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realplayer
07-08-2007, 05:09 AM
Connors and Lendl where both no. 1 for a long time.

Lendl even longer than Connors but Connors won more tournaments.

Connors was far more dominating in his prime than Agassi.

But who was the better player Connors or Lendl, that is the question of this poll.

anointedone
07-16-2007, 06:00 PM
I vote for Lendl but it is a super tough call for me. Both are great. I think both had greater careers then either McEnroe or Agassi.

Mick
07-16-2007, 09:33 PM
i am a big Lendl fan but I think Connors was a better player because he would win more of the big matches that he was supposed to win. Lendl would lose more of the big matches that he could have won, for examples the 1988 US Open final against Mats Wilander and the 1989 round of the 16 match at Roland Garros against Michael Chang.

navratilovafan
07-16-2007, 11:40 PM
I would go with Connors barely for the reason Mick stated.

CEvertFan
07-19-2007, 10:16 AM
Even though it is a tough call to make, I would go with Lendl because once he was in his prime he was a very consistent player who was tough to beat, and his winning head to head records against both McEnroe and Connors reflect just how tough it was to consistently beat him. If I could say anything about Lendl and his losing record in Slam finals, it would be that even though he usually played at a pretty high level he didn't possess that extra special little something to call upon when things were tight.

hewittboy
07-19-2007, 04:26 PM
It is hard to say. Both are great champions. Lendl though was pretty dominant 3 years in a row. Connors was arguably the best player 3 years in a row from 74-76, but only dominant in 1974.

BTURNER
07-29-2007, 12:08 PM
Lendl By The Thinnest Of Hairs. Can You Ask Easier Questions Next Time? How About Who's The Better On Grass - Muster Or Chang

CyBorg
07-29-2007, 03:15 PM
Connors would have won 10-12 grand slam titles if not for Borg and McEnroe closing the door most of the time.

In his prime years Lendl had no one like those guys. Mac awol, Becker/Edberg kids, Mecir weak of mind, Wilander low on talent, Cash a total schizo, Mikael Pernfors - never mind.

I like Lendl but Connors wouldn't have lost to Wilander in New York in 88.

NadalandFedererfan
07-29-2007, 03:47 PM
Connors would have won 10-12 grand slam titles if not for Borg and McEnroe closing the door most of the time.

In his prime years Lendl had no one like those guys. Mac awol, Becker/Edberg kids, Mecir weak of mind, Wilander low on talent, Cash a total schizo, Mikael Pernfors - never mind.

I like Lendl but Connors wouldn't have lost to Wilander in New York in 88.

I dont really agree with anything you said.

Yes Connors had Borg and McEnroe. However McEnroe became a major contender in 1979, while Borg was gone after 1981. So from 1974-1983 he only had both of them for 2-3 years of that whole time. Of course there are other people, including Lendl himself in the early 80s you could add, but definitely wanted to point out he did not have both Borg and McEnroe at the very top for that many years of his long period in winning all his slams.

I think you are underestimating Wilander. He won 7 slam titles, and 3 slams in a year once, which puts him as an all-time great. He won slam titles on all 3 major surfaces. He is still probably a notch down from McEnroe/Connors/ Lendl, but not that much.

Becker's real obstacle to Lendl as a "kid" was specificaly on grass only, and Becker is one of the great grass court players in history, and was at his best on grass when he was this "kid" you refer to, improving on the other surfaces as he got older but best and scariest on grass of all while being that "kid", and he denied Lendl 2 different times (1986, 1988, 1989) a Wimbledon title. By the time Becker became a serious threat to Lendl at the other slams he was no longer a "kid", and as a grown man Becker denied Lendl the 89 U.S Open and 91 Australian Open titles.

By the time Edberg was a serious contender he was no longer a "kid", and he too denied Lendl a possible Wimbledon title in 1990 (if Lendl would not have won anyway it would only have been because of Becker), and at the Australian Open in 1987, as well as possibly at the 1991 and 1992 U.S Opens.

Pat Cash is not an all-time great but he is much better then a total schizo. Cash beat Lendl 3 times at a Grand Slam at his peak, the 86 Wimbledon final, the 87 and 88 Australian Open semis, he had match point on him in the 84 U.S Open semis too. He was a serious big time player, whose career was hampered by injuries alot like Richard Krajicek in the 90s.

Wilander would have never beaten Connors in a U.S Open final? How can you say that for certainly. Wilander is certainly a superior player to Orantes and probably Vilas (who Wilander beat in the French Open final as a newbie) who both managed to pull an upset win over Connors in U.S Open finals.

I dont know the exact hypothetical estimate, but it seems quite possible that Lendl lost as many more possible slams to the trio of Edberg, Becker, and Wilander as Connors did to Borg and McEnroe.

CyBorg
07-29-2007, 05:18 PM
I dont really agree with anything you said.

Yes Connors had Borg and McEnroe. However McEnroe became a major contender in 1979, while Borg was gone after 1981. So from 1974-1983 he only had both of them for 2-3 years of that whole time. Of course there are other people, including Lendl himself in the early 80s you could add, but definitely wanted to point out he did not have both Borg and McEnroe at the very top for that many years of his long period in winning all his slams.

Connors made an amazing amount of semifinals. So many it's utterly insane. In 1981 he lost in both Wimby and US Open semis to Borg. In the former he was up to sets to love. Yes, Borg and Mac were not always there together but they were contenders for four years in a row (starting with Mac's 1978 masters victory). By the time Lendl reached his peak none of these guys were anywhere near their prime - or had retired as in Borg's case.

I think you are underestimating Wilander. He won 7 slam titles, and 3 slams in a year once, which puts him as an all-time great. He won slam titles on all 3 major surfaces. He is still probably a notch down from McEnroe/Connors/ Lendl, but not that much.

I think Mats was a three-four slam title kind of guy who happened to win seven. Borg's retirement handed him his first - Lendl's chokes handed him a couple. Wilander was a guy who capitalized on opposing mistakes - an elite player but nowhere close to Lendl in terms of talent. McEnroe wound up with the same number of majors as this guy, for goodness sake. But, hey, I like Mats - who doesn't like Mats?

Becker's real obstacle to Lendl as a "kid" was specificaly on grass only, and Becker is one of the great grass court players in history, and was at his best on grass when he was this "kid" you refer to, improving on the other surfaces as he got older but best and scariest on grass of all while being that "kid", and he denied Lendl 2 different times (1986, 1988, 1989) a Wimbledon title. By the time Becker became a serious threat to Lendl at the other slams he was no longer a "kid", and as a grown man Becker denied Lendl the 89 U.S Open and 91 Australian Open titles.

Becker wasn't doing much outside of grass and carpet until the very late 80s - coinciding with Lendl losing his #1 ranking. You have to admit that at the very least in terms of 85 and 86 Becker was pretty darn young and no threat to Lendl anywhere but grass. Those are two peak years for Ivan.

By the time Edberg was a serious contender he was no longer a "kid", and he too denied Lendl a possible Wimbledon title in 1990 (if Lendl would not have won anyway it would only have been because of Becker), and at the Australian Open in 1987, as well as possibly at the 1991 and 1992 U.S Opens.

I'm not talking about 91 and 92 - I'm talking about the peak Lendl years. A lot of guys past their primes and pre-their primes while Lendl was dominating hardcourts and clay.

Pat Cash is not an all-time great but he is much better then a total schizo. Cash beat Lendl 3 times at a Grand Slam at his peak, the 86 Wimbledon final, the 87 and 88 Australian Open semis, he had match point on him in the 84 U.S Open semis too. He was a serious big time player, whose career was hampered by injuries alot like Richard Krajicek in the 90s.

I know all of this - every era should have its Pat Cash. But Pat Cash was no Borg.

Wilander would have never beaten Connors in a U.S Open final? How can you say that for certainly. Wilander is certainly a superior player to Orantes and probably Vilas (who Wilander beat in the French Open final as a newbie) who both managed to pull an upset win over Connors in U.S Open finals.

It's my opinion. Lendl didn't play badly but he had enough power to knock Wilander unconscious, but couldn't close the deal. Connors beat Borg twice in US Open finals and Borg was miles better than Wilander.

I dont know the exact hypothetical estimate, but it seems quite possible that Lendl lost as many more possible slams to the trio of Edberg, Becker, and Wilander as Connors did to Borg and McEnroe.

I'm not really crunching numbers. My point is simple - in Lendl's peak years, those guys weren't anywhere as good as Connors' elite contemporaries.

snapple
07-29-2007, 08:17 PM
I like Lendl but Connors wouldn't have lost to Wilander in New York in 88.

Wilander was 5-0 against Connors. While admitedly Jimbo was well past his prime, I think that Wilander would have given Connors a boat load of trouble in any era they played. Mats rose to the occasion in GS finals, which is perhaps the reason you make the ridiculous assertion that he was a 4 time slam winner who happened to have won 7. Please.

CyBorg
07-29-2007, 08:28 PM
Wilander was 5-0 against Connors. While admitedly Jimbo was well past his prime, I think that Wilander would have given Connors a boat load of trouble in any era they played. Mats rose to the occasion in GS finals, which is perhaps the reason you make the ridiculous assertion that he was a 4 time slam winner who happened to have won 7. Please.

Okay, fine. Make it five.;)

lambielspins
07-29-2007, 08:37 PM
Okay, fine. Make it five.;)

You are too kind. ;)

Rafa freak
07-29-2007, 08:39 PM
I like lendl better

CyBorg
07-29-2007, 08:53 PM
You are too kind. ;)

Mats called. He likes the cut of my jib.

I knew it.

sandy mayer
07-29-2007, 11:59 PM
At the time Lendl played Connors was aways considered the player with the greater career because Connors won far more blue chip slams. In their careers the US and Wimbledon were considered easily the most important two.People often used to raise Borg's failure to win the US and Lendl's failure to win Wimbledon. People didn't raise Connors and Mac's failure to win the French or the failure of Borg and Mac to win the Oz. Sampras was the first player where big questions were raised over his failure to win the French. And even then, this was at the end of his career.

The problem with the who's greater Lendl or Connors debate on this forum is that people are now looking at their careers with 2007 glasses, in a time where the Australian is almost as prestigious as the other slams, and when the French is pretty much on a par with Wimbledon and the US. Looking at their careers from a 2007 perspective where the concept of blue chip slams has gone, their careers are pretty evenly matched.

But and this is a huge but, Connors and lendl didn't play in 2007, so we have to look at their careers from the viewpoint of their time. And once we do that Connors is the clear winner over lendl: 7 blue chip slams to Lendl's 3.

I have no doubt that in his heart Lendl would have preferred to have achieved Connors' grand slam haul to the one he ended up with.

CEvertFan
07-30-2007, 10:30 AM
At the time Lendl played Connors was aways considered the player with the greater career because Connors won far more blue chip slams. In their careers the US and Wimbledon were considered easily the most important two.People often used to raise Borg's failure to win the US and Lendl's failure to win Wimbledon. People didn't raise Connors and Mac's failure to win the French or the failure of Borg and Mac to win the Oz. Sampras was the first player where big questions were raised over his failure to win the French. And even then, this was at the end of his career.

The problem with the who's greater Lendl or Connors debate on this forum is that people are now looking at their careers with 2007 glasses, in a time where the Australian is almost as prestigious as the other slams, and when the French is pretty much on a par with Wimbledon and the US. Looking at their careers from a 2007 perspective where the concept of blue chip slams has gone, their careers are pretty evenly matched.

But and this is a huge but, Connors and lendl didn't play in 2007, so we have to look at their careers from the viewpoint of their time. And once we do that Connors is the clear winner over lendl: 7 blue chip slams to Lendl's 3.

