PDA

View Full Version : was ivan lendl ACTUALLY considered a bad guy back in the day?


d-quik
06-20-2009, 02:53 PM
i mean the guy is methodical, yes, as per old school baseliners should be. but on the boards i have seen words like EVIL used to this guy. why was this? is it because he came from a communist country at the time and fufilling the western world's stereotype of the soviet "robot" type athlete?

David_86
06-20-2009, 03:13 PM
The US Open crowd didn't seem to like him, probably because he was facing McEnroe and Connors. I don't think he actually did anything to offend them. I think mainly it was a myth created by journalists and maybe fuelled by rivals. He had quite a sarcastic sense of humour that didn't go down too well with some people. I remember people made a big deal of him whacking balls at opponents during matches (there's a good example of him doing this to McEnroe on youtube), but I'm not sure how frequent that was. He was also a player who didn't show much emotion (although more than legend would have you believe) so he never really connected with the crowd.

I'd be interested to hear what other people have to say as I'm sure I've got some of my facts wrong.

Winners or Errors
06-20-2009, 03:14 PM
You nailed it. There's a thread linking to a recent interview, and Lendl gives a few fairly clear comments on his relationship with the press. It was the time. Of course, it also didn't help that he had kind of a high pitched whiny voice when he questioned calls either. I was a huge Lendl fan at the time, but every time the man opened his mouth on court I cringed.

David_86
06-20-2009, 03:17 PM
Was that the interview in "the Times". I agree, it's really good.

CyBorg
06-20-2009, 03:19 PM
Lendl was very insecure when he was young. There was the culture shock, the language issue and he also grew up in a very strict household - the media didn't really grow fond of him.

Lendl was, however, always very intelligent and funny and gradually grew more comfortable, but didn't use these skills to endear himself to the media.

Winners or Errors
06-20-2009, 03:23 PM
Was that the interview in "the Times". I agree, it's really good.

I don't remember the newspaper, but it was at a golf tournament he was watching his kids compete in...

AndrewD
06-20-2009, 03:49 PM
is it because he came from a communist country at the time and fufilling the western world's stereotype of the soviet "robot" type athlete?

Problem was the the tennis and sporting press was dominated by a country, America, whose fear of anything with even the slightest connection to communism meant they couldn't write without unhealthy bias. Lendl was an easy target. They led people to believe that he was a communist, instead of coming from a country that had been invaded and annexed by Russia. They allowed simpletons like John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors to call him a communist and not challenge their ignorance. They allowed their 'America first, last and always' mentality to cloud their judgement of him as a player and as a person. Naturally enough, Lendl wouldn't cooperate with the press which meant he wasn't able to defend himself.

Funny thing is, Lendl was popular here in Australia whereas Connors and McEnroe weren't. No-one ever thought of Lendl as a warm kind of bloke or that he played an exciting game but no-one disliked him they way they did with Jimmy and John.

jimbo333
06-20-2009, 03:55 PM
This is quite interesting. Connors and McEnroe were frequently both hated and loved by the crowds (sometimes in the same match).

However Lendl didn't generate that sort of passion from the crowds I don't think!

SgtJohn
06-20-2009, 04:59 PM
Associating Lendl with Communism was indeed unfair; as he stated in his recent interview, he "hates communists even more than Rush Limbaugh". Thinking that a player from an Eastern European country, with his whole family back home, would stand up and suddenly announce his love of American democracy was very naive from the journalists. Yes, Martina did it, but it was a rare occurrence.

As for the hate, a simple walk 'down memory lane' on Sports Illustrated's 'Vault', for instance, can confirm this. Actually from our current 'Peace & Love' era, it's hard to imagine how the tennis world was a nasty place back in the 80s. Mac was hated for his antics, Connors occasionally for his lack of dedication to Davis Cup , Lendl for being a 'communist robot', and generally tennis players were hated for being lazy millionnaires just willing to play for the biggest cheque.

A bit disturbing for what is supposed to be a celebratory end-of-season article...

Read this extract, and it is just one among tons of others, about the rankings for 1985:

"

If the Australian Open was tennis's long-awaited this-settles-everything playoff for No. 1—jostling at the bottom of the world to get to the top—obviously we should all stick to bowl games. Boris Becker, for example, competing on grass for the first time since his stunning victory at Wimbledon, stared the No. 1 spot in the face in Melbourne and lost in the first round to Michiel Schapers, whose ranking on the ATP computer - 188 - is surpassed by the likes of Alessandro De Minicis, Alejandro Ganzabal, Eleuterio Martins and the legendary Givaldo Alves Barbosa. Schapers is a Dutchman. But Becker, 18, closed out his season really in dutch.

For another example, John McEnroe, the touring pro out of Bic, had an extremely close shave with sanity. After scuffling with a reporter, spitting on a photographer—well, how is a guy supposed to react when somebody wants to take a picture of him with Ryan O'Neal's daughter, smile?—complaining about the court and insulting most everybody in the country but the koala bears, McEnroe lost 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 to Slobodan Zivojinovic in the quarterfinals. Mac then hightailed it out of Kooyong Stadium so fast that he skipped a compulsory meeting with his close pals from the media. Maybe Junior was hurrying to the bank to pay the $3,750 in fines he had accumulated during the tournament. Whatever, as he departed the court after losing, he screamed at his conqueror, "You're going to pay for this." Zivojinovic, a 6'6", 200-pound Yugoslav whom his manager, Ion Tiriac, calls "Rambo in sneakers," is known around the circuit as Bobo. For his verbal transgression Mad Mac may hereafter be referred to as Dumbo.

As for Ivan Lendl, he came to Australia riding a 27-match, five-tournament winning streak that started at the U.S. Open. However, Lendl's No. I ranking was about as solid as his golf, which, incidentally, he played more of in Melbourne than tennis. In October, Lendl opted out of a Czechoslovakia- West Germany Davis Cup singles confrontation with Becker in Frankfurt because of an "injured elbow." The next week he was seen blasting away in exhibitions in Jericho, N.Y. and that other tennis mecca, the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

In Melbourne, Lendl seemed ready to quit in his semifinal with Stefan Edberg. This time he complained of a bum knee. "I consider myself fortunate to have escaped serious injury," he said after bravely finishing the match, which he lost 9-7 in the fifth set. Oh, well. As Lendl pointed out, Kooyong "should be paved over" and the Australian Open was a "second-class" event anyway. What does it matter?

It matters to Mats Wilander, who had won the tournament in 1983 and '84 and made it to the finals this year before losing 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 to Edberg on Monday in the first All-Swedish final of a Grand Slam championship. Just 19, Edberg is the only player ever to win all four Grand Slam junior events in a single year, but this was his first appearance in an adult Slam final. Edberg will be in many more.

So who's No. 1? Wilander? He won the French Open, coming from behind to beat Lendl in the final. He also reached the semis of the U.S. Open and can enhance his claim with a victory next week over Becker in the Davis Cup finals in Munich. But Wilander went five months without a tournament victory, and he suffered two embarrassing losses to Thierry Tulasne. Also, his cumulative head-to-head record against the rest of the contenders—McEnroe, Lendl and Becker—in '85 is 3-5. ( Lendl is 9-4, McEnroe 6-4, Becker a kaboom 1-5.) But what most hurts Wilander is a first-round loss at Wimbledon to Zivojinovic. Make Bobo spoiler of the year. Wilander, however, avenged that defeat with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 win over Zivojinovic in the semifinals last week.

Is McEnroe No. 1? Are you kidding? For only the second year since he began semidominating the game in 1978, Mac didn't win a major title, and he reached only one Slam final, the U.S. Open. What's more, McEnroe was just 4-2 against Bjorn Borg—who?—in their Rip-off Over America tour.

Another sneakered fossil, Jimmy Connors, didn't bother traveling Down Under to challenge the Big Four. On the year limbo was 0-6 against them, not to mention 0-1 against Mike DePalmer and 0-1 against Jose Higueras, now retired. This must be the first year Connors has gone without a tournament victory since he was in swaddling clothes. He did, however, show up last week on The Tonight Show with Joan Rivers. Can we talk? Can I play?.

So who is No. 1? Heinz Gunthardt, who reached the late rounds in three Slam events and won Wimbledon doubles with Balazs Taroczy? Ken Flach, for his hair ball that basically won the U.S. Open doubles for him and Robert Seguso? Bobo, for his twin humongous upsets? Shlomo Glickstein? Borg?

Mostly by default, all the tennis magazines, human-rights organizations, dating services, political-action groups and whoever else names a No. 1 will choose Lendl. After all, he did put together winning streaks of four and five tournaments and did not suffer what the players call a "bad loss" all year. Last week he also matched McEnroe in diatribes and punishments, going over the fine limit that draws those gossamer 21-day suspensions covering a period in which neither man planned to play anything anywhere anyway. Still, go ahead and give Lendl No. 1.
"

CEvertFan
06-20-2009, 05:50 PM
I'm an American and I always liked Lendl. He's one of my all time favorite players and I like him more than I do Connors or McEnroe or Sampras or Agassi.

You shouldn't make generalizations about an entire country.

pmerk34
06-20-2009, 07:34 PM
Problem was the the tennis and sporting press was dominated by a country, America, whose fear of anything with even the slightest connection to communism meant they couldn't write without unhealthy bias. Lendl was an easy target. They led people to believe that he was a communist, instead of coming from a country that had been invaded and annexed by Russia. They allowed simpletons like John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors to call him a communist and not challenge their ignorance. They allowed their 'America first, last and always' mentality to cloud their judgement of him as a player and as a person. Naturally enough, Lendl wouldn't cooperate with the press which meant he wasn't able to defend himself.

Funny thing is, Lendl was popular here in Australia whereas Connors and McEnroe weren't. No-one ever thought of Lendl as a warm kind of bloke or that he played an exciting game but no-one disliked him they way they did with Jimmy and John.

Oh please. Lendl was not a nice guy during his playing days. Period. None of the top guys really were. McEnroe wrote in his book that Ivan had a very cold sarcastic sense of humour and would make merciless fun of lower ranked players who had to laugh along with him because of the pecking order of the day. Wilander said he wasn't a nice guy. Look what Pat Cash thought of him:

From Bruce Jenkins in the SF Chronicle June 2007 article:

Most every Grand Slam-tournament winner makes a foray into the Friends Box these days, no matter the obstacles, but Cash was the first to do it. In a recent interview for the Sunday Times, Cash said he was aware of the possible backlash, since such a move shows up the losing player, but that he had so much for disdain for Lendl -- as a player and a person -- he figured the hell with it, I'm going up to see my father and my coach.

"I didn't have a lot of sympathy for Lendl's plight," said Cash. "He was never an opponent with whom I felt any sense of friendship. My dislike for the man was born out of an incident a couple of years earlier in Monte Carlo. Lendl thought he was being hilarious by pulling a pair of my shoes to pieces in the middle of the locker room. I had to be pulled off him on that occasion. Then he was going through all the phobia about whether he would ever win Wimbledon, and I was more than happy to deepen his agony."

