a Wimbledon crown.

He tried. Oh, how he tried. A hard-hitting baseliner, he transformed himself into a championship-caliber, grass-court player in the mid-1990s. And he served and volleyed his way into back-to-back Wimbledon finals.

But he wasn't good enough.

"It doesn't haunt me at all," Lendl said. "I know what I did at Wimbledon, and I know how hard I worked to get as far as I did. But serve-and-volley was not my best game."

It was the hard courts at the U.S. Open that best-suited Lendl's game. In many ways, he set the tone for the tennis we see today.

Lendl, the world's top-ranked player for 270 weeks, won with big serves, powerful and penetrating groundstrokes, a commitment to fitness and intense preparation.

Ironically, he doesn't like much of what he sees from this era of tennis.

"The game is very powerful, almost too powerful," Lendl said. "I think it would benefit from a few more rallies. They could do something with the rackets, or the courts, or even the balls. But you can't really blame the players. They're doing what they're allowed to do."

This week, they're doing it on the red clay of Paris. And Lendl has been watching ... at least occasionally.

"If I'm doing something else and there's a TV in the room," Lendl said, "I'll turn it on."

But not because he wants to re-live past glory.

Not because he still thinks about what happened in 1984 on that memorable Sunday at the French Open.

"If we played that match 10 times, maybe I'd win only once," Lendl said. "But I won it. And it was a very interesting, very exciting match. And winning it helped my career. But that was a long time ago.

"Until you mentioned it, I didn't even know it had been 20 years."
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-22-2004, 10:52 PM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

I hadn't known that infamous match was Lendl's maiden grand slam. And by the sounds of that article, he's got too much golf on the brain and not enough tennis.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 04:35 PM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaselineSmash
I hadn't known that infamous match was Lendl's maiden grand slam. And by the sounds of that article, he's got too much golf on the brain and not enough tennis.
Lendl cares about his family, dogs, golf and the Republican party and nothing else especially tennis.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-07-2004, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Republican Party?
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-16-2004, 09:53 PM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Check out Bill Scanlon's new book "Bad News for McEnroe" for some interesting, amusing stuff on Lendl (Scanlon was Lendl's sometime doubles partner).

Go Nole, Almagro, Rafa & Qureshi/Bopanna!
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2004, 06:52 AM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Lendl grew up in a Communist Country and the republican party is almost the exact opposite so that is why he is one. Same with Arnold who grew up in Austria during socialism times. He loves Rogi so I like Lendl. I don't blame him from being away and not coming back. He was treated like shit when he was on tour.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2004, 09:12 PM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Dirk: Well said, and btw, Scanlon in his book is in total agreement. Why should Lendl give back to a game that while was financially rewarding, did not value him as a person? I don't recall one match where a crowd ever genuinely cheered him on, particularly in the USA.

Go Nole, Almagro, Rafa & Qureshi/Bopanna!
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-18-2004, 05:36 AM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Lendl was never going to be loved, but always respected and many of the modern players like Corretja looked up to him.

Personally Lendl was an arsehole, but I could respect his achievements and the work ethic.

American magazine Sport Illustrated has unearthed the world's most unlikely tennis fan.

During an interview, rapper Snoop Dogg was asked which sport people would be surprised to know he liked.

He replied: "Tennis. I used to like Ivan Lendl. He was sharp. An old schooler. Make it happen and roll out. Now I like Venus and Serena, but Ivan was the truth."
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-18-2004, 10:05 AM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

I read that quote and for a pothead Snoop knows his tennis. Lendl I don't know how people can hold his slam final losses against him. He was never famous for his talent although he did have plenty of game and he lost to some of the greatest players ever in those slam finals. Cash being the exception, still Cash was suppose to win that match since his game was made for grass. I do think Lendl and Mac would agree on many aspects of the game today. Both are not fans of this power tennis and huge racket heads. I would love to hear him commentate. I bet he would be wonderful at it but alas he never got the respect he deserved. Did he get a great ovation at the Hall of Fame?
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 10:56 AM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

I don't think Lendl got an ovatian anywhere actually. Lendl was the one who started this kind of game, and he has said he is not keen on it many times.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-19-2004, 04:28 PM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaselineSmash
I hadn't known that infamous match was Lendl's maiden grand slam. And by the sounds of that article, he's got too much golf on the brain and not enough tennis.
The reason he doesn't play much tennis anymore is that he suffers from a debilitating back problem that ended his tennis career and makes it very difficult for him to play. And I don't think there's anything wrong with putting his past behind him and moving on to something different with his life unlike certain people who seem to have trouble doing so.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2005, 04:39 AM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

In the recent book from Bill Scanlon, he really paints Lendl in quite a good light and it makes sense why he is more interested in his daughters golfing career than the tennis world.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2005, 07:24 AM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Especially given the lack of variety in the tennis game. Only a few well rounded players left. I bet he never thought that the power game he created would lead to such unwatchable tennis. Oh well at least he has Federer, well we all do.
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-01-2005, 07:28 AM
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Re: What's Ivan Lendl up to?

It's not that unwatchable though it was worse in the mid 90s on the fast surfaces.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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