I have no doubt that in his heart Lendl would have preferred to have achieved Connors' grand slam haul to the one he ended up with.


By the time Lendl won his 1st AO in 1990, the AO was consistently being played by all the top players, which no longer made it the forgotten major.

sandy mayer
07-31-2007, 01:20 AM
By the time Lendl won his 1st AO in 1990, the AO was consistently being played by all the top players, which no longer made it the forgotten major.


It is true when lendl won the Oz in 89-90 it was much more coveted, but not a single player on the ATP tour would have preferred to win it to the US or Wimbledon, including Lendl.
My point is not so much about which slams were toughest to win, but which were most prestigious, and in the time of the careers of lendl and Connors, Connors' grand slam collection was easily more prestigious than lendl's. This is why I have no hesitation in saying Connors had the bettter career.

Gorecki
07-31-2007, 04:02 AM
I would go for Lendl mainly because of Connors atittude on court... (that is part of being a player too)

But This:

...Wilander low on talent

Mr. Cyborg. get real:
Take a look at this :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mats_Wilander

and this was all being low on talent... image if... just imagine...

Benhur
07-31-2007, 05:14 AM
Connors would have won 10-12 grand slam titles if not for Borg and McEnroe closing the door most of the time.

Lendl would have won over 14-16 grand slime titles if not for Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Becker and Edgerg closing the door most of the time. That's a fact.


In his prime years Lendl had no one like those guys. Mac awol, Becker/Edberg kids, Mecir weak of mind, Wilander low on talent, Cash a total schizo, Mikael Pernfors - never mind.


In his prime years (1983 to August 85) McEnroe had no one of stature to contend with except Lendl, who was "weak of mind," at that time, an aging Connors whom he crushed at the 84 Wimbledon final (1, 1 and 2), Mats Wilander who was "low on talent" (and a "kid" to boot); Chris Lewis, or some such name who faced Mac at the 83 Wimbledon final, Bill Scanlon, who had problems with drink and took him out of the 83 US Open, and... never mind.


I like Lendl but Connors wouldn't have lost to Wilander in New York in 88.

I like Connors, but Lendl wouldn't have lost to Orantes in 75 or Vilas in 77 in New York.

See how easy it is?

Benhur
07-31-2007, 07:16 AM
Connors would have won 10-12 grand slam titles if not for Borg and McEnroe closing the door most of the time.

In his prime years Lendl had no one like those guys. Mac awol, Becker/Edberg kids, Mecir weak of mind, Wilander low on talent, Cash a total schizo, Mikael Pernfors - never mind.


Your contention that Lendl had no great competition to "close the door on him" unlike Connors, is so absolutely ridiculous it cannot be left unanswered. Lendl's "prime" extends a whole decade, as does Connors. The "peak" within that prime extends 1985-87, and even then he had plenty of tough competition that closed the door on him.

Consider the following list of players who "closed the door" on Lendl at grand slam finals and semifinals, then compile a similar list of those who closed the door on Connors at the same stages. Then tell me who "would have won" more slams by this method. If you count *only finals* lost to Borg, Mac, Connors and Becker he would have 15 slams total. If you add semis lost to Becker and Edberg it would be 19 Here it goes

Grand Slam finals lost by Lendl:

1981 Rolan Garros Final (to Borg)
1982 US Open Final (to Connors) [this was Connors 1st or 2nd best year]
1983 AO, US Open Final (to Connors)
1984 US Open Final (McEnroe) [this was Mac's best year]
1985 Roland Garros Final (to Wilander)
1986 Wimbledon Final (to grass "wunderkind" Becker)
1987 Wimbledon (to Cash) [Cash's peak year; played perfect grass tennis that day]
1988 US Open Final (to Wilander) [this was Wilander's best year, won 3 slams and semis at Wimbledon]
1989 US Open Final (to prime Becker)
1991 Australian Open Final (to prime Becker)

GS semifinals lost by Lendl (there may be some missing, these are the ones I remember):

1985 Australian Open Semifinal (to Edberg, who then beat Wilander in the final)
1987 Australian Open Semifinal (to prime Cash, who then lost to Edberg in the final)
1988 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Becker, who went on to lose to Edberg in the final)
1989 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Becker, who then beat Edberg in the final)
1990 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Edberg, who then beat Becker in the final)

Lendl lost at least two more semis to Borg and Mac at Wimbledon, can't remember the exact years and don't have time to look it up)

Benhur
07-31-2007, 07:19 AM
Your contention that Lendl had no great competition to "close the door on him" unlike Connors, is so absolutely ridiculous it cannot be left unanswered. Lendl's "prime" extends a whole decade, as does Connors. The "peak" within that prime extends 1985-87, and even then he had plenty of tough competition that closed the door on him.

Consider the following list of players who "closed the door" on Lendl at grand slam finals and semifinals, then compile a similar list of those who closed the door on Connors at the same stages. Then tell me who "would have won" more slams by this method. If you count *only finals* lost to Borg, Mac, Connors and Becker he would have 15 slams total. If you add semis lost to Becker and Edberg it would be 19 Here it goes

Grand Slam finals lost by Lendl:

1981 Rolan Garros Final (to Borg)
1982 US Open Final (to Connors) [this was Connors 1st or 2nd best year]
1983 AO, US Open Final (to Connors)
1984 US Open Final (McEnroe) [this was Mac's best year]
1985 Roland Garros Final (to Wilander)
1986 Wimbledon Final (to grass "wunderkind" Becker)
1987 Wimbledon (to Cash) [Cash's peak year; played perfect grass tennis that day]
1988 US Open Final (to Wilander) [this was Wilander's best year, won 3 slams and semis at Wimbledon]
1989 US Open Final (to prime Becker)
1991 Australian Open Final (to prime Becker)

GS semifinals lost by Lendl (there may be some missing, these are the ones I remember):

1985 Australian Open Semifinal (to Edberg, who then beat Wilander in the final)
1987 Australian Open Semifinal (to prime Cash, who then lost to Edberg in the final)
1988 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Becker, who went on to lose to Edberg in the final)
1989 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Becker, who then beat Edberg in the final)
1990 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Edberg, who then beat Becker in the final)

Lendl lost at least two more semis to Borg and Mac at Wimbledon, can't remember the exact years and don't have time to look it up)

Correction. On the above list, Lendl lost the 1983 AO final to Wilander (not Connors) and the US Open final to Connors.

CyBorg
07-31-2007, 08:47 AM
Your contention that Lendl had no great competition to "close the door on him" unlike Connors, is so absolutely ridiculous it cannot be left unanswered. Lendl's "prime" extends a whole decade, as does Connors. The "peak" within that prime extends 1985-87, and even then he had plenty of tough competition that closed the door on him.

Consider the following list of players who "closed the door" on Lendl at grand slam finals and semifinals, then compile a similar list of those who closed the door on Connors at the same stages. Then tell me who "would have won" more slams by this method. If you count *only finals* lost to Borg, Mac, Connors and Becker he would have 15 slams total. If you add semis lost to Becker and Edberg it would be 19 Here it goes

Grand Slam finals lost by Lendl:

1981 Rolan Garros Final (to Borg)
1982 US Open Final (to Connors) [this was Connors 1st or 2nd best year]
1983 AO, US Open Final (to Connors)
1984 US Open Final (McEnroe) [this was Mac's best year]
1985 Roland Garros Final (to Wilander)
1986 Wimbledon Final (to grass "wunderkind" Becker)
1987 Wimbledon (to Cash) [Cash's peak year; played perfect grass tennis that day]
1988 US Open Final (to Wilander) [this was Wilander's best year, won 3 slams and semis at Wimbledon]
1989 US Open Final (to prime Becker)
1991 Australian Open Final (to prime Becker)

GS semifinals lost by Lendl (there may be some missing, these are the ones I remember):

1985 Australian Open Semifinal (to Edberg, who then beat Wilander in the final)
1987 Australian Open Semifinal (to prime Cash, who then lost to Edberg in the final)
1988 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Becker, who went on to lose to Edberg in the final)
1989 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Becker, who then beat Edberg in the final)
1990 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Edberg, who then beat Becker in the final)

Lendl lost at least two more semis to Borg and Mac at Wimbledon, can't remember the exact years and don't have time to look it up)

That's a nice history lesson, but read my post. I'm speaking of Lendl's peak years. They coincide with a lull in competition. If you want to argue that this isn't true then go ahead.

CyBorg
07-31-2007, 08:55 AM
Lendl would have won over 14-16 grand slime titles if not for Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Becker and Edgerg closing the door most of the time. That's a fact.

Here's a fact for you: until the 1985 US Open final Lendl did not deservedly win a grand slam title. That's right - it took him until the age of 25 to truly earn one. Yes, you will probably get on me for not respecting his 1984 French Open win over McEnroe and I admit that he put in a gargantuan effort. But Ivan said it himself in a recent interview that he would have lost the match 9 times out of 10, but that time it was the one.

In his prime years (1983 to August 85) McEnroe had no one of stature to contend with except Lendl, who was "weak of mind," at that time, an aging Connors whom he crushed at the 84 Wimbledon final (1, 1 and 2), Mats Wilander who was "low on talent" (and a "kid" to boot); Chris Lewis, or some such name who faced Mac at the 83 Wimbledon final, Bill Scanlon, who had problems with drink and took him out of the 83 US Open, and... never mind.

Connors was excellent all the way through 1984. The fact that Mac crushed him speaks more of Mac than it does of Connors. When did Lendl ever have someone as dangerous as peak-Connors in his best years between 85-87? He didn't.

I like Connors, but Lendl wouldn't have lost to Orantes in 75 or Vilas in 77 in New York.

See how easy it is?

Sure he would. Orantes was playing out of his mind after an amazing semi comeback and so was Vilas.

Wilander didn't play out of his mind. He was just Wilander as always. Steady as it goes, ultra annoying, returned everything because Lendl played afraid.

Connors never played afraid. His biggest problem was that he tended to get cocky - he did it that time at Wimbledon against Ashe and was handed two breadsticks. He learned from that mistakes and went on incredible runs in 82 and 83 where he was at his best. He choked nothing away in those years and his five-set win over McEnroe at the 82 Wimbledon trumps anything Lendl has done in his career.

Gorecki
07-31-2007, 09:49 AM
Here's a fact for you: until the 1985 US Open final Lendl did not deservedly win a grand slam title.

So this is a fact? i would say this is an opinion but who am i to judge anything


His biggest problem was that he tended to get cocky

I am confused, but i would say that this noe is indeed a fact...

Mr Cyborg. why is it that whereever i go in this forum, i find you having a one man pointless argue with the crowd? oh... i see, they are all wrong...

Benhur
07-31-2007, 10:41 AM
Here's a fact for you: until the 1985 US Open final Lendl did not deservedly win a grand slam title.

No, that’s not a fact at all. The realm of facts doesn’t include what a person deserves or does not deserve. As has already been pointed out to you, that’s a matter of opinion, not fact. The only factual element here is your belief, your opinion, that he did *not* deserve it. I could claim it’s a “fact” that Lendl *deserved* to win all 5 slam finals he played before 85. It would not be a fact because I say it, but it could be a fact that I believe it, and who are you to dispute my personal beliefs?


That's right - it took him until the age of 25 to truly earn one.

Again, what constitutes earning a slam “truly” as opposed to earning it “untruly” is strictly a matter of opinion. In this case, it is a particularly ludicrous opinion. Lendl won that match fair and square. He put so much effort into it that Bud Collins had to wait at least 15 minutes for Lendl to be done vomiting profusely before he could interview him. So tell me, why didn’t he deserve to win that match? Because it’s a fact that you don’t think he deserved it. There are no other reasons. Next thing you're going to say is, oh, maybe Mac choked, so this is not a "truly" won slam by Lendl.
These so-called “facts” used to be called fiddlesticks in the old days.