BTW I am not and was never a fan of Connors and McEnroes obnoxious behavior and wish they would have been defaulted from day one when they started switiching from calling people jerks to using the F bomb and the like.

There is also huge difference between kissing butt in press conferences and courtside interviews and just being polite, Ivan often chose to be sarcastic, to be rude and to give you nothing. That was his choice to act that way. He also could also be a petulant whiner on the court as well.

That being said I loved the guy.

David_86
06-20-2009, 11:34 PM
To me, Cash sounds like a bit of a jerk when describing Lendl. He mentions the shoe incident every time. I'm beginning to wonder if there ever were any other incidents.

gpt
06-21-2009, 12:09 AM
In the late seventies when Lendl hit the tour he was quite unique. Communist countries were still very secretive back then and a great source of suspicion for the Western media. Coupled with his limited english, his robotic court demeanour and his apparent inability to smile, this all made it very easy for the media to paint him as the enemy. Also, I think he was the first pro to be seen wearing all black tennis gear which just enhanced the evil image more.

SpaceCadet
06-23-2009, 06:10 PM
Jingoism.

In the US, the media really played up his Communist/Eastern Bloc roots. Lendl was always portrayed as a product of the Evil Empire.

Lendl also figured out a way to regularly beat Connors and Mac (the darlings of US tennis in their day, despite repeatedly making asses of themselves).

pmerk34
06-23-2009, 06:37 PM
Jingoism.

In the US, the media really played up his Communist/Eastern Bloc roots. Lendl was always portrayed as a product of the Evil Empire.

Lendl also figured out a way to regularly beat Connors and Mac (the darlings of US tennis in their day, despite repeatedly making asses of themselves).

LOL. Darlings? There were probably more negative stories written about those two jerks than positive.

Lendl wasn't a nice guy and he was handcuffed by what he could say in the media by the communist authorities who threatened to take away his passport thus ending his career.

tailofdog
06-23-2009, 06:53 PM
This is quite interesting. Connors and McEnroe were frequently both hated and loved by the crowds (sometimes in the same match).

However Lendl didn't generate that sort of passion from the crowds I don't think!

The problem was when he first came on the TV he wore all black crap clothes and his dental work was the same as his clothes.He was taken over by a management company which, helped his image. Also in the early days he did a few unsportsman like things.

BTURNER
06-23-2009, 06:55 PM
Lendl was neither particularly nice nor naughty. But he was the ultimate pro. I think the media gave him a rep because he did not readily provide one on his own and did not trouble himself to make their jobs easy.

pmerk34
06-23-2009, 06:56 PM
Lendl was neither particularly nice nor naughty. But he was the ultimate pro. I think the media gave him a rep because he did not redilyy provide one on his own and did not trouble himself to make their jobs easy.

He was rude at times too. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Most of his contemporaries didn't like him either and that had nothing to do with the media.

rod99
06-24-2009, 03:35 AM
anyone have any pics of lendl from very early in his career? the earliest i can find is the '81 french open.

FiveO
06-24-2009, 04:02 AM
Ivan was mostly a victim of the prevailing environment. A victim of Cold War mentality. You have to remember that many fans back then also saw sports in general as the "hot war". Remember the Olympic Basketball fiasco between the USSR and US, and the "Miracle on Ice". Boycotts/threats of boycotts of Olympics held on US and Soviet Bloc soil. A mess.

Some tennis enthusiasts also recall the '72 US v. Romania DC final held in Romania which took on a near soccer like mob mentality with crooked line judges, cowbells and the like. It's kind of amusing now, but then it was very real. If you kind find stuff written about it, it's a good read.

It made little difference if one was from Russia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Lithuania, whatever. To Americans in particular they were the same difference: Communist States. The enemy. Evil.

For Americans that "cold war" mentality permeated every walk of life. Movies reflected it. Think of 1985's Rocky IV, with the perenial "underdog" Rocky pitted against the Soviet "Ivan 'I Must Break You' Drago" played by Dolf Lundgren.

Big, fit, cool to cold demeanor, "de-meaner" streak on court choosing to bean net rushers more than the average opponent did, few words with (to American ears) "that accent". Ivan Lendl's on court and press demeanor seemed to play right out of central casting. To his credit/detriment, Lendl didn't go out of his way to correct public/media perceptions. He certainly was under no obligation to do so, but it didn't help his popularity quotient. That obviously wasn't his concern. Winning was.

5

swedechris
06-24-2009, 04:23 AM
Lendl was very insecure when he was young. There was the culture shock, the language issue and he also grew up in a very strict household - the media didn't really grow fond of him.

Lendl was, however, always very intelligent and funny and gradually grew more comfortable, but didn't use these skills to endear himself to the media.



Well put.. he became a symbol for all that commies stuff and seems quite undeserved.

Borgforever
06-24-2009, 06:32 AM
Okey -- I've talked to Ivan a few times and he's very easy going and has great (if pitch-black) sense of humor.

Borg has only good things to say about Ivan and don't blame him for some mistakes he made. He didn't know a lot (coming from a world very different from the pro tennis-scene) and met with a lot of biased and unfair hostility which had nothing to do with him as person. His reactions sometimes had good reasons. I won't detail some of the things I heard.

Remember Ivan had Tony Roche as coach, and Tony's a swell, easy-going fella and he wouldn't stayed with Ivan if he was that "cold-mean-grey-boring-type" that media latched on to from the start. Media loves mania, hysterics in search of selling copy and more often than not act as the demagogue...

That doesn't mean he's perfect -- who is? I don't know any who is...

Ivan also has a very healthy disinterest for popularity. FiveO's comments on this are -- as always -- dead on.

Borgforever
06-24-2009, 12:33 PM
anyone have any pics of lendl from very early in his career? the earliest i can find is the '81 french open.

Hey Rod!

Check out this jewel -- this is Adriano Panatta against baby-Lendl in Davis Cup 1979. Amazingly cool stuff. You can see the his awesome forehand even here.

This is the earliest footage of Ivan I know available and treat to watch. Enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXjsi5L0_jc

rod99
06-24-2009, 05:45 PM
Hey Rod!

Check out this jewel -- this is Adriano Panatta against baby-Lendl in Davis Cup 1979. Amazingly cool stuff. You can see the his awesome forehand even here.

This is the earliest footage of Ivan I know available and treat to watch. Enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXjsi5L0_jc

that's interesting b/c the ATP website says that lendl and panatta only played 3 times, all in Barcelona (1979, 1980, and 1981). this match does appear to be a davis cup match though since there are coaches on the sidelines. i wonder why the atp site doesn't have this match on record (it does have davis cup matches in players' records)?

SpaceCadet
06-24-2009, 06:14 PM
LOL. Darlings? There were probably more negative stories written about those two jerks than positive.

Lendl wasn't a nice guy and he was handcuffed by what he could say in the media by the communist authorities who threatened to take away his passport thus ending his career.

Yup! Perhaps "darlings" is the wrong term. I'd have to say "heroes", and I use it in the same context as: "pro-wrestlers are 'heroes'."

Negative on Connors and Mac? Sure, if you can call "these guys are jerks, but they're our jerks...USA all the way!", negative.

Sports Illustrated was the worst offender of all! Look up the SI covers and ink devoted to Connors and Mac, and compare to what SI gave Lendl.

Z-Man
06-24-2009, 07:57 PM
I don't think Americans disliked him. I didn't. I liked how cool and in control of himself he always seemed. As a kid playing tournaments, I always tried to be super-stoic like Lendl to rattle my opponents.

Tshooter
06-28-2009, 01:22 AM
"The US Open crowd didn't seem to like him, probably because he was facing McEnroe and Connors. "

That's one theory except the USO crowd couldn't stand Connors until later in his career, when he changed his behavior (and also started sucking up to the crowd). And they couldn't stand JMac throughout his career.

There was no particular animosity toward Lendl but he never cracked a smile and he simply didn't engage the crowds imagination like a Borg.

FedFan_2009
06-28-2009, 01:42 AM
I like that video where Lendl nails McEnroe in the chest and Mac goes down like a drama queen. The crowd boos Lendl - he doesn't give a ****.

vive le beau jeu !
06-28-2009, 03:11 AM
Hey Rod!

Check out this jewel -- this is Adriano Panatta against baby-Lendl in Davis Cup 1979. Amazingly cool stuff. You can see the his awesome forehand even here.

This is the earliest footage of Ivan I know available and treat to watch. Enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXjsi5L0_jc

that's interesting b/c the ATP website says that lendl and panatta only played 3 times, all in Barcelona (1979, 1980, and 1981). this match does appear to be a davis cup match though since there are coaches on the sidelines. i wonder why the atp site doesn't have this match on record (it does have davis cup matches in players' records)?
i think it's because it was a zonal tie...
http://www.daviscup.com/teams/player.asp?player=10000792
nowadays you even have group I/II (not III, at least until recently) matches in players' activities but i guess it's not the case (not yet ?) for old results like this.

by the way, this makes me think about how was davis cup working before the group I/II/III (and now IV) system. does anybody know more about it ? you can see some surprising things in past DC results (cf this old thread):
i always supposed he didn't like so much the "team thing"... but i guess we will have some better explanations from some posters !

by the way, i was surprised to see that USA lost to mexico twice in 1975 !
(once in USA, once in mexico... with connors)
both countries weren't in the world group... but how was it working in that time ? (in this "america group", they were systematically playing 2 ties in each country ?)



coming back to lendl/panatta...... a double donut ? http://static.netvibes.com/modules/wall/smiley/donut.gifhttp://static.netvibes.com/modules/wall/smiley/donut.gif
even for a young lendl, it still surprises me ! http://www.sherv.net/cm/emo/simpsons/homer-thinking.gif
but he was going to generously give back many of them to numerous opponents during his long career... ;)

Datacipher
06-28-2009, 01:24 PM
"The US Open crowd didn't seem to like him, probably because he was facing McEnroe and Connors. "

That's one theory except the USO crowd couldn't stand Connors until later in his career, when he changed his behavior (and also started sucking up to the crowd). And they couldn't stand JMac throughout his career.

There was no particular animosity toward Lendl but he never cracked a smile and he simply didn't engage the crowds imagination like a Borg.

Indeed. There was more to it than many of the simplistic portrayals here. In fact, Lendl was not well liked in the locker-room because....quite simply, he was poorly socialized. Bizarre sense of humour, bullying of lesser players...basically, I believe he had some serious self-esteem issues, and he'd also overcompensate for that with arrogance. Not suprising given the environment he had to grow up. It took a long time for him to find his way out of that. Furthermore, he created a very antagonistic relationship with the press. Since, they didn't like him, it wasn't suprising that the stories about him were not too favorable. (IT WASN'T an "American" thing, as some simplistically portray here. The American media wasn't exactly kind to Mcenroe or Connors until later in their career..and other players, for example Borg, were hardly treated badly by the American media...in fact, all the players, as a whole, get worse treatment from some European media).

