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Discussion Starter #1
Going into this match, McEnroe was already an ATG having won Wimbledon twice and the US open three times. The French Open was a tournament which eluded him and this was his golden opportunity as he went into the match with a 42 match winning streak. John would go on after this match to achieve one of the greatest seasons of all time an 82-3 win ratio including two slams and the tour finals.
Lendl meanwhile was building up a reputation as the primary challenger to McEnroe alongside the likes of Wilander and the ever fighting Connors. Ivan Lendl was suited to clay with his strong baseline game and great movement, and having had 5 prior slam final appearances was ready to make a breakthrough. But who would suceed? the Czech protege or the American Star?

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Love the contrast in styles, the passing shot baseliner versus the strong serve and volleyer, similar to Sampras and Agassi really.

McEnroe's attack is on fire in the second set! Amazing court coverage.
 

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Great match, and the breakthrough Lendl needed.
Mac was close to unbeatable in 1984, but Ivan was not going to let this one slip through like his previous major final losses.
Lendl saving triple beak points in the 3rd set was the crucial play.
 

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I'm still on set four, but one thing I've found interesting watching the match is the background to Mac's beef with the photographers.

Often I've seen Mac's outburst portrayed as coming out of nowhere and being the pivot on which the match turned. But he had actually previously complained about the photographers and tried to get them removed from their position behind the server, even winning the concession that they wouldn't use motor-driven cameras. And then they disrupted his serve before the very first point of the game and several times thereafter, including on SP in the 2nd. So it wasn't some sudden and irrational breakdown; it was part of an ongoing issue.

Journalists love an angle, and I think they egg up McEnroe's outburst. In reality, the key to the shift in momentum was at the end of the 2nd, when Lendl started to play more aggressively and move his returning position up closer to the baseline. Which goes to show that you can do a lot of good work even when a set is a lost cause. Smart players begin making the adjustments that will help them in the next set.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
McEnroe wasting BPs like Federer at 2-2 in the third set, surprising, solid from Ivan.
 

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Can't imagine more good vs evil in one event. Tennis and humanity won so much that day, birds started singing again, comatose patients began waking up.

McEhNo looked so surprised when Ivan decided to start playing tennis in the third set. He knew that he had no chance in beating Ivan in tennis, so he decided to beat him in behaving like a spoiled child. And fair play, he was GOAT in that.
 

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Great quality of match, a nice contrast of styles. Fun to watch.

Funny exchange on the commentary between Bud Collins and Dick Enberg. Following a discussion about how good it is to see attacking tennis thrive at RG:

Enberg: "Just two short years since on this very court, Wilander and Vilas went back and forth, back and forth."
Collins: "Don't remind me!"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A case of McEnroe's level becoming inconsistent, particularly the serve, and Lendl's level rising to the occasion from set 3 onwards. A fun clash for sure.
 
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Outstanding quality in this match, arguably the best we've covered in the series so far.

One note of housekeeping about the series:

This is the first time that players have appeared for the second time: we've covered McEnroe vs Borg and Lendl vs Becker. We saw McEnroe in victory and now in defeat, and Lendl in defeat but now in victory. This will be a recurring pattern. If we see a great player lose, then we should also see them win, and vice-versa.
 

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Outstanding quality in this match, arguably the best we've covered in the series so far.

One note of housekeeping about the series:

This is the first time that players have appeared for the second time: we've covered McEnroe vs Borg and Lendl vs Becker. We saw McEnroe in victory and now in defeat, and Lendl in defeat but now in victory. This will be a recurring pattern. If we see a great player lose, then we should also see them win, and vice-versa.
thinking about Lendl-Chang in this context, how Lendl put McEnroe in his place in this match, that was Chang in 1989.
 

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thinking about Lendl-Chang in this context, how Lendl put McEnroe in his place in this match, that was Chang in 1989.
How are those 2 matches even comparable?
And Chang still had to win 3 more matches to win the title.
 

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Even more drama than this match.


McEnroe-Lendl. The twilight of the Gods.
4th round French Open 1988

Sorry, I only know the French version, I don't think there is in English.

Chang Lendl 1989 is also legendary, but the tragic comic side bothers me.
 

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@MWW, @florentine





Good shouts, will definitely include these matches.
you can choose their 1991 Masters Cup final five setter if you like as well. I know the French is the more iconic of the two of course, but the rematch was quite tense and Lendl also lost from 2-0 sets up.
 
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