Connors was excellent all the way through 1984. The fact that Mac crushed him speaks more of Mac than it does of Connors. When did Lendl ever have someone as dangerous as peak-Connors in his best years between 85-87? He didn't.

The 32 year old Connors of 1984 was not really peak Connors. Look at his record and h2h with Lendl and others that year. Mac was very good at the Wimbledon final. Connors looked pathetic.


Sure he would. Orantes was playing out of his mind after an amazing semi comeback and so was Vilas. Wilander didn't play out of his mind. He was just Wilander as always. Steady as it goes, ultra annoying, returned everything because Lendl played afraid.

When you want to justify a win, you say the winner played "out of his mind". When you want to dismiss it, you say he didn't “deserve” it. I agree Orantes and Vilas played very, very well in those finals, but SO DID WILANDER in the 88 final against Lendl. The fact that he didn't have a flashy style (in fact I admit his tennis was boring) doesn't mean he couldn't play outstandingly effective tennis. His record speaks for itself. That particular year, 1988, Wilander *was* playing "out of his mind" pretty often. His unforced error count in that match against Lendl is as close to zero as can get. He barely missed a first serve the entire match. He won three slams that year. Lendl wasn’t playing "afraid”. They did exchange a lot of sliced crosscourt backhands, but they had done the same at the 87 final, and Lendl won it. In 1988 it was Wilander's turn. Why do you think Connors could have beaten him so easily? Because you just believe so. No other reason.


Connors never played afraid. His biggest problem was that he tended to get cocky - he did it that time at Wimbledon against Ashe and was handed two breadsticks. He learned from that mistakes and went on incredible runs in 82 and 83 where he was at his best. He choked nothing away in those years and his five-set win over McEnroe at the 82 Wimbledon trumps anything Lendl has done in his career.

There we go again. Connors five-set win over Mac trumps anything Lendl has done. On the other hand, Lendl's five-set win over Mac at the 84 RG final was not “truly” earned and “undeserved”.

Because you say so. Not because of any “facts.”

Moose Malloy
07-31-2007, 11:05 AM
There we go again. Connors five-set win over Mac trumps anything Lendl has done. On the other hand, Lendl's five-set win over Mac at the 84 RG final was not “truly” earned and “undeserved”.


Beating Mac at Wimbledon is quite a bit different than beating him at the French, no? that's all that cyborg was pointing out, I think. and you didn't address what Lendl himself said about the '84 FO final, that he would lose that match 9 times out of 10, that he got lucky that one time.

You seem to ignore what Lendl himself said in many of these arguments(like him saying that Mac wasn't the same player after '85, etc, etc)

I think Lendl's injury problems in '88, had a lot to do with Wilander winning the French & US that year (lendl played very few events that year in comparison to /86/'87, he didn't have ideal preparation for the us open, got injured at the french)

but he did play very scared vs wilander in the '85 FO final, his form was so much better than Mats that year(during the French & the claycourt season) Mats was S&V on some rather weak serves that Lendl rather tamely netted.
I think that match showed that the '84 final didn't erase his big match nerves at all.

Its funny I noticed a pattern on match point in 3 of the lendl-wilander major finals. Mats S&V in the ad court to Lendl's backhand on match point up in the '85 FO final & '88 US Open final. Lendl missed easy returns on both points, trying to come over the ball. Mats S&Ved match point down in the '87 US Open final, Lendl just sliced a backhand return down the line for a winner.

Benhur
07-31-2007, 11:11 AM
That's a nice history lesson, but read my post. I'm speaking of Lendl's peak years. They coincide with a lull in competition. If you want to argue that this isn't true then go ahead.

I read your post. You are considering how many slams Connors would have won over his entire prime (1974-1984) had Borg not closed the door to Wimbledon 5 straight years and had Mac not taken a few US Opens and Wimbledon's himself. I am doing *exactly* the same thing with Lendl over his entire prime (1981-1991), examining who closed the door in what finals, to see what he "would have won". I asked you to compile a similar list of finals where similar greats closed the door on Connors, but you prefer evasive ballet.

christinamaniac7
07-31-2007, 01:05 PM
i voted jimbo,cuz he was the better player generally than lendl. actually he was the man of big matches and big moments...
even though lendl has been #1 longer than him!

CyBorg
07-31-2007, 05:33 PM
I read your post. You are considering how many slams Connors would have won over his entire prime (1974-1984) had Borg not closed the door to Wimbledon 5 straight years and had Mac not taken a few US Opens and Wimbledon's himself. I am doing *exactly* the same thing with Lendl over his entire prime (1981-1991), examining who closed the door in what finals, to see what he "would have won". I asked you to compile a similar list of finals where similar greats closed the door on Connors, but you prefer evasive ballet.

There is nothing evasive about it. Lendl wasn't good enough to win the French Open when Borg was there and he wasn't good enough to win it the subsequent two years when the 17-year old Mats Wilander and 'loopstroke' Yannick Noah won it.

Subsequently Connors' opposition affected him throughout his peak years (one can actually argue that he had two peaks).

CyBorg
07-31-2007, 05:43 PM
No, that’s not a fact at all. The realm of facts doesn’t include what a person deserves or does not deserve. As has already been pointed out to you, that’s a matter of opinion, not fact. The only factual element here is your belief, your opinion, that he did *not* deserve it. I could claim it’s a “fact” that Lendl *deserved* to win all 5 slam finals he played before 85. It would not be a fact because I say it, but it could be a fact that I believe it, and who are you to dispute my personal beliefs?

You know it. I know it. Dogs know it. Mac should have won the French Open in 84. He was better than Lendl. Even on clay he was better than Lendl. It's objective truth.

Again, what constitutes earning a slam “truly” as opposed to earning it “untruly” is strictly a matter of opinion.

I knew you were bright. I'm mostly going for opinions here. You'll find that most others here are doing the same.

The 32 year old Connors of 1984 was not really peak Connors. Look at his record and h2h with Lendl and others that year. Mac was very good at the Wimbledon final. Connors looked pathetic.

Connors was very good through 1984. He was better in the subsequent two years. As for Mac - he wiped the floor with everyone that year.

When you want to justify a win, you say the winner played "out of his mind". When you want to dismiss it, you say he didn't “deserve” it. I agree Orantes and Vilas played very, very well in those finals, but SO DID WILANDER in the 88 final against Lendl. The fact that he didn't have a flashy style (in fact I admit his tennis was boring) doesn't mean he couldn't play outstandingly effective tennis. His record speaks for itself. That particular year, 1988, Wilander *was* playing "out of his mind" pretty often. His unforced error count in that match against Lendl is as close to zero as can get. He barely missed a first serve the entire match. He won three slams that year. Lendl wasn’t playing "afraid”. They did exchange a lot of sliced crosscourt backhands, but they had done the same at the 87 final, and Lendl won it. In 1988 it was Wilander's turn. Why do you think Connors could have beaten him so easily? Because you just believe so. No other reason.

Lendl's balls shrink into little tiny atoms against Wilander in that match, because he hated when guys got this close to him. Jimmy, on the other hand, loved being challenged - what he hated was being surprised. At his most confident he was proven a fool - the Ashe match proved this; the Orantes match proved this somewhat. Again, I prefer Connors because he gave us amazing battles against the very best all the way into his mid-30s. Lendl, conversely, spent much of his career winning events where the best weren't participating, until finally McEnroe and Connors succumbed to old age. Lendl subsequently enjoyed a nice, comfortable, not altogether unimpressive, reign. It was good while it lasted, but he was never pushed like Connors.

There we go again. Connors five-set win over Mac trumps anything Lendl has done. On the other hand, Lendl's five-set win over Mac at the 84 RG final was not “truly” earned and “undeserved”.

Adressed already.

Because you say so. Not because of any “facts.”

Meh. I am the walrus.

krosero
07-31-2007, 06:50 PM
These two men, Connors and Lendl had very similar careers. Both won 8 Slams, and they've won more regular tournaments than any other two men.

I do think there's something to the "blue chip" theory, and that Connors has a better resume with 2 Wimbledons and 5 USO's than Lendl does with 3 USO's. Just speaking in terms of which titles are more prestigious, Connors wins.

Connors also had a longer career, with unforgettable late-career runs at the majors.

But then there's the question of who was the better players on their best days, and that's mixed. Here's my take:

Wimbledon -- Connors

USO, Flushing Meadow -- Lendl by a whisker. Connors had the crowd and loved the surface, but Lendl was passionate about this tournament and was also great on the surface. I just don't see Jimmy going up a break on Lendl in the fifth set, and staying ahead with his own weaker serve, except against the choker Lendl, not against the prime Lendl. And if Connors stays with Lendl all the way to the tiebreak, I'd give Lendl the advantage for his bigger serve. Lendl also has the better 5-set record, I believe.

USO, clay -- Lendl would have been better, though of course he didn't play on this surface. Nor did he play the next two categories.

USO, grass -- Connors

AO, grass -- Connors

AO, hard court -- Lendl. His physique takes it in the heat, without a tiebreak to end it in the fifth set.

French Open -- Lendl, convincingly.

Masters, indoor carpet -- Lendl. Maybe he would have won it by a slim margin, but Lendl had phenomenal winning streaks on indoor carpet. A case can be made that it was his best surface, and not Connors' best.

krosero
07-31-2007, 06:54 PM
Lendl lost at least two more semis to Borg and Mac at Wimbledon, can't remember the exact years and don't have time to look it up)Lendl did play McEnroe in one Wimbledon semifinal, 1983, and lost it. He never played Borg at Wimbledon.

TheShaun
07-31-2007, 07:23 PM
lendl was a player i admired when i was young, not sure why though.

Azzurri
07-31-2007, 07:24 PM
Connors would have won 10-12 grand slam titles if not for Borg and McEnroe closing the door most of the time.

In his prime years Lendl had no one like those guys. Mac awol, Becker/Edberg kids, Mecir weak of mind, Wilander low on talent, Cash a total schizo, Mikael Pernfors - never mind.

I like Lendl but Connors wouldn't have lost to Wilander in New York in 88.

Lendl was a force from 85-91.....those are his prime years.

Becker won 2 majors by the time he was 20 years old and made it to the FO finals. He won 4 majors by 1989 (he was 21 years old)...young yes, but 4 time major winner by then and a great, great player.

Edberg won 5 majors from 85-91 and was an extrodinary player and gifted athelete....you are not giving him his due.

Wilander...LOW ON TALENT? He won 7 majors from 83-88....low talent...you are smoking some really good stuff to believe that. The guy was a machine...post-Borg type.

Its obvious on many posts and comments you make about players from the
80's that you are poser....you never really watched tennis back then. You know so little and your logic is so absurd that it is a shame you make these ignorant, ignorant statements. You might me a nice enough person, but you are full of s...h...i.....

Yea...those guys were not as good/talented as Borg and Mac, but you make it sound like they were junk. You are talking about the greatest years in tennis (early 80's to mid 90's). Lendl dominated in a different era.

As for whose better...tough call...too close for me. I would rate Lendl a tad higher because of the era he played in.

Azzurri
07-31-2007, 07:27 PM
I dont really agree with anything you said.

Yes Connors had Borg and McEnroe. However McEnroe became a major contender in 1979, while Borg was gone after 1981. So from 1974-1983 he only had both of them for 2-3 years of that whole time. Of course there are other people, including Lendl himself in the early 80s you could add, but definitely wanted to point out he did not have both Borg and McEnroe at the very top for that many years of his long period in winning all his slams.