So, early on, you had a person who disliked the media and made no secret of it, looked and acted like a robot on court, except for displays of NEGATIVE emotion, choked in finals, had Mcenroe and Connors making fun of him, physically looked harsh, unpopular among the players, arrogant in the locker room...yes, he came across as a bit of a villain. Mostly, he was just a scared young man, trying to hide it behind a mask of sterness and a scowl.

Datacipher
06-28-2009, 01:27 PM
Lendl was very insecure when he was young. There was the culture shock, the language issue and he also grew up in a very strict household - the media didn't really grow fond of him.

Lendl was, however, always very intelligent and funny and gradually grew more comfortable, but didn't use these skills to endear himself to the media.

Yes, this was a big part of it.

FedFan_2009
06-28-2009, 01:38 PM
I think Lendl probably enjoyed playing that part of "the villain". He certainly didn't give a frak what anyone thought about him. 19 GS finals, 8 GS titles speak volumes.

pmerk34
06-28-2009, 02:03 PM
I think Lendl probably enjoyed playing that part of "the villain". He certainly didn't give a frak what anyone thought about him. 19 GS finals, 8 GS titles speak volumes.

And 5 masters.

FedFan_2009
06-28-2009, 02:05 PM
* 8 straight US Open finals.
* 10 straight Masters finals.
* made at least GS finals in all 4, only Agassi and Federer have done it since

pmerk34
06-28-2009, 02:08 PM
Indeed. There was more to it than many of the simplistic portrayals here. In fact, Lendl was not well liked in the locker-room because....quite simply, he was poorly socialized. Bizarre sense of humour, bullying of lesser players...basically, I believe he had some serious self-esteem issues, and he'd also overcompensate for that with arrogance. Not suprising given the environment he had to grow up. It took a long time for him to find his way out of that. Furthermore, he created a very antagonistic relationship with the press. Since, they didn't like him, it wasn't suprising that the stories about him were not too favorable. (IT WASN'T an "American" thing, as some simplistically portray here. The American media wasn't exactly kind to Mcenroe or Connors until later in their career..and other players, for example Borg, were hardly treated badly by the American media...in fact, all the players, as a whole, get worse treatment from some European media).

So, early on, you had a person who disliked the media and made no secret of it, looked and acted like a robot on court, except for displays of NEGATIVE emotion, choked in finals, had Mcenroe and Connors making fun of him, physically looked harsh, unpopular among the players, arrogant in the locker room...yes, he came across as a bit of a villain. Mostly, he was just a scared young man, trying to hide it behind a mask of sterness and a scowl.

Great post.

Don S
06-28-2009, 05:39 PM
When I think of Ivan Lendl, one word comes to mind - Sawdust! lol

David_86
06-29-2009, 12:47 AM
I can't remember Lendl ever refusing to shake an umpire's hand at the end of a match, no matter how much he was complaining during it, such as Australian Open 85 against Edberg.

Still, I wouldn't blame him if he did refuse in that case. That umpire loved the sound of his own voice. Even when he was talking one-on-one with Lendl he was using the microphone. And what kind of umpire uses phrases like "it was well long".

suwanee4712
06-29-2009, 06:42 AM
Problem was the the tennis and sporting press was dominated by a country, America, whose fear of anything with even the slightest connection to communism meant they couldn't write without unhealthy bias. Lendl was an easy target. They led people to believe that he was a communist, instead of coming from a country that had been invaded and annexed by Russia. They allowed simpletons like John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors to call him a communist and not challenge their ignorance. They allowed their 'America first, last and always' mentality to cloud their judgement of him as a player and as a person. Naturally enough, Lendl wouldn't cooperate with the press which meant he wasn't able to defend himself.

Funny thing is, Lendl was popular here in Australia whereas Connors and McEnroe weren't. No-one ever thought of Lendl as a warm kind of bloke or that he played an exciting game but no-one disliked him they way they did with Jimmy and John.

As an American that loves his country, I absolutely agree with this. I have collected tennis mags, books, and commentaries from other countries, and I have come to the conclusion that the American tennis media was horrible. It's shameful propaganda in some cases. The kind of unrealistic journalism that we had taught to expect to find in Pravda.

To hear even Chris Evert talk about Fed Cup 86 in Prague, it's so twisted. When you actually watch Martina play Hana, it does not unfold in the manner in which we were told that it did.

For one thing, Hana defied officials and risked serious trouble by introducing Martina by her name in her address in both Czech and English during the opening ceremonies. You didn't read about that in Tennis magazine or hear about that from American commentators. All you heard about was this USA vs. Communism build up for the entire week. In fact, what was the big news item in the American press about Hana that week? Cindy Schmerler, amongst others, wrote that Hana was jealous of the media attention that Martina was receiveing and decided to get married to gain attention. Unbelievable........

Though Hana says in her book that she was disappointed by the fairness of the crowd in their cheering, when you watch the match, the only times the Czechs do their national clapping cheer was in Hana's behalf when she was down break point at 5-6 in the first set and again midway through the 2nd when they were trying to cheer her back into the match.

The Czechs, as a team and as fans, were wonderful towards Martina, as well as Chris whom they showed a lot of affection for. Hana even made the comment that she was so glad that Chris had come to Prague. Because she hoped that they would gain a better understanding of each other. Not only did Martina thank Hana for her kindness, but Chris and Hana gained a new respect for one another based on Hana's actions that week. More than anything, the Czechs exuded the kind of fairness and appreciation without politics that our own media could not produce. When I read the shoddy job that people like Peter Bodo, Cindy Schmerler, et al did in covering that event, I'm actually embarrassed as an American. Because their work was worthy of the same kind of biased and propagandized inaccuracies that we often accused Czechs, Romanians, and Russians of doing.

It made me change some opinions that I had of Mandlikova, Lendl, and others from behind the Iron Curtain. These are people that they often baited, taking advantage of their lack of understanding of English, to get them to say things and then take them out of context. Because when someone like Hana played against Chris America, that made for great press.

That's not to excuse boorish behavior by Mandlikova, Lendl, and others that truly had a chip on their shoulder. But now I can look back and see why they sometimes had that chip. Why on Earth would they trust American media? They often assumed the worst, and with at least some good reason.

When you read European, Japanese, and Australian accounts of the exact same events, Hana comes out looking a lot more civil. And there's no surprise in why Hana chose Australia as the place where she wanted to take out citizenship. She was one of the 2 or 3 most popular non-Australian female tennis players of the 80's in that country. She was often villianized here. Though she and Lendl both behaved rather poorly at times. However, at some point, you see people simply giving others what they wish to see. But it's hard to accept when you see the same American media going out of their way to forgive Americans like Mac and Connors for what they did and said. There was a definite double standard to say the least.

Doulers
06-29-2009, 07:46 AM
i mean the guy is methodical, yes, as per old school baseliners should be. but on the boards i have seen words like EVIL used to this guy. why was this? is it because he came from a communist country at the time and fufilling the western world's stereotype of the soviet "robot" type athlete?

In my view, Lendl was very unfairly treated by the media, particularly in the United States. There was, of course, the fact that he was from a communist country at that time. American's probably likened him to the "Drago" character from Rocky IV. So being from a communist country did not help him to be accepted at all by Americans. He was also something of a victim of the era he played in because in the United States, fans love athletes with personality, flare, and "color" (e.g., McEnroe, Connors, Agassi). With American tennis players like that to support and cheer for, Lend's stoic character was never destined to be accepted well by Americans. You might remember the September 1986 Sports Illustrated cover that had a picture of Lendl and said "The Champion That Nobody Cares About." And that was right after Lendl won the US Open for the second consecutive time I think. However, I think that cover summed up his status in the eyes of American fans.

Here is a link to that cover: http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0906/tennis.alltime.mens.grand.slam.leaders/images/ivan-lendl.jpg

As another example, Tennis Channel keeps talking about and/or showing that clip of Michael Chang doing that dink serve to Lendl in the 1989 French Open. A recent Tennis magazine also had an article on that one match. Of course, Americans love it because it is about an American making a "fool" of Lendl. However, does anyone ever talk about when Lendl did the same thing to Mcenroe. Search lendl on google video and you should find a clip of him doing a similar dink serve to Mcenroe sometime in the early eighties and I believe McEnroe still has his wooden Dunlop.

Unfortunately, I don't think in the United States tennis professionals are judged enough on their merits at times. Lendl was one of my favorite players growing up in the eighties as a teenager. I also loved Mcenroe even though they were very different players and I think hated each other. However, I actually met Lendl once and got a chance to hit with him. He was a very nice guy. More importantly, I believe that if you had to pick one player who you could point to and say "he played a huge role in ushering in the modern era of tennis" it is Lendl. In the late seventies and early eighties, he ushered in the "power" game of tennis as he was one of the first top pros to use a graphite racquet and hit blistering groundstrokes and have a big serve. He would win virtually all the tour tournaments he played in except it took him a couple years to finally win his first slam. He was also one of the first to really bring off-court training to a different level (kind of like Martina did on the women's side). His conditioning was superior to everyone's. Prior to him, the game was not played quite the same way with pros still using wooden racquets and relying more on finesse and strategy to win points. He came out blasting which is much closer to what the pro level game is like now. It is unfortunate that he is not given enough credit for what he accomplished during his career and the significance of his place in the history of the game.

spiderman123
06-29-2009, 09:21 AM
I remember reading somewhere that when some player announced the birth of his daughter in the locker room, Lendl had asked him if he was not man enough to father a son.

Ivan Lendl has five children, all daughters.

David_86
06-29-2009, 10:21 AM
I'm pretty sure that Lendl's joke about daughters was made to his coach Tony Roche.

Datacipher
06-29-2009, 03:41 PM
In my view, Lendl was very unfairly treated by the media, particularly in the United States. There was, of course, the fact that he was from a communist country at that time. American's probably likened him to the "Drago" character from Rocky IV. So being from a communist country did not help him to be accepted at all by Americans. .

Hard to believe that people are so misguided as to think that anti-communism was a driving force among tennis fans of the era. Really quite laughable if you were there. Yes, "commie" was the call from all...oh brother...and oh, the early impression of Lendl was formed LONG before Rocky 4.


He was also something of a victim of the era he played in because in the United States, fans love athletes with personality, flare, and "color" (e.g., McEnroe, Connors, Agassi).

Yes. Like Borg. What a wild showman. Arthur Ashe, a friggin maniac! Stan Smith. Roscoe Tanner. Stefan Edberg, Tim Mayotte, Mats Wilander, Aaron Krickstein....crazy crazy times.... (love how the poster picks the 3 BY FAR most colorful americans....)



As another example, Tennis Channel keeps talking about and/or showing that clip of Michael Chang doing that dink serve to Lendl in the 1989 French Open. A recent Tennis magazine also had an article on that one match. Of course, Americans love it because it is about an American making a "fool" of Lendl. However, does anyone ever talk about when Lendl did the same thing to Mcenroe. Search lendl on google video and you should find a clip of him doing a similar dink serve to Mcenroe sometime in the early eighties and I believe McEnroe still has his wooden Dunlop.

