What's Ivan Lendl up to? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

What's Ivan Lendl up to?

Rick V
08-17-2004, 03:00 PM
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.

Zetlandsk
08-18-2004, 05:59 AM
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."

BaselineSmash
08-22-2004, 10:52 PM
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.

MerchantWanker
08-26-2004, 04:35 PM
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.

Rick V
09-07-2004, 06:25 PM
Republican Party?

Santorofan
09-16-2004, 09:53 PM
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).

Dirk
09-17-2004, 06:52 AM
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.

Santorofan
09-17-2004, 09:12 PM
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.

FryslanBoppe
09-18-2004, 05:36 AM
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."

Dirk
09-18-2004, 10:05 AM
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?

rassklovn
09-19-2004, 10:56 AM
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.

samn
09-19-2004, 04:28 PM
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.

Action Jackson
01-01-2005, 04:39 AM
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.

Dirk
01-01-2005, 07:24 AM
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. :)

Action Jackson
01-01-2005, 07:28 AM
It's not that unwatchable though it was worse in the mid 90s on the fast surfaces.

Dirk
01-01-2005, 07:43 AM
It has gotten better and the huge hitters got injuried due to mostly thier power games. Even though people here dislike him... Coria is the most magical defensive player I've ever seen. Of course there are some others who can create pace and make it look beautiful such as Federer and Ferrero. Safin's game is pretty as well. I love his service motion. Such flexibility for a giant. :) Lendl was underrated for sure as a talent. Hero to all blue collar grinders. Canas loves him.

Action Jackson
01-01-2005, 07:55 AM
True, I mean I like Coria's game, but not the man. I think Wilander and Borg were better defensive players, but I don't call Coria weasel because of his looks.

Lendl made the absolute most out of his talent and he never denied that either. It wasn't always pretty, but effective.

Dirk
01-01-2005, 08:26 AM
I don't think Coria will win RG. I think his career will be short due to his lack of nutrition. Lendl surely got better under Roche. His consistency will likely never be repeated again. Pete did it and Roger may do it but they are special players. I want to know why Lendl took a lot of shit from the media when he really loves America and is a great one at that. Mac even said Lendl followed American politics more than he did.

Action Jackson
01-01-2005, 08:36 AM
Roche is a smart guy and he definitely helped Lendl in a big way, not just with fitness matters. They were good for each other as Roche was no-nonsense and that worked for Lendl in a big way.

Lendl was a foreigner and not a native-born American and for some reason in tennis that's a problem and they didn't identify with him because he was Czech and not like Mac or Connors. He acted differently, they mocked him and he closed the ranks around and used it to his own advantage.

He is a true Republican as was mentioned earlier in the thread, but he might be respected, but never truly loved.

Dirk
01-01-2005, 08:38 AM
Which is a shame because he inspired alot of players and showed that you can do incredible things without being the most gifted. There will never be another number one like that.

Action Jackson
01-01-2005, 08:45 AM
Which is a shame because he inspired alot of players and showed that you can do incredible things without being the most gifted. There will never be another number one like that.

Corretja and Schalken were big fans of Ivan. I mean Hewitt did it, but Lendl was definitely innovative but some people don't see that necessarily.

Dirk
01-01-2005, 09:14 AM
Lendl did it at a legendary level.

Fedex
01-02-2005, 11:22 AM
Coria is the most magical defensive player I've ever seen.
Yes, I do admit to liking Coria's game; it is beautiful to watch, but the way he acts on the court is enough to turn me away. Similar to Nastase; one of the most fluid and beautiful players, still, that I have ever watched, but he did waste his talent, which is a shame.

Fedex
01-02-2005, 11:23 AM
T I think Wilander and Borg were better defensive players

I agree with this, but Borg could also attack well, and that obviously helped him to winning all of those Wimbldeon titles.

Action Jackson
01-02-2005, 11:26 AM
I agree with this, but Borg could also attack well, and that obviously helped him to winning all of those Wimbldeon titles.

Mats was like Lendl destined never to win Wimbledon, he won in grass in Australia mainly because the weather was warmer and the ball bounced a bit higher for him than at Wimbledon. Borg was just a freak of a player I mean winning RG and Wimbledon back to back in consecutive years that is.
:worship: :worship: :worship:

Dirk
01-02-2005, 12:41 PM
YES YES AND LET'S HOPE NINJA CAN DO IT AT LEAST ONCE!!!!!!!!!!! THAT WILL REALLY PISS OFF THE SAMPRAS LOVERS!!!!!! :bounce:

Dirk
01-02-2005, 12:43 PM
Let's talk more about Lendl like his incredible feat of being the only player to win multiple RGs and each clay master multiple times as well. Also his 6 times of winning Canada Masters too is a rare feat.

Action Jackson
01-02-2005, 12:50 PM
Well Lendl did have frightening consistency and the above is an example of that.

Dirk
01-02-2005, 02:22 PM
94 titles is so so amazing and unlike that overrated ass Connors his were all ATP. Connors won 62 ATP titles I think.

Fedex
01-02-2005, 09:13 PM
Well Lendl did have frightening consistency and the above is an example of that.
He also made 7 USO Finals back to back :eek: , and thats even a better example of consistency.

Fedex
01-02-2005, 09:16 PM
94 titles is so so amazing and unlike that overrated ass Connors his were all ATP. Connors won 62 ATP titles I think.
Yeah, I agree.

Dirk
01-06-2005, 07:53 PM
Where do you rank Lendl? I put him over Connors and Andre. I don't care if Andre wins another slam or not. Lendl is just below Borg in the Open Era for me.

Fedex
01-08-2005, 05:42 AM
Where do you rank Lendl? I put him over Connors and Andre. I don't care if Andre wins another slam or not. Lendl is just below Borg in the Open Era for me.
I put him above both Agassi and Connors, mainly because of his number of career titles, and all of his slam finals. No other player in the history of the sport, was in more grand slam finals then Lendl.

Dirk
01-08-2005, 03:29 PM
Yes and 5 TMC titles makes him bigger than Andre who will never win another one of those.