I think you are underestimating Wilander. He won 7 slam titles, and 3 slams in a year once, which puts him as an all-time great. He won slam titles on all 3 major surfaces. He is still probably a notch down from McEnroe/Connors/ Lendl, but not that much.

Becker's real obstacle to Lendl as a "kid" was specificaly on grass only, and Becker is one of the great grass court players in history, and was at his best on grass when he was this "kid" you refer to, improving on the other surfaces as he got older but best and scariest on grass of all while being that "kid", and he denied Lendl 2 different times (1986, 1988, 1989) a Wimbledon title. By the time Becker became a serious threat to Lendl at the other slams he was no longer a "kid", and as a grown man Becker denied Lendl the 89 U.S Open and 91 Australian Open titles.

By the time Edberg was a serious contender he was no longer a "kid", and he too denied Lendl a possible Wimbledon title in 1990 (if Lendl would not have won anyway it would only have been because of Becker), and at the Australian Open in 1987, as well as possibly at the 1991 and 1992 U.S Opens.

Pat Cash is not an all-time great but he is much better then a total schizo. Cash beat Lendl 3 times at a Grand Slam at his peak, the 86 Wimbledon final, the 87 and 88 Australian Open semis, he had match point on him in the 84 U.S Open semis too. He was a serious big time player, whose career was hampered by injuries alot like Richard Krajicek in the 90s.

Wilander would have never beaten Connors in a U.S Open final? How can you say that for certainly. Wilander is certainly a superior player to Orantes and probably Vilas (who Wilander beat in the French Open final as a newbie) who both managed to pull an upset win over Connors in U.S Open finals.

I dont know the exact hypothetical estimate, but it seems quite possible that Lendl lost as many more possible slams to the trio of Edberg, Becker, and Wilander as Connors did to Borg and McEnroe.

You make solid points and its obvious you know what you are talking about...Cyborg was either asleep, not born or had no TV in the 80's. When you look at his statements you could tell he tries to act is he knows something but he does not, in turn he wastes our time on his nonsense. Check some of his other posts...you will see.

krosero
07-31-2007, 07:28 PM
Beating Mac at Wimbledon is quite a bit different than beating him at the French, no? that's all that cyborg was pointing out, I think.It's a good point. But Lendl beat McEnroe at the USO in 1982, 1985 and 1987 (losing there to Mac in 1980 and 1984). Defeating McEnroe at the USO is, on paper, a comparable win to Mac on grass.

Arguably, beating Mac in straight sets, which Lendl did in all three of those victories (82, 85, 87), is better than Connors' 5-set win at Wimbledon -- but I wouldn't necessarily take it that far. I'd need to see the 1982 Wimbledon final to say more.

I think Lendl's injury problems in '88, had a lot to do with Wilander winning the French & US that year (lendl played very few events that year in comparison to /86/'87, he didn't have ideal preparation for the us open, got injured at the french)

but he did play very scared vs wilander in the '85 FO final, his form was so much better than Mats that year(during the French & the claycourt season) Mats was S&V on some rather weak serves that Lendl rather tamely netted.
I think that match showed that the '84 final didn't erase his big match nerves at all.

Its funny I noticed a pattern on match point in 3 of the lendl-wilander major finals. Mats S&V in the ad court to Lendl's backhand on match point up in the '85 FO final & '88 US Open final. Lendl missed easy returns on both points, trying to come over the ball. Mats S&Ved match point down in the '87 US Open final, Lendl just sliced a backhand return down the line for a winner.I've noticed that pattern too. I interpreted differently. I don't think it can mean that Lendl played better in the 1987 final than in the 1988 one. Lendl was reported as having a fever in 1987. I don't know how serious his fever could have been; but whatever the case may have been with his health, he played defensive tennis. Both men did. TV and print commentators alike noted that the 1988 final was more lively, and that it moved more quickly (5 sets took the same amount of time in 1988 as 4 sets took in 1987), because both men were trying to make things happen. Wilander came to net 131 times in 1988, Lendl 77 times. I don't have the 1987 stats, but I remember how timid Wilander seemed when he had viable chances to come in or to pull ahead. He had set points in the third set, and had he won those, the match would have gone at least five sets -- a very favorable situation for him.

Anyway I think it's just as likely that Wilander's aggressive play was what made Lendl go for those topspin returns. That 1987 slice, as I remember it, was a defensive bunt; I thought at the time that Lendl was lucky to win the tournament that way.

Wilander, when aggressive, made Lendl nervous because he put him off balance. Lendl never quite knew when Wilander was coming in, because Mats would take his chances on some serves but not others; on certain short balls in long rallies but not all of them, and not predictably. Wilander was a baseliner who couldn't be counted on, at any given moment, to stay back (except on second serves). He had the best mind in the game and was always trying to throw people off balance.

He didn't do that to Lendl at RG or the USO in 1987; he stayed back too much. At RG in 1985 and at the USO in 1988, Wilander was more adventurous, and was forcing Lendl to go for his shots. That's how I see those two Lendl backhands into the net: they are to Lendl's credit, and shows that he was fighting; they don't show that he was playing worse in those years.

Azzurri
07-31-2007, 07:30 PM
Connors made an amazing amount of semifinals. So many it's utterly insane. In 1981 he lost in both Wimby and US Open semis to Borg. In the former he was up to sets to love. Yes, Borg and Mac were not always there together but they were contenders for four years in a row (starting with Mac's 1978 masters victory). By the time Lendl reached his peak none of these guys were anywhere near their prime - or had retired as in Borg's case.



I think Mats was a three-four slam title kind of guy who happened to win seven. Borg's retirement handed him his first - Lendl's chokes handed him a couple. Wilander was a guy who capitalized on opposing mistakes - an elite player but nowhere close to Lendl in terms of talent. McEnroe wound up with the same number of majors as this guy, for goodness sake. But, hey, I like Mats - who doesn't like Mats?



Becker wasn't doing much outside of grass and carpet until the very late 80s - coinciding with Lendl losing his #1 ranking. You have to admit that at the very least in terms of 85 and 86 Becker was pretty darn young and no threat to Lendl anywhere but grass. Those are two peak years for Ivan.



I'm not talking about 91 and 92 - I'm talking about the peak Lendl years. A lot of guys past their primes and pre-their primes while Lendl was dominating hardcourts and clay.



I know all of this - every era should have its Pat Cash. But Pat Cash was no Borg.



It's my opinion. Lendl didn't play badly but he had enough power to knock Wilander unconscious, but couldn't close the deal. Connors beat Borg twice in US Open finals and Borg was miles better than Wilander.



I'm not really crunching numbers. My point is simple - in Lendl's peak years, those guys weren't anywhere as good as Connors' elite contemporaries.


Wow...you really have a screw loose if you think Wilander was lucky to win 3 of his 7 majors. Man....you are frustrating to read. Based on the poster guess I am not the only one...Cyborg please go way.

BreakPoint
07-31-2007, 07:36 PM
I picked Connors because Lendl didn't have that cool skyhook overhead. ;) LOL

Azzurri
07-31-2007, 07:55 PM
I picked Connors because Lendl didn't have that cool skyhook overhead. ;) LOL

Don't you sleep?:p

krosero
07-31-2007, 08:01 PM
Here's a fact for you: until the 1985 US Open final Lendl did not deservedly win a grand slam title. That's right - it took him until the age of 25 to truly earn one. Yes, you will probably get on me for not respecting his 1984 French Open win over McEnroe and I admit that he put in a gargantuan effort. But Ivan said it himself in a recent interview that he would have lost the match 9 times out of 10, but that time it was the one.If you have Lendl's quote, it would be interesting to see.

But if Lendl is putting it down to simple luck, he's not giving himself enough credit. I didn't see anything in that match that leads me to believe that luck was falling Ivan's way that day more than John's.

And it is no "fact" that Lendl didn't deserve that title. Nor is it a fact that McEnroe choked that match. It's a disputable issue, and when I saw that match recently, I did not see a choke. I saw a comeback by the player who was better over five sets on clay, on that day. Better on the day: that's who deserves to win.

Connors was excellent all the way through 1984. The fact that Mac crushed him speaks more of Mac than it does of Connors. When did Lendl ever have someone as dangerous as peak-Connors in his best years between 85-87? He didn't.I'd say that it's pretty impressive for Lendl to beat Becker at the Masters in January 1986, December 1986 (both times in straight-set finals) and in the 1987 round-robin.

Lendl also beat a young Edberg in straight sets at the 1986 USO, when Edberg was the reigning AO champ. Connors at the 1984 Wimbledon was the reigning USO champ, a comparable player (two-time Wimbledon champion, like Edberg was a two-time USO champion).

And Lendl beat Wilander at the 1987 French when Wilander was the favorite. Certainly Wilander was as dangerous on clay in 1987 as Connors was on grass in 1984, probably more dangerous.

[Connors] choked nothing away in those years and his five-set win over McEnroe at the 82 Wimbledon trumps anything Lendl has done in his career.It's hard, I admit, to find a victory more impressive than that one, at least on paper (I haven't seen it). If what we're talking about is the 8-year span between Connors' two Wimbledon victories, then no, Lendl didn't do that; no one else in the Open Era has. If we're talking about a 5-set win over McEnroe in a Slam final, Lendl has that. If it's the achievement of taking McEnroe's title away from him on his best surfaces, Lendl has that: he did that to mcEnroe at the USO in 1982 and 1985, albeit in straight sets (though I don't know why that should be less impressive than a five-set victory, esp. when Lendl did pull that off at RG).

If we're talking about great achievements, let's go back to the 1984 Wimbledon final. There we have one of McEnroe's greatest achievements. But even there Lendl has something comparable: he faced no break points in defeating McEnroe at the 1987 USO, just as McEnroe faced no break points in the 1984 Wimbledon final.

krosero
07-31-2007, 08:10 PM
I like Lendl but Connors wouldn't have lost to Wilander in New York in 88.Someone has already mentioned that Connors never beat Wilander. He first played him in 1983 or 1984, so of course Connors was already declining. But he would have had problems against Wilander that were similar to those he had against Borg. Connors had a game that would not have matched up well against Wilander. Wilander and Borg were more consistent than he was and could outlast him. At his best, Connors could play them evenly from the baseline, but then the difference would be that Connors didn't have much of a serve.

Connors eventually had these same problems against Lendl. I have not seen his early wins against Lendl, though I have read that he fed off Lendl's power. He couldn't do that (at least, not as much) against Borg, certainly not against Wilander.

Gorecki
07-31-2007, 11:49 PM
Dear Cyborg; Watching you dealing with every one here in a helpless fight makes call on your rationality: please read bellow:
According to Merriam Webster

Fact :
Etymology: Latin factum, from neuter of factus, past participle of facere
Date: 15th century
1: a thing done: as aobsolete : feat b: crime <accessory after the fact> carchaic : action
2archaic : performance, doing
3: the quality of being actual : actuality <a question of fact hinges on evidence>
4 a: something that has actual existence <space exploration is now a fact> b: an actual occurrence <prove the fact of damage>
5: a piece of information presented as having objective reality
:confused:
Opinion
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin opinion-, opinio, from opinari
Date: 14th century
1 a: a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter b: approval, esteem
2 a: belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge b: a generally held view
:confused:

Zimbo
08-01-2007, 12:51 AM
I've noticed that pattern too. I interpreted differently. I don't think it can mean that Lendl played better in the 1987 final than in the 1988 one. Lendl was reported as having a fever in 1987. I don't know how serious his fever could have been; but whatever the case may have been with his health, he played defensive tennis. Both men did. TV and print commentators alike noted that the 1988 final was more lively, and that it moved more quickly (5 sets took the same amount of time in 1988 as 4 sets took in 1987), because both men were trying to make things happen. Wilander came to net 131 times in 1988, Lendl 77 times. I don't have the 1987 stats, but I remember how timid Wilander seemed when he had viable chances to come in or to pull ahead. He had set points in the third set, and had he won those, the match would have gone at least five sets -- a very favorable situation for him.