This is so stupid, it doesn't really deserve reply. Underhanded serves have happened sporadically in history. THE REASON Chang's gets attention is because it was at a key moment in a GRAND SLAM, when a severe underdog who WOULD WIN THE TITLE, was using various strategies to stay in the match while cramping. Gee, that couldn't be why, could it. NO, IT'S BECAUSE AMERICANS WANTED TO MAKE A FOOL OF LENDL. YEP. THAT'S IT.

Lendl wasn't even unpopular in America by that time! There was great sympathy/support from many American journalists about Lendl's quest to win Wimbledon, many were rooting for him. There were calls to let Lendl play Davis Cup for the US. Watch Lendl play Boris at the USO and see how much support he was getting. This is what happens when you give a fool a few youtube clips and a few old articles and let him try to put the pieces together! ;-)



Unfortunately, I don't think in the United States tennis professionals are judged enough on their merits at times. .

HUH? Incoherent.


Lendl was one of my favorite players growing up in the eighties as a teenager. I also loved Mcenroe even though they were very different players and I think hated each other..

So you claim to have actually been there...and this is how much knowledge you have??


However, I actually met Lendl once and got a chance to hit with him. He was a very nice guy. .

AH.......!!!!!! Now the reasoning behind this inane post becomes clear...Lendl played dink ball with you on your birthday. That's nice, and obviously, a clear sign that he only was disliked because American media portrayed him as a commie.


More importantly, I believe that if you had to pick one player who you could point to and say "he played a huge role in ushering in the modern era of tennis" it is Lendl. In the late seventies and early eighties, he ushered in the "power" game of tennis as he was one of the first top pros to use a graphite racquet and hit blistering groundstrokes and have a big serve. He would win virtually all the tour tournaments he played in except it took him a couple years to finally win his first slam. He was also one of the first to really bring off-court training to a different level (kind of like Martina did on the women's side). His conditioning was superior to everyone's. Prior to him, the game was not played quite the same way with pros still using wooden racquets and relying more on finesse and strategy to win points. He came out blasting which is much closer to what the pro level game is like now. It is unfortunate that he is not given enough credit for what he accomplished during his career and the significance of his place in the history of the game.

First, early pioneer of power baseline tennis and fitness leader are BASIC well known and acknowledged facts. He does credit for them. They are irrelevent to this thread, it's not "more importantly" it's "totally unimportant" in context of this discussion. Thanks for sharing that insight....

David_86
06-29-2009, 03:46 PM
Does anyone know why the US crowd were so aggresive towards Lendl during the US84 SF against Cash, considering Cash was Australian?

They were even booing him during his post match on-court interview despite the fact he spent most of it complimenting Cash.

Arafel
06-29-2009, 04:06 PM
Does anyone know why the US crowd were so aggresive towards Lendl during the US84 SF against Cash, considering Cash was Australian?

They were even booing him during his post match on-court interview despite the fact he spent most of it complimenting Cash.

I don't think it was anything special. The New York crowd at the Open has historically, very enthusiastically, embraced the underdog in any match. I was at the Open in Armstrong Stadium in 82 the day Shriver upset Navratilova, and the mood was electric. Everyone wanted the favorite to fall. I remember the next year when Krickstein knocked off Gerulaitis it was much the same, even though Vitas was the hometown boy. The only favorites I remember the New York crowds really cheering were Connors and McEnroe, and Evert. Actually Borg too, until Bjorn faced Mac or Jimmy.

Anyway, Cash had made quite a run, taking the fourth set in a breaker, and then looked to maybe have the upset in the fifth, on what was the greatest Super Saturday ever, even though all the favorites won.

1st seed alldayy
06-29-2009, 05:43 PM
no of course not

1st seed alldayy
06-29-2009, 05:45 PM
hes a hero

1st seed alldayy
06-29-2009, 05:46 PM
he is definently not a bad guy
the only crime he did was be 1

krosero
06-29-2009, 06:32 PM
I can't remember Lendl ever refusing to shake an umpire's hand at the end of a match, no matter how much he was complaining during it, such as Australian Open 85 against Edberg. He wouldn't shake Richard Ings' hand after his loss to Michael Chang at the French.

And a few months earlier when he lost to McEnroe in Dallas the cameras show him walking to his chair without shaking Gerry Williams' hand (just saying, it's always possible he could have changed his mind and walked back).

In both matches he was given point penalties, he was angry.

David_86
06-30-2009, 01:14 AM
thanks for the info krosero

i thought it was too good to be true that he always shook the umpire's hand.

I think it's odd how people talk about how emotionless Lendl was on court. I've seen him arguing with the umpire plenty of times. I've never seen him insult an umpire, just rave about the injustice of it all.

roysid
06-30-2009, 02:37 AM
* 8 straight US Open finals.
* 10 straight Masters finals.
* made at least GS finals in all 4, only Agassi and Federer have done it since
Hmmm... Two unlikely players Jim Courier and Stefan Edberg had also done it i.e reached finals of all four.

pmerk34
06-30-2009, 04:19 AM
thanks for the info krosero

i thought it was too good to be true that he always shook the umpire's hand.

I think it's odd how people talk about how emotionless Lendl was on court. I've seen him arguing with the umpire plenty of times. I've never seen him insult an umpire, just rave about the injustice of it all.

That was part of the reason he was unpopular. Almost everytime he did show emotion on court it was negative.

Datacipher
06-30-2009, 02:05 PM
thanks for the info krosero

i thought it was too good to be true that he always shook the umpire's hand.

I think it's odd how people talk about how emotionless Lendl was on court. I've seen him arguing with the umpire plenty of times. I've never seen him insult an umpire, just rave about the injustice of it all.

They don't. I just finished saying he acted like a robot out there EXCEPT when showing NEGATIVE emotions. It made him more unlikeable than Robot Borg.

NLBwell
07-03-2009, 09:06 PM
I watched tennis closely through all the years Lendl played and never once heard him referred to as a communist by anyone in the media. Of the hundreds of tennis players I knew, not one was concerned that he was from a communist country. Stop the bashing.
Lots of guys from eastern Europe were well-liked by the media and other players. Wojtek Fibak, Miloslav Mercir, etc. (I got tired of them fawning over Mercir's beautiful game). I was always a Lendl fan since the first time I saw him play, but he did hit players intentionally in order to intimidate them - which didn't endear him to the players (of course, McEnroe and Connors hated each other at the time, too) and he didn't have much personality, so he wasn't a favorite of the press.

Tshooter
07-06-2009, 05:11 PM
"The only favorites I remember the New York crowds really cheering were Connors and McEnroe, and Evert."

We must have attended a different USO.

They weren't rooting for JMac. And the night crowd. They would get a few beers in them and purposefully try to get JMac to lose it.

Connors was not a USO fan favorite until some years into his career. The difference is Connors changed and so did the crowd toward him. JMac did not and neither did the crowd. The exception being very late in his career when he was supported simply for being around that long and being American. Figured we'd miss him when he was gone. Miss booing him.

rod99
07-12-2009, 03:19 PM
anybody watch the "Only at the US Open" special about lendl on the tennis channel? they showed highlights of the Pat Cash 1984 us open semifinal and focused a lot on the topspin lob he hit to save match point. however the lob that they showed on the show wasn't actually the one that saved match point. it was the lob at 6-5, 30-15 instead of 6-5, 40-30. pretty poor on the part of the show's producers.

David_86
07-13-2009, 12:46 AM
anybody watch the "Only at the US Open" special about lendl on the tennis channel? they showed highlights of the Pat Cash 1984 us open semifinal and focused a lot on the topspin lob he hit to save match point. however the lob that they showed on the show wasn't actually the one that saved match point. it was the lob at 6-5, 30-15 instead of 6-5, 40-30. pretty poor on the part of the show's producers.

That is a terrible mistake. The first lob was technically excellent, but the second was made on the run off what at first looked like a winning volley from Cash (some of the crowd had even started to celebrate)

rod99
07-13-2009, 03:47 AM
lendl must have been confused too b/c he said that cash hit a forehand volley crosscourt (which set up the first lob) instead of a backhand volley up the line (which set up the second lob).

lendledbergfan
07-14-2009, 06:17 AM
That is a terrible mistake. The first lob was technically excellent, but the second was made on the run off what at first looked like a winning volley from Cash (some of the crowd had even started to celebrate)

Even Pat Cash started to raise his arms, but stopped prematurely realizing that the ball was actually in! :)

hoodjem
07-14-2009, 06:41 AM
Lendl was very serious and scowled alot on court. This did not appeal to Americans.

pmerk34
07-14-2009, 07:12 AM
Lendl was very serious and scowled alot on court. This did not appeal to Americans.

or anyone else.

d-quik
07-15-2009, 06:26 PM
IT WASN'T an "American" thing, as some simplistically portray here. The American media wasn't exactly kind to Mcenroe or Connors until later in their career..and other players, for example Borg, were hardly treated badly by the American media.borg is from sweden

as in not part of the ussr

as in the usa has no reason to berate him

as in this is not the same situation with lendl

i put it out step by step so that your overtly americanized topic-side-stepping brain can understand

Datacipher
07-16-2009, 12:10 AM
borg is from sweden

as in not part of the ussr

as in the usa has no reason to berate him

as in this is not the same situation with lendl

i put it out step by step so that your overtly americanized topic-side-stepping brain can understand

What a nonsense post. Again, the reasons for Lendl's unpopularity were numerous. The number of fans who disliked him believing him to be a communist or part of the USSR were minimal. Indeed, political efforts were made to rush Lendl into US citizenship to play for the US were made, this was well known and publicized.

Incidently, Czecholslovakia was NOT part of the USSR. (oh brother....)

What is CLEAR in your last sentence is how biased and emotional you are about America. Thank you for displaying your ugly mindset.

PS. Lendl was HARDLY the first player from Czecholslovakia. Kodes, Slozil, Drobney, etc. Then there were others concurrent with Lendl, Mandlikova, Sukova, Mecir etc. All hated by Americans for being "commies" or from the "ussr", right? Give me a break.


PPS. Even more stunning, this ridiculous assertion is coming from a kid, who is learning to play tennis, asking basic questions about racquets, strings, and technique AND just saw Connors forehand in a clip 2 years ago.....UNBELIEVABLE.

FiveO
07-16-2009, 02:18 AM
"The only favorites I remember the New York crowds really cheering were Connors and McEnroe, and Evert."

We must have attended a different USO.

They weren't rooting for JMac. And the night crowd. They would get a few beers in them and purposefully try to get JMac to lose it.

Connors was not a USO fan favorite until some years into his career. The difference is Connors changed and so did the crowd toward him. JMac did not and neither did the crowd. The exception being very late in his career when he was supported simply for being around that long and being American. Figured we'd miss him when he was gone. Miss booing him.

Absolutely.

I go way back and when thinking of Connors I can't deny his undeniable tennis talent and admire him on that level but I can't get out of my mind the disdain I felt toward him as sportsmen and human being.