Anyway I think it's just as likely that Wilander's aggressive play was what made Lendl go for those topspin returns. That 1987 slice, as I remember it, was a defensive bunt; I thought at the time that Lendl was lucky to win the tournament that way.

Wilander, when aggressive, made Lendl nervous because he put him off balance. Lendl never quite knew when Wilander was coming in, because Mats would take his chances on some serves but not others; on certain short balls in long rallies but not all of them, and not predictably. Wilander was a baseliner who couldn't be counted on, at any given moment, to stay back (except on second serves). He had the best mind in the game and was always trying to throw people off balance.

He didn't do that to Lendl at RG or the USO in 1987; he stayed back too much. At RG in 1985 and at the USO in 1988, Wilander was more adventurous, and was forcing Lendl to go for his shots. That's how I see those two Lendl backhands into the net: they are to Lendl's credit, and shows that he was fighting; they don't show that he was playing worse in those years.

Great reponse to Moose's post and Moose good observation. That's the thing about Wilander when he played Lendl, he knew he didn't have the big weapons so he had to mix things up if he wantd to win. I've seen the '87 and '88 USO finals at least 50 times. What Mats did in the '88 final totally got Lendl off his game. Lendl didn't "choke" as Cyborg would want us to believe. If anything Mats choked a little in the second and fourth sets. Mats got Lendl off balance. He did the same to Lendl in the "85 FO final. Even when Wilander didn't go with this game plan ('87 FO and USO final), the matches were damn close.

Cyborg, according to you:

"Wilander would have never beaten Connors in a U.S Open final"

How the hell could you say "never"? How come the 3 times Connors played Wilander in '84 (which according to you "Connors was very good through '84") he lost? Two of the losts were on hard court and one on clay. Everyone knows that Connors was past his prime here but to state "Never" is flat out ridicules. We all know that in his prime Connors would probably be the fav against Wilander in a USO final. But don't take away Wilander's title by saying Lendl "choked" and also don't take away Lendl's props becuase he lost to Wilander. Shoot, let's be so bold and state that, McEnroe would NEVER lose to Wilander on grass at a slam. Opps, it happened at the '83 AO. The point here is that we are talking about all time greats and when they play each other anything can happened.

Cyborg, what's up with you? Why do you have so little regard for Lendl's accomplishments and why are you such a Wilander hater? Seems like most people disagrees with you. Benhur and I waxed you on the Borg is the greatest clay courter thread and now it seems everyone here is waxing you.

Zimbo
08-01-2007, 12:58 AM
Someone has already mentioned that Connors never beat Wilander. He first played him in 1983 or 1984, so of course Connors was already declining. But he would have had problems against Wilander that were similar to those he had against Borg. Connors had a game that would not have matched up well against Wilander. Wilander and Borg were more consistent than he was and could outlast him. At his best, Connors could play them evenly from the baseline, but then the difference would be that Connors didn't have much of a serve.

Connors eventually had these same problems against Lendl. I have not seen his early wins against Lendl, though I have read that he fed off Lendl's power. He couldn't do that (at least, not as much) against Borg, certainly not against Wilander.

Yes sir, I totally agree with you. Borg and Wilander created bad match up problems for Connors. Connors couldn't blow the ball by Wilander. Wilander was too quick and consistent. Agassi on the other hand, had the game that would be a match up problem for Mats.

Benhur
08-01-2007, 03:48 AM
You know it. I know it. Dogs know it. Mac should have won the French Open in 84.

Well, Dogs and you may know it, but I know nothing of the sort. Don't lump me in with your barking companions. "Should have won" here means only "I wanted him to win. He was a set away, but he never could win that set." That's what it means.


He was better than Lendl. Even on clay he was better than Lendl. It's objective truth.

Again, a personal opinion presented as "objective truth" is just a personal opinion. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Mac was better than Lendl *on clay* any time in their careers. That's merely an empty theory of yours. An empirical test to that theory was *precisely* that match, played when Mac was at his very best. Mac failed it. Period.

But even if there had been any shred of evidence that Mac was better than Lendl on clay (for example some victories on clay over him that year or in previous years -- and there was none of that) the phrase "should have won" would still be empty. As financial institutions insist on reminding their clients: "Past performance is no guarantee of future results". True in tennis too (thank God, otherwise every outcome would be predictable). When you are playing, the present rules supreme. You are as good as THIS match, THIS point. THIS ball. Better hit it well rather than space out into your past laurels. That's how it works. Lendl beat McEnroe fair and square that day. I see no evidence of any special "luck" (bad calls, net cord balls, whatever) and I see no evidence of any choke on the part of Mac.


I knew you were bright. I'm mostly going for opinions here. You'll find that most others here are doing the same.


Well then don't try to pass off your opinions as facts. There is a distinction, you know. It is a *fact* that Lendl beat Mac in that match. It is an *opinion* that he should not have beaten him. And a completely groundless one -- in my opinion.


Lendl's balls shrink into little tiny atoms against Wilander in that match, because he hated when guys got this close to him.

His balls turn into atoms? Well, a pair of atomic balls doesn't sound like such a bad thing for stamina, though perhaps one should refrain from having offspring in those conditions.

I certainly didn't see any of those marvels. Maybe Lendl could have been a bit more aggressive, then again maybe Wilander was just too good and error-free that year, and maybe that's why he won three slams and got to the semis of the fourth one, and ended the year as number 1.


Jimmy, on the other hand, loved being challenged [...] Lendl, conversely, spent much of his career winning events where the best weren't participating

Nonsense again. Connors won many more events where the best weren't participating (in the 70s) than Lendl did in the 80s.


until finally McEnroe and Connors succumbed to old age. Lendl subsequently enjoyed a nice, comfortable, not altogether unimpressive, reign. It was good while it lasted, but he was never pushed like Connors.

McEnroe did not succumb to old age, he is the same age as Lendl. The Beckers, Wilanders, Edbergs (and even Samprases) that Lendl dealt with during his "unimpressive" reign certainly were not going senile on him either. Lendl dealt with them pretty well throughout the last half of the 80s, until 1991, and sometimes even beyond. He beat Becker the last three times they played in 1992-93. He even beat Sampras in Philadelphia in 1991 and again in 1993, when he was 33 years old! Of course all those guys also "closed the door" on him a good number of times since 1985, as Mac and Connors had done before. Had they all not done that --had Lendl enjoyed such an unimpressive reign -- he would have easily 16 slams today, instead of 8.

So your notion that Lendl was never challenged like Connors and had it much easier is pure bunk. I asked you to compile a list of GS finals where similar greats closed the door on Connors as they did on Lendl. You never did. Because it cannot be done.


Meh. I am the walrus.

Walrus? I though your common knowledge was shared with Dogs? Which is it?

Benhur
08-01-2007, 03:52 AM
There is nothing evasive about it. Lendl wasn't good enough to win the French Open when Borg was there and he wasn't good enough to win it the subsequent two years when the 17-year old Mats Wilander and 'loopstroke' Yannick Noah won it.

Well, he was good enough to win it the following year by beating a John McEnroe who, according to you on a different post, was much better than him even on clay. And again in 87 when Wilander was supposedly better than him on clay.

As for "loopstroke" Noah, he was a top 10 player, playing with a home crowd, who was gutsy enough and smart enough and even good enough at the time to figure out how to take it to players like Lendl and Wilander on a special occasion, and beat them. Nothing so unusual.

Let's now examine some of your persistently dismissive drivel about Mats Wilander being nothing but a "low on talent" teenager in those days. This same "low on talent" kid, a month or so after he won the French, took John McEnroe to the longest match in Davis Cup history, five long sets, six and a half hours of play. This was John McEnroe playing with a home crowd behind, on a surface chosen to favor his game. The very next year at the French, 18-year old "low on talent" Wilander beat peak McEnroe in 4 sets, 6-0 in the final set. A couple of months later, in Cincinnati, Wilander beat Mac again in straight sets on a *hard* court. Then, at the end of the year, this "low on talent" kid beat McEnroe yet again on GRASS at the Australian Open.

So here's a fact: "low-on-talent" 18-year old Wilander beat John McEnroe at his peak on all surfaces. I wonder if that's enough facts for you to stop presenting him as some kind of tennis bum.

Benhur
08-01-2007, 08:01 AM
Beating Mac at Wimbledon is quite a bit different than beating him at the French, no? that's all that cyborg was pointing out, I think.

No, it isn’t. You guys seem to specialize in minimizing accomplishments when you don’t like the outcome, and aggrandizing them when you do, completely oblivious to how many times you contradict yourselves. It's quite remarkable. The fact that Connors beat Mac at Wimbledon in 82 in 5 sets is a titanic achievement by a relentless warrior. The fact that 18-year old Wilander beat Mac on grass at the Australian the following year, when Mac was even better, is uninteresting because this was just a “low on talent” teenager having one more of his endless string of lucky wins, or perhaps it was uninteresting because the AO lacked "prestige". Or if Lendl beats Mac in a 5 set grueling RG final to win his first slam, that's "undeserved" because... eh... because McEnroe “should have won it”… and he "should have won it” because…. he was "better even on clay"… and he was better even on clay because… well... because I say so. That's the method. Or else perhaps it was not as “prestigious”, so there, no comparing (that's your method). Connors was a titan. Lendl an undeserving winner.

It's all a big joke.


and you didn't address what Lendl himself said about the '84 FO final, that he would lose that match 9 times out of 10, that he got lucky that one time.

What is there to address? ANY time a match ends 7-5 in the fifth set it is understood that there is an element of luck in it. Had Mac won it with the same score, there would be nothing wrong with him acknowledging he was lucky to get out alive in the end. It would have been equally true.

On another plane, there was NOTHING particularly lucky about Lendl’s win. No key points won by bad calls or other lucky circumstances. Mac didn’t get injured. Mac didn’t choke. Mac may have gotten a bit tired, but so was Lendl, who started vomiting profusely in the locker room shortly after the award ceremony. And how much stamina you have is an essential part of the game, particularly on clay. So it is totally incomprehensible and irrational that anyone should insist Lendl’s win was undeserved and without merit. Justifying this opinion on the (gratuitous) supposition that Mac was better than Lendl on clay at that time is even more bizarre. If you believe that, then Lendl's win should have even more merit (just as your tacit acknowledgment of the fact that Mac was the best player on grass at the time enhances Connors win over him in 82). No matter how you look at it, saying that Lendl did not deserve that first grand slam is totally absurd.

Benhur
08-01-2007, 12:37 PM
And this I should add.

Lest anyone thinks I have something against Connors, I want to make it clear that I LIKE Connors. Didn't like him so much when he was in his loud obnoxious prime, but as the 80s rolled and he was still around, and around, and around, especially his amazing performances in New York up to the age of about 40, it was hard not to like him.

It's just that it irritates me to see everyday how much Ivan Lendl is dismissed. It is something it started right when he was playing. His is one of the most amazing careers in tennis history. But you have to look at the numbers, year by year by year for a whole decade, to really appreciate what he did. In several areas, he is second to none. If tennis was a sport as infused with exuberant statistics as baseball, it would be more obvious. Maybe one day it will be.

Attila the tennis Bum
08-01-2007, 12:41 PM
Connors was able to win on every surface . Lendl could not win Wimbledon.

krosero
08-01-2007, 02:27 PM
No, it isn’t. You guys seem to specialize in minimizing accomplishments when you don’t like the outcome, and aggrandizing them when you do, completely oblivious to how many times you contradict yourselves. It's quite remarkable. The fact that Connors beat Mac at Wimbledon in 82 in 5 sets is a titanic achievement by a relentless warrior. The fact that 18-year old Wilander beat Mac on grass at the Australian the following year, when Mac was even better, is uninteresting because this was just a “low on talent” teenager having one more of his endless string of lucky wins, or perhaps it was uninteresting because the AO lacked "prestige". Or if Lendl beats Mac in a 5 set grueling RG final to win his first slam, that's "undeserved" because... eh... because McEnroe “should have won it”… and he "should have won it” because…. he was "better even on clay"… and he was better even on clay because… well... because I say so. That's the method. Or else perhaps it was not as “prestigious”, so there, no comparing (that's your method). Connors was a titan. Lendl an undeserving winner.

It's all a big joke.



What is there to address? ANY time a match ends 7-5 in the fifth set it is understood that there is an element of luck in it. Had Mac won it with the same score, there would be nothing wrong with him acknowledging he was lucky to get out alive in the end. It would have been equally true.

On another plane, there was NOTHING particularly lucky about Lendl’s win. No key points won by bad calls or other lucky circumstances. Mac didn’t get injured. Mac didn’t choke. Mac may have gotten a bit tired, but so was Lendl, who started vomiting profusely in the locker room shortly after the award ceremony. And how much stamina you have is an essential part of the game, particularly on clay. So it is totally incomprehensible and irrational that anyone should insist Lendl’s win was undeserved and without merit. Justifying this opinion on the (gratuitous) supposition that Mac was better than Lendl on clay at that time is even more bizarre. If you believe that, then Lendl's win should have even more merit (just as your tacit acknowledgment of the fact that Mac was the best player on grass at the time enhances Connors win over him in 82). No matter how you look at it, saying that Lendl did not deserve that first grand slam is totally absurd.I think you should be more careful and not address "you guys." You've got them mixed up. MooseMalloy didn't make any of those arguments that you have in quotes (e.g., "better on clay"), or say that Lendl didn't "deserve" to win RG in 1984. Those were CyBorg's arguments.

Arafel
08-01-2007, 03:27 PM
No, it isn’t. You guys seem to specialize in minimizing accomplishments when you don’t like the outcome, and aggrandizing them when you do, completely oblivious to how many times you contradict yourselves. It's quite remarkable. The fact that Connors beat Mac at Wimbledon in 82 in 5 sets is a titanic achievement by a relentless warrior. The fact that 18-year old Wilander beat Mac on grass at the Australian the following year, when Mac was even better, is uninteresting because this was just a “low on talent” teenager having one more of his endless string of lucky wins, or perhaps it was uninteresting because the AO lacked "prestige".

Well, I like Wilander, and would never minimize his accomplishments. Connors is my all-time favorite. The only thing I'd address here is that beating McEnroe at the Aussie is a LOT different than beating him at Wimbledon, not because of the prestige so much as the surface. Grass in England isn't the same as grass in Australia. The grass at Kooyong tended to get sun-baked, was slanted uphill towards the net, and gave truer bounces and played slower. Those elements all make it a surface that would not be in McEnroe's favor. By contrast, the grass at Wimbledon in the 80s was about the best surface a pure serve/volley player like McEnroe could hope for.

Zimbo
08-01-2007, 03:48 PM
Well, I like Wilander, and would never minimize his accomplishments. Connors is my all-time favorite. The only thing I'd address here is that beating McEnroe at the Aussie is a LOT different than beating him at Wimbledon, not because of the prestige so much as the surface. Grass in England isn't the same as grass in Australia. The grass at Kooyong tended to get sun-baked, was slanted uphill towards the net, and gave truer bounces and played slower. Those elements all make it a surface that would not be in McEnroe's favor. By contrast, the grass at Wimbledon in the 80s was about the best surface a pure serve/volley player like McEnroe could hope for.

I heard this quite a bit since I joined this forum. If the grass at AO and Wimbledon is different how do people know? Have they played on it? Someone told them? Not that I'm disagreeing, I just want to know were this source of info came from. That said, would the grass at AO play faster or slower then say the hard courts of the USO? Would the AO ball bounce higher or lower compared to the USO? I always thought it was still pretty quick and because of this the Australian Davis Cup team always choose the site for their ties. Am I wrong?

Benhur
08-01-2007, 05:54 PM
Connors was able to win on every surface . Lendl could not win Wimbledon.

True, but Connors could not win Roland Garros either.

As for winning on all surfaces, Lendl wasn't a stranger to grass. He won Queens twice. The second time he did it by beating Mcenroe in the semis and Becker in the final. At Wimbledon, he was in the finals twice and in the semis no less than 7 times.

rockthebox
08-03-2007, 06:20 PM
the poll is tied 29-29, but each player has 50.88% of the vote???
They're Both winning!

sandy mayer
09-02-2007, 11:30 PM
Someone has already mentioned that Connors never beat Wilander. He first played him in 1983 or 1984, so of course Connors was already declining. But he would have had problems against Wilander that were similar to those he had against Borg. Connors had a game that would not have matched up well against Wilander. Wilander and Borg were more consistent than he was and could outlast him. At his best, Connors could play them evenly from the baseline, but then the difference would be that Connors didn't have much of a serve.

Connors eventually had these same problems against Lendl. I have not seen his early wins against Lendl, though I have read that he fed off Lendl's power. He couldn't do that (at least, not as much) against Borg, certainly not against Wilander.

Connors was a very tough opponent for Borg except for i year, 79 when i think Connors lost a little focus due to getting married.
Wilander would have lost to Connors at wimbledon if he'd got far enough to meet him. I think peak Connors on any surface other than red clay would have been a very tough opponent for Wilander. Wilander is 12 years younger than Connors, an absolutely massive age difference in tennis terms. I don't think it's fair to look at a head to head between players 12 years apart and conclude the same would have happened if they had been closer in age.

vive le beau jeu !
09-03-2007, 01:47 AM
lendl.....31 50.82%
connors...31 50.82%

obviously a close call between lendl and connors... the poll itself seems a bit confused ! :rolleyes:

scineram
09-03-2007, 06:57 AM
The poll is correct.

vive le beau jeu !
09-03-2007, 11:02 AM
The poll is correct.
yep i thought about it too late... i guess there was multiple choice for the ppl that wanted to let them ex-aequo ! ;)

Mingo
09-03-2007, 11:34 AM
My vote is for Connors.

One point to add to this discussion of winning on all surfaces and number of slams. Wasn't Connors banned from the French Open during his prime in the 70s? Maybe it is not so much that he couldn't win there as he didn't have all the opportunities that others had.

AndrewD
09-03-2007, 02:05 PM
I heard this quite a bit since I joined this forum. If the grass at AO and Wimbledon is different how do people know? Have they played on it? Someone told them? Not that I'm disagreeing, I just want to know were this source of info came from. That said, would the grass at AO play faster or slower then say the hard courts of the USO? Would the AO ball bounce higher or lower compared to the USO? I always thought it was still pretty quick and because of this the Australian Davis Cup team always choose the site for their ties. Am I wrong?

The players - the best source of information- have commented on the difference many times as have the numerous people who have played on grass in Australia and the UK.

Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver, in books they've 'written', have made mention that the grass-courts differed markedly at the Aus Open, Wimbledon and US Open. One of the main differences was the bounce. Grass courts at the Aus Open tended to be a bit harder due to the heat. So, the bounce was a little bit higher (that does not mean the bounce was conveniently waist level) but consistent. Wimbledon they would lower, due to the wetter conditions, but still very consistant. At the US Open they tended to be low and very erratic due to the lesser quality of the courts.

That said, grass at the Aus Open DOES NOT - I repeat, DOES NOT- play slower than at Wimbledon. On the contrary it can be twice as fast, depending on how worn the courts become and how hot the weather is. At its worst it is like playing on lightning fast cement. McEnroe had a decided edge over Wilander due to the speed of the courts and the simple fact that a fast grass court, no-matter how bouncy, still favours the net-rusher.

msunderland71
09-06-2007, 12:27 AM
Federer's peak years are coinciding with a lull in competition. It's because he's thrashing everyone, just like Lendl did in his peak!

That's a nice history lesson, but read my post. I'm speaking of Lendl's peak years. They coincide with a lull in competition. If you want to argue that this isn't true then go ahead.

chaognosis
09-06-2007, 08:42 AM
I disagree that Lendl's peak years coincided with any sort of lull. Lendl really emerged as a top player in 1981, when he took Borg to five sets at Roland Garros. In 1982 he won at least 15 titles and had an incredible record (106-9, I believe), and he beat McEnroe, the computer-ranked No. 1, every time they played. (Of course, McEnroe wasn't the true No. 1 that year; Connors was, especially by virtue of his victories over McEnroe at Wimbledon and Lendl at the US Open.) In 1983 he was perhaps the most consistent of the top players, reaching two major finals, though he didn't win either. In 1984 he spoiled McEnroe's greatest year by defeating him at the French for his first major title. After that Lendl was almost invincible for three years, and while Connors and McEnroe began to fade, a whole new (and excellent) generation was on the rise with Wilander, Becker, and Edberg. I actually think the mid-to-late-80s was one of the few times in the Open Era when 4-5 first-class champions have coexisted at a high level--just look at the major winners and finalists for 1985: Lendl, Edberg, Becker and Wilander each won one, with McEnroe a finalist. Lendl's good years overlapped with Borg, Connors, and McEnroe (not to mention Agassi and Sampras), and during his very best years Wilander, Edberg, and Becker were all huge threats. Certainly not a "lull" in competition by any stretch of the imagination!

Dedans Penthouse
09-06-2007, 11:33 AM
Lendl would have won over 14-16 grand slime titles if not for Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Becker and Edgerg closing the door most of the time. That's a fact. But the fact is, he didn't win them. Well, maybe that says something about, among others, Jimmy Connors.



I like Connors, but Lendl wouldn't have lost to Orantes in 75 or Vilas in 77 in New York.

See how easy it is?
Would Lendl would have beaten Bjorn Borg ON CLAY to win a U.S. Open title? Of course not; but: Connors did beat Bjorn Borg ON CLAY to win a Grand Slam title.

Oh, one other thing:

about this Bjorn Borg guy: let the record show that Ivan "the tanker" Lendl purposely tanked a match during the 1981 Volvo Masters (in a round-robin format) in order to avoid having to play.....you guessed it: Bjorn Borg, that same guy Connors once beat ON CLAY to win a Grand Slam title. Connors would never have stooped to that 'chicken' level, and $-defrauded-$ the public in the process, because Connors never weaseled his way out of putting his butt on the line; something about competitive professionalism. And that alone imho makes Connors a better player. Connors didn't tank in order to avoid a particular player. Connors never defrauded the ticket-buying public out of their hard earned cash, so the "Ivan-was-being-shrew" argument doesn't wash here. Further, Connors was associated with "spilling giving his guts" and giving his all--recall Connors walking up to the cameras/mics during a raucous U.S. Open match in front of a whipped-into-a-frenzy crowd and yelling: "this is what they pay to see!"

Oh and about those players Connors lost to: they were clay court specialists; hardly a bunch of pushovers. But further to the point, about Guillermo Villas: for you to say that Lendl would have NEVER lost to a Villas on a clay surface is very much a stretch. There was one guy and one guy only who had Villas' number on clay.....you guessed it: Bjorn Borg, that same guy Connors once beat ON CLAY to win a Grand Slam title. Lendl was a bully--a front runner--who was in his element when he was the horse. When challenged, Lendl on more than one occassion spit the bit: e.g. vs. Jimmy Connors on a number of occassions at the U.S. Open.