I vividly remember in 1973, yeah '73, at the Open in Forest Hills, grass, Grandstand Court (one of the best venues ever), R16 Connors v. Okker. Connors was NCAA Champ and he's facing a class guy in Tom Okker. Connors is solidly ahead and he starts wagging his finger at Okker, taunting him while leading. Uncomfortably more than a few times. I remember thinking he's real good but "what a pr*ck this guy is".

Flash forward to the '77 US Open Final Connors v. Vilas, the crowd, was so pro Vilas and anti-Connors I recall thinking everyone in the stadium hated this guy as much as I did. It was great a) because I loved Vilas's game and b) I loved seeing Connors rush off the court like punk he was.

That NY crowd and many after it treated Connors and JMc the same way.

Later the masses, especially the adult beverage consuming night session masses <gotta love night tennis in NY>, warmed to the guy. I never could not for his BS through his prime and not for that first impression v. Okker. And for the majority of that prime the majority in attendance, in NY at least were with me on that.

Back on topic, re: Lendl, I found the NY crowds at both the Open and MSG during the Masters, far less tolerant of far less from Ivan. If he walked toward the chair to question a call the crowd went French Open on him, with whistles and boos, while Connors and McEnroe could club a few baby seals on court before they really got on them.

But despite the few dissenting opinions in this thread part of it was the USa v. them attitude. I think that as a whole the crowds resented Lendl's dominance overall, while they might not have liked to root for Connors and McEnroe as individuals, they liked that America won. No, no one was yelling "commie" it was a projected or reflected coldness, a quick trigger to get on him, the dislike from journalists who painted a picture using adjectives associated with the other side of the Iron Curtain, and subtle things like Mc wearing his DC USA emblazoned sweat top at a lot of matches other than DC v. Ivan , pointing to who the American or rather the REAL American on court was. Another bit of Mc schtick I resented. And it was uniquely reserved for Lendl, it wasn't directed at the likes of Kodes, Metreveli, Fibak, Mecir; a) these guys weren't the physically imposing presence Lendl was, b) they smiled, c) they weren't "always" the overdog.

5

d-quik
07-16-2009, 10:47 AM
What a nonsense post. Again, the reasons for Lendl's unpopularity were numerous. The number of fans who disliked him believing him to be a communist or part of the USSR were minimal.very difficult to believeIndeed, political efforts were made to rush Lendl into US citizenship to play for the US were made, this was well known and publicized.political efforts has nothing to do with the american public. the 2nd american iraqi war was a "political effort" but doesn't demonstrate the views of the american public. we're not talking about what the GOVERNMENT did for/to lendl, we are talking about the public.Incidently, Czecholslovakia was NOT part of the USSR.you know outside the western world, the ussr coloquially refers to all areas behind the iron curtain which includes central asian countries (kazakhstan and the like, which the west agrees to) and eastern european countries (east germany and the like, which is disagreeable).What is CLEAR in your last sentence is how biased and emotional you are about America. Thank you for displaying your ugly mindset.uhh, maybe if americans were not so GENERALLY mindless about the outside world, this would not be the case.PS. Lendl was HARDLY the first player from Czecholslovakia. Kodes, Slozil, Drobney, etc. Then there were others concurrent with Lendl, Mandlikova, Sukova, Mecir etc. All hated by Americans for being "commies" or from the "ussr", right? Give me a break.nah, they were not hated because they didn't do as good as lendl. nice tryPPS. Even more stunning, this ridiculous assertion is coming from a kid, who is learning to play tennis, asking basic questions about racquets, strings, and technique AND just saw Connors forehand in a clip 2 years ago.....UNBELIEVABLE.um... what?

pmerk34
07-16-2009, 10:52 AM
very difficult to believepolitical efforts has nothing to do with the american public. the 2nd american iraqi war was a "political effort" but doesn't demonstrate the views of the american public. we're not talking about what the GOVERNMENT did for/to lendl, we are talking about the public.you know outside the western world, the ussr coloquially refers to all areas behind the iron curtain which includes central asian countries (kazakhstan and the like, which the west agrees to) and eastern european countries (east germany and the like, which is disagreeable).uhh, maybe if americans were not so GENERALLY mindless about the outside world, this would not be the case.nah, they were not hated because they didn't do as good as lendl. nice tryum... what?

Lendl hates communism.

d-quik
07-16-2009, 10:54 AM
i know, i never said otherwise

Datacipher
07-16-2009, 02:33 PM
uhh, maybe if americans were not so GENERALLY mindless about the outside world, this would not be the case.

Good. Thanks for showing your ugly jingoism again. Now you've displayed total ignorance about the subject matter, and a prejudice towards the public of an entire nation. People can take your opinion for what it's worth.

NLBwell
07-16-2009, 02:34 PM
A lot of hatred toward the U.S. from people who are either completely ignorant of anything about the US (and they claim people in the US don't know about other countries) or just spouting leftist anti-US propaganda for the fun of it.

Datacipher
07-16-2009, 02:49 PM
But despite the few dissenting opinions in this thread part of it was the USa v. them attitude. I think that as a whole the crowds resented Lendl's dominance overall, while they might not have liked to root for Connors and McEnroe as individuals, they liked that America won. No, no one was yelling "commie" it was a projected or reflected coldness, a quick trigger to get on him, the dislike from journalists who painted a picture using adjectives associated with the other side of the Iron Curtain, and subtle things like Mc wearing his DC USA emblazoned sweat top at a lot of matches other than DC v. Ivan , pointing to who the American or rather the REAL American on court was. Another bit of Mc schtick I resented. And it was uniquely reserved for Lendl, it wasn't directed at the likes of Kodes, Metreveli, Fibak, Mecir; a) these guys weren't the physically imposing presence Lendl was, b) they smiled, c) they weren't "always" the overdog.


However FiveO, as you note, most "commie" implications were at best, something implied with the Lendl persona. The media liked to play on this characterization, in large part because it made good drama and even moreso because Lendl gave them nothing else to work with. He developed an antagonistic relationship with them. The public saw him that way, again, because he gave them nothing else. The look, the sour demeanor...as I posted earlier, the only emotions he tended to show in those days were negative ones! eg. complaining about calls, opponents, glaring at fans, glaring at players. Fact of the matter is, Lendl, (I think originally as a defense mechanism) began to use that persona to try to intimidate. He was not above trying to bully players and umps, on and off the court. While he would not admit it, that persona did win him many matches.

What I completely and utterly disagree with is the notion that anti-communism or non-americanism was in any way central or the motivating factor in Lendl's bad guy image. Fact of the matter is, it was HIS demeanor that created that. It was the key factor. While any implied stereotypes may have made him the "perfect storm", I think saying otherwise is untrue and shortchanging fans at that time.

On a side note, I think Martina suffered more at the hands of anti-americanism, mainly because of Chrissie. Even then, let's face it, the LOOKS and the lesbianism were probably much bigger factors! Switch faces and bodies between the two, and I'm sure the popularity ratio would have been a bit different. In that sense, perhaps an even more primitive factor, but one, which has always been, and continues to be, a key factor.

In terms of what you mentioned on Mac and Connors. Connors did change, in that he learned to use the crowd. To tweak his image. He was always a manipulator, he was always contrived. In that sense, like a WWE wrestler, he just changed his act from heel to face. Using Mac(among others, and I think quite unfairly) as the greater evil! I actually preferred Mac. Mac was a guy who was genuinely trying, and genuinely would be embarrassed by his behavior after-the-fact, as he got older. He just had an out-of-control temper, that would burst out for various reasons in the heat of the moment. Connors? He calculated. An amazing player, and amazing champ, an amazing entertainer, but his act was pure schtick, pure scam.

pmerk34
07-16-2009, 04:01 PM
However FiveO, as you note, most "commie" implications were at best, something implied with the Lendl persona. The media liked to play on this characterization, in large part because it made good drama and even moreso because Lendl gave them nothing else to work with. He developed an antagonistic relationship with them. The public saw him that way, again, because he gave them nothing else. The look, the sour demeanor...as I posted earlier, the only emotions he tended to show in those days were negative ones! eg. complaining about calls, opponents, glaring at fans, glaring at players. Fact of the matter is, Lendl, (I think originally as a defense mechanism) began to use that persona to try to intimidate. He was not above trying to bully players and umps, on and off the court. While he would not admit it, that persona did win him many matches.

What I completely and utterly disagree with is the notion that anti-communism or non-americanism was in any way central or the motivating factor in Lendl's bad guy image. Fact of the matter is, it was HIS demeanor that created that. It was the key factor. While any implied stereotypes may have made him the "perfect storm", I think saying otherwise is untrue and shortchanging fans at that time.

On a side note, I think Martina suffered more at the hands of anti-americanism, mainly because of Chrissie. Even then, let's face it, the LOOKS and the lesbianism were probably much bigger factors! Switch faces and bodies between the two, and I'm sure the popularity ratio would have been a bit different. In that sense, perhaps an even more primitive factor, but one, which has always been, and continues to be, a key factor.

In terms of what you mentioned on Mac and Connors. Connors did change, in that he learned to use the crowd. To tweak his image. He was always a manipulator, he was always contrived. In that sense, like a WWE wrestler, he just changed his act from heel to face. Using Mac(among others, and I think quite unfairly) as the greater evil! I actually preferred Mac. Mac was a guy who was genuinely trying, and genuinely would be embarrassed by his behavior after-the-fact, as he got older. He just had an out-of-control temper, that would burst out for various reasons in the heat of the moment. Connors? He calculated. An amazing player, and amazing champ, an amazing entertainer, but his act was pure schtick, pure scam.

As McEnroe once said of Jimmy's "newfound" image among the fans - " I don't think I could ever be that phony."

pmerk34
07-16-2009, 04:05 PM
However FiveO, as you note, most "commie" implications were at best, something implied with the Lendl persona. The media liked to play on this characterization, in large part because it made good drama and even moreso because Lendl gave them nothing else to work with. He developed an antagonistic relationship with them. The public saw him that way, again, because he gave them nothing else. The look, the sour demeanor...as I posted earlier, the only emotions he tended to show in those days were negative ones! eg. complaining about calls, opponents, glaring at fans, glaring at players. Fact of the matter is, Lendl, (I think originally as a defense mechanism) began to use that persona to try to intimidate. He was not above trying to bully players and umps, on and off the court. While he would not admit it, that persona did win him many matches.

What I completely and utterly disagree with is the notion that anti-communism or non-americanism was in any way central or the motivating factor in Lendl's bad guy image. Fact of the matter is, it was HIS demeanor that created that. It was the key factor. While any implied stereotypes may have made him the "perfect storm", I think saying otherwise is untrue and shortchanging fans at that time.

On a side note, I think Martina suffered more at the hands of anti-americanism, mainly because of Chrissie. Even then, let's face it, the LOOKS and the lesbianism were probably much bigger factors! Switch faces and bodies between the two, and I'm sure the popularity ratio would have been a bit different. In that sense, perhaps an even more primitive factor, but one, which has always been, and continues to be, a key factor.

In terms of what you mentioned on Mac and Connors. Connors did change, in that he learned to use the crowd. To tweak his image. He was always a manipulator, he was always contrived. In that sense, like a WWE wrestler, he just changed his act from heel to face. Using Mac(among others, and I think quite unfairly) as the greater evil! I actually preferred Mac. Mac was a guy who was genuinely trying, and genuinely would be embarrassed by his behavior after-the-fact, as he got older. He just had an out-of-control temper, that would burst out for various reasons in the heat of the moment. Connors? He calculated. An amazing player, and amazing champ, an amazing entertainer, but his act was pure schtick, pure scam.

I think most of these "Lendl wasn't a bad guy" threads are by people who simply never saw him when he played.

I admit, like most people who post here, I am not old enough to remember 1979 when he first became a star. But I do remember 1985 onwards. All the negative things you said about him were true. I liked Lendl but let's not pretend he was a nice guy when he played. He wasn't.

FiveO
07-16-2009, 04:46 PM
However FiveO, as you note, most "commie" implications were at best, something implied with the Lendl persona. The media liked to play on this characterization, in large part because it made good drama and even moreso because Lendl gave them nothing else to work with. He developed an antagonistic relationship with them. The public saw him that way, again, because he gave them nothing else. The look, the sour demeanor...as I posted earlier, the only emotions he tended to show in those days were negative ones! eg. complaining about calls, opponents, glaring at fans, glaring at players. Fact of the matter is, Lendl, (I think originally as a defense mechanism) began to use that persona to try to intimidate. He was not above trying to bully players and umps, on and off the court. While he would not admit it, that persona did win him many matches.

What I completely and utterly disagree with is the notion that anti-communism or non-americanism was in any way central or the motivating factor in Lendl's bad guy image. Fact of the matter is, it was HIS demeanor that created that. It was the key factor. While any implied stereotypes may have made him the "perfect storm", I think saying otherwise is untrue and shortchanging fans at that time.

On a side note, I think Martina suffered more at the hands of anti-americanism, mainly because of Chrissie. Even then, let's face it, the LOOKS and the lesbianism were probably much bigger factors! Switch faces and bodies between the two, and I'm sure the popularity ratio would have been a bit different. In that sense, perhaps an even more primitive factor, but one, which has always been, and continues to be, a key factor.

In terms of what you mentioned on Mac and Connors. Connors did change, in that he learned to use the crowd. To tweak his image. He was always a manipulator, he was always contrived. In that sense, like a WWE wrestler, he just changed his act from heel to face. Using Mac(among others, and I think quite unfairly) as the greater evil! I actually preferred Mac. Mac was a guy who was genuinely trying, and genuinely would be embarrassed by his behavior after-the-fact, as he got older. He just had an out-of-control temper, that would burst out for various reasons in the heat of the moment. Connors? He calculated. An amazing player, and amazing champ, an amazing entertainer, but his act was pure schtick, pure scam.

Agree with everything here with a single but major caveat. McEnroe, who I prefered over Connors as well, albiet slightly and only as the lesser of to evils was just as calculating IMO. Those "honest" emotions never seemed to come out when on a roll. However even when playing well, and being outplayed, particularly when being outplayed by what he viewed as a lesser talent, he would find that emotion, generally direct at a non-combatant and for extended periods of time, in my mind tactically and with design, intent on disrupting the momentum of the opponent on his own roll. It wasn't about "the line call" it was about stopping the other guys momentum.

5

pmerk34
07-16-2009, 04:53 PM
Agree with everything here with a single but major caveat. McEnroe, who I prefered over Connors as well, albiet slightly and only as the lesser of to evils was just as calculating IMO. Those "honest" emotions never seemed to come out when on a roll. However even when playing well, and being outplayed, particularly when being outplayed by what he viewed as a lesser talent, he would find that emotion, generally direct at a non-combatant and for extended periods of time, in my mind tactically and with design, intent on disrupting the momentum of the opponent on his own roll. It wasn't about "the line call" it was about stopping the other guys momentum.

5

Many opponents have pointed that out. It's borderline cheating.

Another thing that irks about McEnroe is that during telecasts they only show his outburst from before about 1985. Everyone is laughing and having a great time. By McEnroe's own admission he never used profanity until about 1985. So they never play those less than humorous clips of Mac telling umps to go F---- themselves, or using the c word. or dropping 20 F bombs in about 60 secs like he did to a stunned Richard Ing in the 1987 US Open vs Zivojenivic.

marc45
07-16-2009, 07:17 PM
all the talk about america vs. lendl, but it was an american, sampras, who has always spoken well of lendl after some mentoring early on...of course pete favored the aussies more than mac or connors....and i don't know if anyone mentioned the si cover about lendl being the champion no one cares about, one of two harmful to tennis covers from si...the other sally jenkins the death of tennis cover.....of course it took them forever recently to give fed, and nadal, their due positively on the cover

Arafel
07-16-2009, 08:05 PM
Agree with everything here with a single but major caveat. McEnroe, who I prefered over Connors as well, albiet slightly and only as the lesser of to evils was just as calculating IMO. Those "honest" emotions never seemed to come out when on a roll. However even when playing well, and being outplayed, particularly when being outplayed by what he viewed as a lesser talent, he would find that emotion, generally direct at a non-combatant and for extended periods of time, in my mind tactically and with design, intent on disrupting the momentum of the opponent on his own roll. It wasn't about "the line call" it was about stopping the other guys momentum.

5

I preferred Connors to McEnroe, and I think the New York crowds did too, from what I remember of their semis in 1980 and 84. The crowd preferred Connors to Borg as well, in both the 76 and 78 finals. 77 was really the only year the New York crowd turned on Connors.

What you are saying about McEnroe being calculated however is something that Bill Scanlon goes on about at length in his book "Bad News for McEnroe." Most players on tour felt that McEnroe's "tortured artist" routine was pure fakery.

marc45
07-16-2009, 08:30 PM
do you recommend scanlon's book afafel?

Tshooter
07-16-2009, 11:24 PM
"It wasn't about "the line call" it was about stopping the other guys momentum."

Exactly. Guy crossed the line with this tactic not infrequently.

And while I would not minimize the younger Connors as one of the all time pri#cks, Connors did learn to play to the crowd and he did grow as a person.

Not so much JMac.

slice bh compliment
07-17-2009, 12:05 AM
Does anyone know why the US crowd were so aggresive towards Lendl during the US84 SF against Cash, considering Cash was Australian?

They were even booing him during his post match on-court interview despite the fact he spent most of it complimenting Cash.

I remember it well. We Americans love Aussies. They're our cousins -- like Canadians, only tan.

As mentioned here, Lendl was misunderstood. In a way, I think he liked the spoiler role he played so well against Mac and Jimmy.

I did not like his game as much as I liked Mac's.... but man, what a clutch player. Lendl was the truth. I only began to dislike him in 1984 when he started to beat Mac regularly.

The US Open final was a nice exception, though, as Mac dominated him for his last slam title.

I never really saw Lendl as a communist. He was way more pro-America than Mac, anyway.

As a commentator, he was not so good. But a smart guy and obviously one of the great champions of the pro era. In fact, you'd have to say he redefined what it means to be a PROFESSIONAL tennis player. The guy was a pro though and through.

That's not as exciting as the things Nasty, Vitas, Borg and Johnny did, is it?

Datacipher
07-17-2009, 01:44 AM
Many opponents have pointed that out. It's borderline cheating.

Another thing that irks about McEnroe is that during telecasts they only show his outburst from before about 1985. Everyone is laughing and having a great time. By McEnroe's own admission he never used profanity until about 1985. So they never play those less than humorous clips of Mac telling umps to go F---- themselves, or using the c word. or dropping 20 F bombs in about 60 secs like he did to a stunned Richard Ing in the 1987 US Open vs Zivojenivic.

Yes, FiveO and Pmerk, I know that the degree of Mcenroe's "calculating" is a source of many theories (as I alluded to) and debate.

When I said it came out for "various reasons" and mentioned it as a "defense mechanism", I said that because I think one of the reasons it came out when losing, was simply the stress of losing! Additionally, it became a learned habit, when stress started building up. A way to replace fear of losing with....RAGE.

I don't necessarily think Mcenroe consciously thought "hmm.....let's delay and go nuts here....that'll throw the guy off!". I do think, as happens for all of us, the anger at not playing well, tended to contribute to the blow ups, in addition, I certainly think on a subconscious level, Mac would be aware that:
1.it might make him play better(he admitted it did do this, early in his career)
2.it might break the other guy's concentration.

I'm even willing to concede he might have been conscious of #2 SOMETIMES, but, I found the sincerity of his tantrums and apologies VERY convincing most of the time. He's not that good an actor(in fact, he's pretty terrible! ;-)

I think when you look at Mac's career, you DO see examples, (though less well known) of him losing it during winning efforts....even against journeymen in early rounds, when he's up 2 sets and a break! (but again, he's better able to let it go then, because, he's winning so easily)

The AO default, also was indicator to me, of how out-of-control his rages could be. Many observers, felt that Mac was a serious favorite to have taken that slam.

In the end, I tend to believe that most of Mac's tantrums, were not motivated by a desire to stop the other guy's momentum, though I concede he may have been, at least subconsciously, aware of it. I think he also found, that it made HIM play better, by getting the adrenaline going.

None of that is to say, I think it was "fair" to the opponent. It certainly was not.

PS. On the subject of profanity Pmerk. I always remember an early round minor blowup at the USO, late in Mac's career. He was beating up on a journeyman but nevertheless, threw in some (if I recall, self-directed swearing). The ump called him on it, and Mac came storming to the chair, claiming he barely said it, and nobody could have heard it. The ump, leaned down and said "there's courtside microphones and the people in the corner could hear it...", upon which Mcenroe burst in, WAILING: "oh...what people?? The people in the corner??? That's my family!.....they understand that I curse every now and then!!!" You have to love that defense...

David_86
07-17-2009, 01:54 AM
I don't think McEnroe was totally out-of-control at the AO. In his autobiography (which, I admit, is hardly conclusive evidence) he does say that a new rule change caused him to miscalcuate how many strikes he had left. He also says that up until that point he always knew when to stop himself from going too far and getting defaulted.

Arafel
07-17-2009, 10:34 AM
do you recommend scanlon's book afafel?

Yes I do. It's a very intriguing read with a lot of fascinating observations on the pro tour.

pmerk34
07-17-2009, 10:39 AM
I don't think McEnroe was totally out-of-control at the AO. In his autobiography (which, I admit, is hardly conclusive evidence) he does say that a new rule change caused him to miscalcuate how many strikes he had left. He also says that up until that point he always knew when to stop himself from going too far and getting defaulted.