But I digress: Ivan Lendl wouldn't have lost to Villas in a U.S. Open final ON CLAY? Well, if you consider that a feit accompli "slam dunk" then ask yourself this: in 1974 who would have been the OVERWHELMING FAVORITE to win the French Open?....you guessed it: that same guy who was BANNED from playing that tournament, who in 1974, destroyed the competition--Jimmy Connors. Now THAT would've been a fait accompli. Connors who boycotted the French Open after that unconscionable decision to ban him from Roland Garros in '74 (for playing Team Tennis-what a joke), was, even in "absentia," closer to winning the French than Lendl ever was to winning Wimbledon. Oh, btw, a Bjorn Borg never would've lost a French Open to Mats Willander. See how easy that was?

But really, it comes down to: Connors wouldn't have defrauded the public by purposely tanking a match in order to have to face Bjorn Borg. Ivan Lendl: a bully, a coward and a chump. Or as Sports Illustrated described him on their cover: "Ivan Lendl: The Champion That NOBODY Cares About." lol

See how easy that was? :-)

vive le beau jeu !
09-07-2007, 04:34 AM
I disagree that Lendl's peak years coincided with any sort of lull. Lendl really emerged as a top player in 1981, when he took Borg to five sets at Roland Garros. In 1982 he won at least 15 titles and had an incredible record (106-9, I believe), and he beat McEnroe, the computer-ranked No. 1, every time they played. (Of course, McEnroe wasn't the true No. 1 that year; Connors was, especially by virtue of his victories over McEnroe at Wimbledon and Lendl at the US Open.) In 1983 he was perhaps the most consistent of the top players, reaching two major finals, though he didn't win either. In 1984 he spoiled McEnroe's greatest year by defeating him at the French for his first major title. After that Lendl was almost invincible for three years, and while Connors and McEnroe began to fade, a whole new (and excellent) generation was on the rise with Wilander, Becker, and Edberg. I actually think the mid-to-late-80s was one of the few times in the Open Era when 4-5 first-class champions have coexisted at a high level--just look at the major winners and finalists for 1985: Lendl, Edberg, Becker and Wilander each won one, with McEnroe a finalist. Lendl's good years overlapped with Borg, Connors, and McEnroe (not to mention Agassi and Sampras), and during his very best years Wilander, Edberg, and Becker were all huge threats. Certainly not a "lull" in competition by any stretch of the imagination!
nice analysis. :)

appart from the slightly subjective peak considerations, let's also note something :
among the "more than 6 slams" (open era) players (i could also say "more than 10 slam finals") the only one lendl did not face is federer (well... ok, himself also !). so he faced all the others (sampras, borg, edberg, mcenroe, connors, becker, wilander, agassi)... and he posted wins against all of them while they were in the top 5 !

connors also played those guys, but he didn't beat sampras, becker, agassi and wilander. of course it was the end of his career when he played them... but i only intended to show another evidence of lendl's good competition.

on the other hand, some might tell me he could have been better and kept edberg, wilander and becker from winning so many slams... like what's roger is doing to his rivals.
principle of communicating vases... ;)

krosero
09-07-2007, 05:24 AM
Connors was a very tough opponent for Borg except for i year, 79 when i think Connors lost a little focus due to getting married.
Wilander would have lost to Connors at wimbledon if he'd got far enough to meet him. I think peak Connors on any surface other than red clay would have been a very tough opponent for Wilander. Wilander is 12 years younger than Connors, an absolutely massive age difference in tennis terms. I don't think it's fair to look at a head to head between players 12 years apart and conclude the same would have happened if they had been closer in age.I think that the likeliest chance for Connors to beat Wilander would have been at Wimbledon, yes. And I agree that you can't do too much with their actual H2H, because of the age difference. My argument is based on comparing the games of Wilander and Borg, since Borg had the edge on Connors. If you eliminated the age difference between Wilander and Connors, I think their H2H would have looked something like the Connors-Borg rivalry.

More specifically: many of the same advantages that Borg had over Connors would manifest in a Wilander-Connors matchup: greater consistency at the baseline and a more effective serve (and in Wilander's case by 1988, greater effectiveness rushing the net, better than Borg or Connors).

Now, everyone says that Borg was a greater player than Wilander, and there's something to that argument. But the thing to do here is to match their games up with Connors. I think Connors often beat Borg in the 70s precisely because Borg would whip aggressive shots at him from the baseline (Borg hit with more pace than Wilander); Connors would often take those balls on the rise and smash them right back with even greater force. Did he do the same with Lendl's pace in the early 80s? I haven't seen those matches, but it would make sense if he did.

But Connors always would lose something when he had to generate his own pace. Against Wilander he had to generate more of the pace than he did against Borg. And Connors was always vulnerable with slices to his forehand. Look at how many crosscourt slices Wilander was hitting in the '88 USO final against Lendl, after he mastered that tactic.

I think, in some ways, Connors would have had a tougher time against Wilander than against Borg.

Zimbo
09-07-2007, 11:22 PM
The players - the best source of information- have commented on the difference many times as have the numerous people who have played on grass in Australia and the UK.

Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver, in books they've 'written', have made mention that the grass-courts differed markedly at the Aus Open, Wimbledon and US Open. One of the main differences was the bounce. Grass courts at the Aus Open tended to be a bit harder due to the heat. So, the bounce was a little bit higher (that does not mean the bounce was conveniently waist level) but consistent. Wimbledon they would lower, due to the wetter conditions, but still very consistant. At the US Open they tended to be low and very erratic due to the lesser quality of the courts.

That said, grass at the Aus Open DOES NOT - I repeat, DOES NOT- play slower than at Wimbledon. On the contrary it can be twice as fast, depending on how worn the courts become and how hot the weather is. At its worst it is like playing on lightning fast cement. McEnroe had a decided edge over Wilander due to the speed of the courts and the simple fact that a fast grass court, no-matter how bouncy, still favours the net-rusher.

Thanks for your response

sandy mayer
09-08-2007, 01:43 AM
I think that the likeliest chance for Connors to beat Wilander would have been at Wimbledon, yes. And I agree that you can't do too much with their actual H2H, because of the age difference. My argument is based on comparing the games of Wilander and Borg, since Borg had the edge on Connors. If you eliminated the age difference between Wilander and Connors, I think their H2H would have looked something like the Connors-Borg rivalry.

More specifically: many of the same advantages that Borg had over Connors would manifest in a Wilander-Connors matchup: greater consistency at the baseline and a more effective serve (and in Wilander's case by 1988, greater effectiveness rushing the net, better than Borg or Connors).

Now, everyone says that Borg was a greater player than Wilander, and there's something to that argument. But the thing to do here is to match their games up with Connors. I think Connors often beat Borg in the 70s precisely because Borg would whip aggressive shots at him from the baseline (Borg hit with more pace than Wilander); Connors would often take those balls on the rise and smash them right back with even greater force. Did he do the same with Lendl's pace in the early 80s? I haven't seen those matches, but it would make sense if he did.

But Connors always would lose something when he had to generate his own pace. Against Wilander he had to generate more of the pace than he did against Borg. And Connors was always vulnerable with slices to his forehand. Look at how many crosscourt slices Wilander was hitting in the '88 USO final against Lendl, after he mastered that tactic.

I think, in some ways, Connors would have had a tougher time against Wilander than against Borg.

Connors beat Wilander on the senior tour despite the massive age difference, and Wilander not having long retired from the tour, and still being at an age when he could have been playing ATP tennis (33).

Zimbo
09-08-2007, 08:58 PM
Connors beat Wilander on the senior tour despite the massive age difference, and Wilander not having long retired from the tour, and still being at an age when he could have been playing ATP tennis (33).

Everyone beats Wilander on the senior tour.

Fearsome Forehand
09-08-2007, 09:17 PM
Connors in his prime was very dominant. Look at his weeks as number one and his career title total.

He probably would have won the Grand Slam in 1973 except for the crazy RG ban because he played team tennis. And he made it to the US Open semis at age 39. Pretty amazing.

Lendl was really great player but look at his under .500 Grand Slam final record. He loses points for that.

garcia_doomer
04-21-2008, 04:58 PM
Connors is my choise.

Lendl and Federer Fan
04-21-2008, 05:28 PM
Ivan Lendl

CyBorg
04-21-2008, 05:55 PM
Connors in his prime was very dominant. Look at his weeks as number one and his career title total.

He probably would have won the Grand Slam in 1973 except for the crazy RG ban because he played team tennis. And he made it to the US Open semis at age 39. Pretty amazing.

Lendl was really great player but look at his under .500 Grand Slam final record. He loses points for that.

This post pretty much gets everything wrong. Every single fallacy in the book - right here.

CyBorg
04-21-2008, 05:59 PM
Well, if you consider that a feit accompli "slam dunk" then ask yourself this: in 1974 who would have been the OVERWHELMING FAVORITE to win the French Open?....you guessed it: that same guy who was BANNED from playing that tournament, who in 1974, destroyed the competition--Jimmy Connors. Now THAT would've been a fait accompli.

errrrr... no.

If Connors was so great on red clay (not green clay) wouldn't he at least win a half decent red clay event in his career?

Seriously this whole 'Connors would have won RG if he wasn't banned' thing is tired and unsupported by any evidence.

CyBorg
04-21-2008, 06:01 PM
Federer's peak years are coinciding with a lull in competition. It's because he's thrashing everyone, just like Lendl did in his peak!

I was very wrong about the whole 'lull' in opposition thing in regards to Lendl. I've watched a lot of Lendl matches over the past few months and I've done about a complete 180 on this topic.

There I said it. Stupid. Shoot me. Cover me in tar and feathers. Idiot of the month.

CyBorg
04-21-2008, 06:03 PM
Actually every single post made by me in this thread until today is a massive fail.

Further proof that I'm a terrible poster.

Kirko
04-21-2008, 06:16 PM
Connors and Lendl where both no. 1 for a long time.

Lendl even longer than Connors but Connors won more tournaments.

Connors was far more dominating in his prime than Agassi.

But who was the better player Connors or Lendl, that is the question of this poll.

Jimmy Connors is far above. Connors was basically written off at 28 yrs.old. , but proved to to be a better player than his detractors.

bluegrasser
04-22-2008, 05:24 AM
You just have to look at the two USO finals to come to a conclusion. Connors was approaching 30 w/ Lendl starting to peak & most of the experts picking Lendl. I heard it:" his forehand will be too much for Connors." etc..but Connors kept hitting to Lendl's forehand until he broke it down - really brilliant strategy if one can do it & Connors pulled it off.

chaognosis
04-22-2008, 09:25 PM
You just have to look at the two USO finals to come to a conclusion. Connors was approaching 30 w/ Lendl starting to peak & most of the experts picking Lendl. I heard it:" his forehand will be too much for Connors." etc..but Connors kept hitting to Lendl's forehand until he broke it down - really brilliant strategy if one can do it & Connors pulled it off.

I agree that these two matches are key. Overall, Connors leads Lendl 3-2 in semifinal and final meetings at Wimbledon and the US Open, despite the fact that during this span of time--1982 through 1987--Lendl was more in his "prime." Connors's big-match toughness gives him the edge here.

msunderland71
04-23-2008, 01:27 AM
Thanks Cyborg
No need to shoot you or dip you in doo doos - very good of you to study the matches and reverse your opinion. I think some of the ELO ratings also showed the late 80's had quite tough competition.

I was very wrong about the whole 'lull' in opposition thing in regards to Lendl. I've watched a lot of Lendl matches over the past few months and I've done about a complete 180 on this topic.