I think McEnroe would have won that slam. Mac was wrong in that he knew when not to cross a line because in the 1987 US Open he went totally berserk and Richard Ing let him off the hook because I think the guy was stunned at the ferocity and maniacal nature of the outburst. He should have been defaulted from that match. I remember watching it in amazement thinking oh man he;s gonna be thrown out of here. CBS went to a commercial break and I think when they retunred the mic picked up some of his gutter mouth.

dsa202
07-17-2009, 10:43 AM
Lendl said that Sampras didn't have the right tools to win a grand slam.

pmerk34
07-17-2009, 10:45 AM
Lendl said that Sampras didn't have the right tools to win a grand slam.

Sampras overpowered him in the 1990 USO,. an amazing display from a teenager.

So exciting for American tennis. We need another Champion!!!

David_86
07-17-2009, 12:01 PM
Lendl said that Sampras didn't have the right tools to win a grand slam.

I thought that was Wilander who said that about Sampras, after Sampras beat him at the 89 US Open.

I thought Sampras, when he was young, practiced at Lendl's home.

David_86
07-17-2009, 12:07 PM
I think McEnroe would have won that slam. Mac was wrong in that he knew when not to cross a line because in the 1987 US Open he went totally berserk and Richard Ing let him off the hook because I think the guy was stunned at the ferocity and maniacal nature of the outburst. He should have been defaulted from that match. I remember watching it in amazement thinking oh man he;s gonna be thrown out of here. CBS went to a commercial break and I think when they retunred the mic picked up some of his gutter mouth.

I disagree with you saying that McEnroe would have won that slam if he had not been defaulted. Obviously, the 5 1/2 years without a Slam is against him. He would also have had to go through Lendl and Edberg. Nothing's a certainty but I would favour both of them over McEnroe in 1990.

You can say the 1987 US Open was close to an isolated incident. Even Borg was close to being defaulted at the Masters one year. A couple of out-of-control outbursts are not an excuse for a career's worth of bad gamesmanship.

marc45
07-17-2009, 12:42 PM
Yes I do. It's a very intriguing read with a lot of fascinating observations on the pro tour.
thanks, and sorry for the misspelling arafel

Datacipher
07-17-2009, 10:38 PM
I don't think McEnroe was totally out-of-control at the AO. In his autobiography (which, I admit, is hardly conclusive evidence) he does say that a new rule change caused him to miscalcuate how many strikes he had left. He also says that up until that point he always knew when to stop himself from going too far and getting defaulted.

Mcenroe claimed that after the match, and I'm sure it was a factor, HOWEVER, the fact that he "forgot" the new rule, in itself shows his state of mind. Connors would never have gotten caught that way. The rule was new, but Mac WAS aware of it, in fact, he had known about it through it's development.

d-quik
07-19-2009, 07:37 AM
Good. Thanks for showing your ugly jingoism again. Now you've displayed total ignorance about the subject matter, and a prejudice towards the public of an entire nation. People can take your opinion for what it's worth.how else can bush get elected twice

NLBwell
07-19-2009, 07:37 PM
Worth saying again:
Good. Thanks for showing your ugly jingoism again. Now you've displayed total ignorance about the subject matter, and a prejudice towards the public of an entire nation. People can take your opinion for what it's worth.

dsa202
07-20-2009, 07:25 AM
I thought that was Wilander who said that about Sampras, after Sampras beat him at the 89 US Open.

I thought Sampras, when he was young, practiced at Lendl's home.

Yeah and based on those practice sessions Lendl formed his opinion. But Sampras was a late bloomer, meaning that he wasn't the best junior, but that also happens all the time.

d-quik
07-20-2009, 01:28 PM
Worth saying again:
Good. Thanks for showing your ugly jingoism again. Now you've displayed total ignorance about the subject matter, and a prejudice towards the public of an entire nation. People can take your opinion for what it's worth.still doesn't explain how bush was elected twice, when 70-80% (according to public intn'l polls) of the world disaproves, more than 50% of this great country known as the united states approves of this leader

thanks for showing your ugly close mindedness again. now you've displayed the total ignorance of your federal electoral system, and your nation has demonstrated total ignorance to the desires of the outside world. people can take your government's symbolic humanitarian efforts for what it's worth.

pmerk34
07-20-2009, 02:16 PM
still doesn't explain how bush was elected twice, when 70-80% (according to public intn'l polls) of the world disaproves, more than 50% of this great country known as the united states approves of this leader

thanks for showing your ugly close mindedness again. now you've displayed the total ignorance of your federal electoral system, and your nation has demonstrated total ignorance to the desires of the outside world. people can take your government's symbolic humanitarian efforts for what it's worth.

Take this elsewhere please

d-quik
07-21-2009, 02:33 PM
Take this elsewhere pleasethose who can not confront problems head on look the other way

pmerk34
07-21-2009, 02:37 PM
those who can not confront problems head on look the other way

There are other threads to argue politics.

hoodjem
07-22-2009, 05:16 AM
I know that Lendl hit a ball as hard as he could at McEnroe and also at Gerulaitis, during a match. He connected on both.

I think Lendl had a little bit of Nastase in him.

pmerk34
07-22-2009, 05:27 AM
I know that Lendl hit a ball as hard as he could at McEnroe and also at Gerulaitis, during a match. He connected on both.

I think Lendl had a little bit of Nastase in him.

Mac acted like a drama queen when Lendl hit him. Acted like he got shot.

suwanee4712
07-22-2009, 06:34 AM
I was watching Tennis Channel's "5 Greatest Chokes" the other day and former tour player Rodney Harmon had an interesting comment. He said that they were all cheering for Mac because they regarded Lendl as the bad guy from behind the Iron Curtain.

The fact that Lendl was from Czechoslovakia played a big part in how he was perceived here in the States. For those of us that collect magazines and articles from around the world, there is a noticeable difference in how Lendl and Mandlikova were covered here and the way they were covered in Europe, Australia, and Japan.

Both could be very rude. But what you often don't see behind their answers to questions posed by some American and British journalists is the questions they were being asked and the manner in which it was asked. Both could've used media specialists and image consultants, but I don't suppose they had a lot of those in their former nation back then.

I know that Advantage International helped Hana improve her image after 1984 Wimbledon. And frankly, she was so jaded and mistrustring of everyone that she needed it. When people make such a big deal about her comments about Chris that year, they take a lot of her answers out of context. In fact, the crap that Dennis Ralston and Betsy Nagelson fed Chris before that match was very self serving since they wanted to see Chris win.

But many times in both her case as well as Lendl's, their boorish behavior was as much about their self-defense mechanisms as it was about being rude. We almost never see everything. And back in the 80's, we didn't have internet and live press conferences. So all we got was from the angle of the people reporting it.

As an American, it's really embarrasing to see how poorly our media sometimes did their job.

pmerk34
07-22-2009, 06:41 AM
I was watching Tennis Channel's "5 Greatest Chokes" the other day and former tour player Rodney Harmon had an interesting comment. He said that they were all cheering for Mac because they regarded Lendl as the bad guy from behind the Iron Curtain.

The fact that Lendl was from Czechoslovakia played a big part in how he was perceived here in the States. For those of us that collect magazines and articles from around the world, there is a noticeable difference in how Lendl and Mandlikova were covered here and the way they were covered in Europe, Australia, and Japan.

Both could be very rude. But what you often don't see behind their answers to questions posed by some American and British journalists is the questions they were being asked and the manner in which it was asked. Both could've used media specialists and image consultants, but I don't suppose they had a lot of those in their former nation back then.

I know that Advantage International helped Hana improve her image after 1984 Wimbledon. And frankly, she was so jaded and mistrustring of everyone that she needed it. When people make such a big deal about her comments about Chris that year, they take a lot of her answers out of context. In fact, the crap that Dennis Ralston and Betsy Nagelson fed Chris before that match was very self serving since they wanted to see Chris win.

But many times in both her case as well as Lendl's, their boorish behavior was as much about their self-defense mechanisms as it was about being rude. We almost never see everything. And back in the 80's, we didn't have internet and live press conferences. So all we got was from the angle of the people reporting it.

As an American, it's really embarrasing to see how poorly our media sometimes did their job.

I don't think it's presses job at a press conference to determine the root of someones rude behavior or non answers. Lendl was asked questions and he gave his responses in the manner that he did.

suwanee4712
07-22-2009, 06:58 AM
I don't think it's presses job at a press conference to determine the root of someones rude behavior or non answers. Lendl was asked questions and he gave his responses in the manner that he did.

You're exactly right. But my point was, sometimes the problem WAS the press. You can take a press conference transcript and then go back and see how a question was answered in an article and tell that some journalists were very loose with the context of the answer.

Frankly, some people wrote articles in ways that their editors wanted them to in order to sell more copies. And then they were framed with ridiculous headlines that had almost nothing to do with what was said in the interview.

An example is Wimbledon 1984 when people are asking Hana about what she thought her chances were to win it. Even Bud Collins says in his commentary during NBC's coverage of Hana's win over Tanvier that if anyone is going to beat Martina, it's Hana and not Chris.

Fast forward to NBC's coverage of the final and Bud is falling all over himself to say that Hana shouldn't have talked about beating Martina in the final. Well, that was the question she was being asked, "Can you beat Martina again?" Obviously, she's not on Martina's side of the draw, so if she were to beat Martina it would have to be after beating Chris and getting to the final. If anyone is implying anything, it's the questioner. But that's not what sells papers.

Translation: "Hana looks past Chris and openly talks about beating Martina in the final."

I can see why people (particularly those whose English isn't that great) might mistrust the media and have a chip on their shoulder. Shoot, even Mac, Connros, Martina and Chris carried their grudges against certain journalists because they were either misquoted or they published info. they considered off the record. If they can do that to them, they can easily do it to Lendl and Mandlikova. Throw in the communist (which neither were) angle and it's like watching Rocky IV.

pmerk34
07-22-2009, 07:04 AM
You're exactly right. But my point was, sometimes the problem WAS the press. You can take a press conference transcript and then go back and see how a question was answered in an article and tell that some journalists were very loose with the context of the answer.

Frankly, some people wrote articles in ways that their editors wanted them to in order to sell more copies. And then they were framed with ridiculous headlines that had almost nothing to do with what was said in the interview.

An example is Wimbledon 1984 when people are asking Hana about what she thought her chances were to win it. Even Bud Collins says in his commentary during NBC's coverage of Hana's win over Tanvier that if anyone is going to beat Martina, it's Hana and not Chris.

Fast forward to NBC's coverage of the final and Bud is falling all over himself to say that Hana shouldn't have talked about beating Martina in the final. Well, that was the question she was being asked, "Can you beat Martina again?" Obviously, she's not on Martina's side of the draw, so if she were to beat Martina it would have to be after beating Chris and getting to the final. If anyone is implying anything, it's the questioner. But that's not what sells papers.

Translation: "Hana looks past Chris and openly talks about beating Martina in the final."

I can see why people (particularly those whose English isn't that great) might mistrust the media and have a chip on their shoulder. Shoot, even Mac, Connros, Martina and Chris carried their grudges against certain journalists because they were either misquoted or they published info. they considered off the record. If they can do that to them, they can easily do it to Lendl and Mandlikova. Throw in the communist (which neither were) angle and it's like watching Rocky IV.