There I said it. Stupid. Shoot me. Cover me in tar and feathers. Idiot of the month.

paolo2143
04-24-2008, 06:55 AM
that is simply not true sandy mayer to say only year connors had trouble with borg was 79 borg was ahead in their h2h matches every year from 1977 and onwards,borg was 2-0 ahead in 1977,3-2 in 1978 something like 6-0 in 1969 and 2-0 in 1980 as well as 3-1 ahead in 1981 or very close to that anyhow.the fact is borg mentally had connors number for last 5 competitive years, although stroke for stroke i think connors was better but borg overall i would put above him because of his mental strength and athletisism.

Arafel
04-24-2008, 09:01 AM
that is simply not true sandy mayer to say only year connors had trouble with borg was 79 borg was ahead in their h2h matches every year from 1977 and onwards,borg was 2-0 ahead in 1977,3-2 in 1978 something like 6-0 in 1969 and 2-0 in 1980 as well as 3-1 ahead in 1981 or very close to that anyhow.the fact is borg mentally had connors number for last 5 competitive years, although stroke for stroke i think connors was better but borg overall i would put above him because of his mental strength and athletisism.

True, although don't forget the 77 Wimbledon final Connors played with a broken thumb. That was the match that turned around their rivalry, and I always thought it interesting that Connors was hurt playing it.

jeffreyneave
04-24-2008, 10:39 AM
head to head

'73 1-0 borg
'74 1-0 connors
'75 2-0 connors
'76 4-0 connors
'77 2-1 borg
'78 3-2 borg
'79 7-0 borg
'80 2-0 borg
'81, 2-1 borg
'82 approx 6-2 connors (borg had a 3-1 edge on lendl that year so he was still a top player)
'83 1-0 connors


jeffrey

Tennisfan!
04-24-2008, 05:56 PM
Actually every single post made by me in this thread until today is a massive fail.

Further proof that I'm a terrible poster.

You aren't so bad buddy!
Connors i choose.

Tshooter
04-24-2008, 06:04 PM
Lendl, perhaps surprisingly, had the better sense of humor though it wasn't as obvious early in his career mostly do to the language barrier.

paolo2143
04-25-2008, 12:58 AM
hi jeffrey i think it is a bit misleading to include 1982 in connors v borg h2h as borg hardly played any competitive tennis that year and basically had only played a handful of matches in previous 9 months before he met connors in a seris of exhibition/challengs matches and i remember even jimmy himself saying he was surprised how well borg played as if he himself had taken that much time off he would not have been anywhere near as good and has for borg still being top player in 1982 i do not agree in his 1 serious tournament yannick noah hammered him on his favourite surface clay in monte carlo wheras 12 months earlier borg would have won with ease, i personally think some players took it easy on borg in the exhibition tournaments hence some not bad results there

jeffreyneave
04-25-2008, 06:09 AM
Borg returned in april '82 as I remember. He was not out for 9 months. he won the suntory 4 man crushing vilas; vilas was hot at that time he had beaten connors twice and was to beat lendl twice at the start of the clay court season. I don't think monte carlo was a fair representation of his play ; he played poorly in 1981 losing to worse player than noah (a top ten player in 1982) and still played well at the majors in 1981. borg was still a top player ; beating lendl 3-1 is great. remember lendl beat Mcenroe 7-1 and connors 3-2 that year counting all competitive matches.


jeffrey.

paolo2143
04-25-2008, 07:01 AM
still have to disagree jeffrey he was definitely out for around 6 moths till monte carlo where he was very poor and from then on only played challenge matches and there is no way you can take 6 months out play a couple of matches and then go onto play challenge matches and exhibition matches and be anywhere near same level you were at your peak and as i siad even connors acknowledged borg was not anywhere near his best

Moose Malloy
04-25-2008, 08:31 AM
I have an old Tennis magazine from Jan '83 with an article about Borg & it has his record in '82:

March

Copenhagen exhibition lost to Gerulaitis 62,67,62

Cascals, Portugal exhibition: beat Rolf Gehring, beat Paul McNamee 16,62,64
beat Gerulaitis 76,61

April

Monte Carlo Grand Prix event
beat Paolo Bertolucci 75,60 1st Round Qualifying
beat Marco Ostoja 60,60 2R Qualifying
beat Pablo Arraya 63,61 3R Qualifying
rest of his results that event are available on atptennis, but keep in mind his match with Noah was his 6th match of the event, and it was only the QF

Tokyo exhibition: beat Van Patten 57,64,63; beat Vilas 61,62

Las Vegas Grand Prix event: beat Amaya 64,64 1R qualifying lost to Stockton 76,16,62 2R Qualifying(in an interview in another issue Stockton said Borg was serving with 2 balls in his hand for half the match)

I will post the rest if anyone is interested, some interesting scores vs Mac & Lendl in exos that year. I think while exos didn't mean as much as regular events back then, they meant a lot more than today. Was surprised to see best of 5 sets matches played in that format. Borg could obviously still play in 1982. In this article he sounds like he is looking forward to returning to tournament play in '83.

And the article does say that Borg did plan on playing more than just the 2 grand prix events he played in '82, but in April(the month that he played those 2), the Grand Prix ruled that he coudn't unless he committed to 10 events in advance. So all those exos in '82 were the only events he could play on his terms. It's amazing how stupid politics helped make Borg lose any remaining interest he had in the game.

Rabbit
04-25-2008, 08:57 AM
I remember the perception back then was that Borg owned Connors. I think Connors has the same perception as he vowed to "follow Borg to the ends of the earth".

Arafel
04-25-2008, 01:21 PM
I remember the perception back then was that Borg owned Connors. I think Connors has the same perception as he vowed to "follow Borg to the ends of the earth".

That quote came in the press conference at the 78 Wimbledon, after Borg had won the second leg of a calendar Slam by demolishing Connors 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Borg seemed to have gotten the better of Connors, and Connors hadn't won a Slam since beating Borg in four sets at the 76 US Open on clay.

Connors quote came after a reporter asked him if he'd play the Australian if Borg won the US Open and only needed to win Australia for a Slam. At that point, Borg looked strong to win a calendar Slam since he had so thoroughly dominated at both Paris and Wimbledon. Connors vowed to follow "that ******* to the ends of the Earth" if he had to. Of course, it was a moot point, because Connors turned it around in New York and gave Borg as bad a beatdown there as Borg did to Connors at Wimbledon.

Q&M son
05-02-2008, 10:52 AM
I have an old Tennis magazine from Jan '83 with an article about Borg & it has his record in '82:

March

Copenhagen exhibition lost to Gerulaitis 62,67,62

Cascals, Portugal exhibition: beat Rolf Gehring, beat Paul McNamee 16,62,64
beat Gerulaitis 76,61

April

Monte Carlo Grand Prix event
beat Paolo Bertolucci 75,60 1st Round Qualifying
beat Marco Ostoja 60,60 2R Qualifying
beat Pablo Arraya 63,61 3R Qualifying
rest of his results that event are available on atptennis, but keep in mind his match with Noah was his 6th match of the event, and it was only the QF

Tokyo exhibition: beat Van Patten 57,64,63; beat Vilas 61,62

Las Vegas Grand Prix event: beat Amaya 64,64 1R qualifying lost to Stockton 76,16,62 2R Qualifying(in an interview in another issue Stockton said Borg was serving with 2 balls in his hand for half the match)

I will post the rest if anyone is interested, some interesting scores vs Mac & Lendl in exos that year. I think while exos didn't mean as much as regular events back then, they meant a lot more than today. Was surprised to see best of 5 sets matches played in that format. Borg could obviously still play in 1982. In this article he sounds like he is looking forward to returning to tournament play in '83.

And the article does say that Borg did plan on playing more than just the 2 grand prix events he played in '82, but in April(the month that he played those 2), the Grand Prix ruled that he coudn't unless he committed to 10 events in advance. So all those exos in '82 were the only events he could play on his terms. It's amazing how stupid politics helped make Borg lose any remaining interest he had in the game.

I'm interested Moose!!! Thanks!

Gizo
05-02-2008, 01:07 PM
I previously gave the edge towards Lendl, but having now considered his defeat to a declining and flu-stricken Connors in the 1983 US Open final, I'm leaning towards Jimbo now.
I agree with the notion that Jimbo definately wouldn't trade in his career accomplishments for Lendl's, while Lendl would clearly trade in his own career accomplishments for Jimbo's (Wimbledon being a key factor there).

CyBorg
05-02-2008, 01:14 PM
I previously gave the edge towards Lendl, but having now considered his defeat to a declining and flu-stricken Connors in the 1983 US Open final, I'm leaning towards Jimbo now.
I agree with the notion that Jimbo definately wouldn't trade in his career accomplishments for Lendl's, while Lendl would clearly trade in his own career accomplishments for Jimbo's (Wimbledon being a key factor there).

You don't know if Lendl would trade his accomplishments for Connors'. Just because he said something half-heartedly to an interviewer...

Lendl always lies in interviews. It's how he has his fun. All things considered I don't think he cares enough to seriously compare careers with Connors.

And it doesn't matter either way. Even if Lendl does want to trade in for Connors' career his reasoning may not be at all sound. I believe he said something to the extent of "I'd trade all three of my French Open titles for on Wimbledon". First of all, I call ******** on this. Second of all, even if he's serious it doesn't mean that a Wimbledon title is worth three RG titles. Not for a second. I say he was being facetious.

Third, Jimmy was a great player in 1983 and Lendl was still two years away from becoming a great one.

Lendl and Federer Fan
05-03-2008, 07:08 PM
I doubt Lendl would trade his 3 French Open trophies for just 1 Wimbledon trophy now. He was just probably joking. If you ask Federer now, Federer would say he might consider trading 2 or 3 Wimbledon trophies for 1 French Open trophy. :)

Tshooter
05-03-2008, 11:55 PM
"Third, Jimmy was a great player in 1983 and Lendl was still two years away from becoming a great one."

Agreed. But I would go even further. Lendl was still in that period where people were questioning whether could actually win big finals. And he literally fell apart at the end of that match. Connors was practically taunting him toward the end. As for careers though, Connors was better.

Jim Courier fan
05-26-2008, 09:36 AM
Jimmy for me--------

Ultra2HolyGrail
05-26-2008, 09:03 PM
I like Lendl but Connors wouldn't have lost to Wilander in New York in 88.


Wilander played awesome that tournament. I think he could of beat anybody in his era. I'm a big fan of wilander beacuse of that tournament.

oberyn
05-27-2008, 07:17 AM
I remember the perception back then was that Borg owned Connors. I think Connors has the same perception as he vowed to "follow Borg to the ends of the earth".

I read an interesting Sports Illustrated article (in the SI archives) on Connors heading into the 1978 U.S. Open.

That 1978 U.S. Open final was a huge win for him, not only in terms of his rivalry with Borg but in terms of the way Connors was perceived going into that tournament.

Before they played that match, Connors had lost 6 of the last 7 Grand Slam finals he'd played.

paolo2143
05-27-2008, 09:07 AM
this is hard one to call you could make case for either lendl or connors my gut instinct is connors by a fraction just as would have borg above connors by a small amount

DBH
06-05-2008, 08:31 AM
I read an interesting Sports Illustrated article (in the SI archives) on Connors heading into the 1978 U.S. Open.

That 1978 U.S. Open final was a huge win for him, not only in terms of his rivalry with Borg but in terms of the way Connors was perceived going into that tournament.

Before they played that match, Connors had lost 6 of the last 7 Grand Slam finals he'd played.

Possibly winning that 1978 US Open final made him complacent, because he did not reach another major final until 1982 Wimbledon. The next three years (1979-1981) really belonged to Borg and McEnroe.

CyBorg
06-05-2008, 08:56 AM
Possibly winning that 1978 US Open final made him complacent, because he did not reach another major final until 1982 Wimbledon. The next three years (1979-1981) really belonged to Borg and McEnroe.

Connors complacent?