Ok, but the press didn't just do that to Eastern Bloc players they are always trying to get a quote or story.

Lendl started playing well before Rocky IV came out.

Borgforever
07-22-2009, 07:06 AM
How very true Suwanee4712... Great posts...

suwanee4712
07-22-2009, 07:48 AM
Ok, but the press didn't just do that to Eastern Bloc players they are always trying to get a quote or story.

Lendl started playing well before Rocky IV came out.


Please don't take this as an excuse for how Hana and Ivan sometimes were. They were *****ly and rude sometimes without provocation. However, sometimes they could be pleasant and accomodating like anyone else.

But the press does have a lot of influence over how we think. Even more so in the 80's when we were so much more dependent on them for info. Sometimes they didn't do a good job, and more so when it came to certain players from certain countries. That's really the only point that I'm trying to make.

slice bh compliment
07-22-2009, 09:57 AM
... story.

Lendl started playing well before Rocky IV came out.

Yeah, Lendl was a force in tour events about two years before the movie came out.
At the time, as a junior tennis player and a Rocky fan, I just assumed Ivan Drago was named after Ivan Lendl....or maybe Ivan the Terrible.

pmerk34
07-22-2009, 10:15 AM
Yeah, Lendl was a force in tour events about two years before the movie came out.
At the time, as a junior tennis player and a Rocky fan, I just assumed Ivan Drago was named after Ivan Lendl....or maybe Ivan the Terrible.

Wrong. Lendl was a star from 1979 on. The absurd notion that somehow Rocky IV made fans not like Lendl is ridiculous.

suwanee4712
07-22-2009, 01:58 PM
Wrong. Lendl was a star from 1979 on. The absurd notion that somehow Rocky IV made fans not like Lendl is ridiculous.

Who said that?

Datacipher
07-22-2009, 02:59 PM
Who said that?

It has been alluded to a few times throughout the thread. As far back as the 3rd page, I pointed out that Lendl's image had already been formed well before the movie came out.

I agree that the press has power to paint people a certain way. As I said, Lendl's open antagonism with the press didn't help his cause at all. I doubt very much that an anti-communism angle held much sway with the press in the way they portrayed him, though I certainly said that might have been a cheap angle for some. In any case, if the press portrayed Lendl as negative, and a "bad" guy, he was definitely a cooperative participant in that (in that he did reinforced it with his behavior and attitude). 0

Certainly to point at somebody like Bud Collins as being personally interested in painting a player a certain way due to their nationality does not ring true to me. Collins is actually a pretty cosmopolitan guy who has always love TENNIS itself first and foremost. I recall people once accusing him of cheering for an American in a match. Collins, candidly admitted he was guilty of it in that one particular instance. He's always been a very honest and forgiving guy.

Anyhow, this has been gone over ad nauseum now.

suwanee4712
07-22-2009, 08:33 PM
It has been alluded to a few times throughout the thread. As far back as the 3rd page, I pointed out that Lendl's image had already been formed well before the movie came out.

I agree that the press has power to paint people a certain way. As I said, Lendl's open antagonism with the press didn't help his cause at all. I doubt very much that an anti-communism angle held much sway with the press in the way they portrayed him, though I certainly said that might have been a cheap angle for some. In any case, if the press portrayed Lendl as negative, and a "bad" guy, he was definitely a cooperative participant in that (in that he did reinforced it with his behavior and attitude). 0

Certainly to point at somebody like Bud Collins as being personally interested in painting a player a certain way due to their nationality does not ring true to me. Collins is actually a pretty cosmopolitan guy who has always love TENNIS itself first and foremost. I recall people once accusing him of cheering for an American in a match. Collins, candidly admitted he was guilty of it in that one particular instance. He's always been a very honest and forgiving guy.

Anyhow, this has been gone over ad nauseum now.


I would definitely not agree that Rocky IV had anything to do with how people felt about Lendl. I think how some felt about Ivan was similar in how lots of movies in the 80's involving "us against them" did so well though. Which is the angle that I think some editors were trying to go for.

Rocky IV, World War III, The Day After, Red Dawn, and Amerika were all great movies to watch. But that had nothing to do with the Czechs, even though the average American probably linked them to all of that. I've always read and have been told that every day, average Czechs despised the Soviets because of the invasion in 1968. Martina said in her book that she was always extra motivated against Soviet players. And Hana said that even though Russian was compusory in Czech schools that she refused to speak it when the jr. national team went to Moscow. She also talked about how the country celebrated their hockey wins over the Soviet Union.

As far as Bud goes, I love Bud. I used him in my example because he was like a lot of other people in thinking that Chris was slipping in 1984, but then ducked for cover when Chris emphatically proved him and half the tennis world wrong. Chris had just been blown out in Paris and on Florida clay, while Hana had won 5 tournaments, beaten Martina once, and took her to 3 sets in their other 2 matches. He and many other prognasticators were picking Hana over Chris, as were a lot of the other players in the locker room. But in his admonishment of Hana, he conveniently left out what he himself had said about it all just one week earlier.

Datacipher
07-22-2009, 11:22 PM
I would definitely not agree that Rocky IV had anything to do with how people felt about Lendl. I think how some felt about Ivan was similar in how lots of movies in the 80's involving "us against them" did so well though. Which is the angle that I think some editors were trying to go for.

Rocky IV, World War III, The Day After, Red Dawn, and Amerika were all great movies to watch. But that had nothing to do with the Czechs, even though the average American probably linked them to all of that. I've always read and have been told that every day, average Czechs despised the Soviets because of the invasion in 1968. Martina said in her book that she was always extra motivated against Soviet players. And Hana said that even though Russian was compusory in Czech schools that she refused to speak it when the jr. national team went to Moscow. She also talked about how the country celebrated their hockey wins over the Soviet Union.

As far as Bud goes, I love Bud. I used him in my example because he was like a lot of other people in thinking that Chris was slipping in 1984, but then ducked for cover when Chris emphatically proved him and half the tennis world wrong. Chris had just been blown out in Paris and on Florida clay, while Hana had won 5 tournaments, beaten Martina once, and took her to 3 sets in their other 2 matches. He and many other prognasticators were picking Hana over Chris, as were a lot of the other players in the locker room. But in his admonishment of Hana, he conveniently left out what he himself had said about it all just one week earlier.

Fair enough.l

slice bh compliment
07-23-2009, 03:53 AM
...Lendl was a star from 1979 on....

1979? That's pretty generous of you. Lendl deserves that, though. Well done.
I was around back then, and had heard of him...and seen him at the Open. But to call him 'a STAR', I'd go with 1981 or maybe 1980.

In 1981 I think he set an earnings record of some sort.

But of course, no slams until 1984.

pmerk34
07-23-2009, 04:03 AM
1979? That's pretty generous of you. Lendl deserves that, though. Well done.
I was around back then, and had heard of him...and seen him at the Open. But to call him 'a STAR', I'd go with 1981 or maybe 1980.

In 1981 I think he set an earnings record of some sort.

But of course, no slams until 1984.

You are correct. I should have said rising star in 1979. In 1980 he won around 7 or so titles and finished in the top 10. He was star at that point.

Slam counting wasn't important back then. It's a new somewhat stupid development. Being number one is what mattered.

hoodjem
07-23-2009, 04:59 AM
Slam counting wasn't important back then. It's a new somewhat stupid development. Being number one is what mattered.

Yea, I wish the Fed-worshippers and Sampras-adulators would take note.

pmerk34
07-23-2009, 05:16 AM
Yea, I wish the Fed-worshippers and Sampras-adulators would take note.

Fed has been much more than slams. Pete - less so

FiveO
07-24-2009, 05:00 AM
Wrong. Lendl was a star from 1979 on. The absurd notion that somehow Rocky IV made fans not like Lendl is ridiculous.

I believe that I was the first to reference Rock IV in this thread and I think my point has been lost as the discussion proceeded.

My point was never that Rocky IV "made" fans dislike Lendl. It was evidence of a general and misguided American mindset toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries. After years of "brinksmanship" during the Cold War, a generation of Americans brought up with a "duck and cover" conditioned response, the only publicly acknowledged "battles" fought were at the United Nations and sport.

Nationalism ebbed and flowed but the USSR and satellite states were viewed by most Americans as the enemy. Sport, particularly Olympic sport was the only venue, where the USA and USSR were pitted against one another in open conflict. People waited for those meetings to prove which country or which system of government was "superior" and if sporting results could yield some indication of how things would go if, heaven forbid, the Cold War were to suddenly go "hot", instead of just acknowledging that there would be no winner should that happen.

Then at even those sports venues, there were contraversies, the 1972 USSR v. USA debacle, which caused more Americans to blame the USSR team than the officials who made a series of botched calls in succession. The "Miracle on Ice" in 1980 followed later that year by Pres. Jimmy Carter's heading a US-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games as protest to the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan. While there has always been nationalism present in the Games, politics and sport during this time had become intertwined.

The Soviet Bloc was viewed as the enemy by Americans in this time the line separation politics and sport was all but erased.

Rock IV was NOT WHY many people disliked Lendl. The climate of the times was why Stallone and Rocky IV's other creators chose a patriotic theme, a Soviet antagonist, why Ivan Drago was portrayed as a bully who ostensibly murders the then affable American Apollo Creed in the ring, and why that struck a chord with Americans in general then. The FACT is that many Americans familiar with tennis and/or Lendl, who was here prior to the movie coming out, immediately drew comparisons between him and the Ivan Drago character.



5

pmerk34
07-24-2009, 05:27 AM
I believe that I was the first to reference Rock IV in this thread and I think my point has been lost as the discussion proceeded.

My point was never that Rocky IV "made" fans dislike Lendl. It was evidence of a general and misguided American mindset toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries. After years of "brinksmanship" during the Cold War, a generation of Americans brought up with a "duck and cover" conditioned response, the only publicly acknowledged "battles" fought were at the United Nations and sport.

Nationalism ebbed and flowed but the USSR and satellite states were viewed by most Americans as the enemy. Sport, particularly Olympic sport was the only venue, where the USA and USSR were pitted against one another in open conflict. People waited for those meetings to prove which country or which system of government was "superior" and if sporting results could yield some indication of how things would go if, heaven forbid, the Cold War were to suddenly go "hot", instead of just acknowledging that there would be no winner should that happen.

Then at even those sports venues, there were contraversies, the 1972 USSR v. USA debacle, which caused more Americans to blame the USSR team than the officials who made a series of botched calls in succession. The "Miracle on Ice" in 1980 followed later that year by Pres. Jimmy Carter's heading a US-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games as protest to the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan. While there has always been nationalism present in the Games, politics and sport during this time had become intertwined.

The Soviet Bloc was viewed as the enemy by Americans in this time the line separation politics and sport was all but erased.

Rock IV was NOT WHY many people disliked Lendl. The climate of the times was why Stallone and Rocky IV's other creators chose a patriotic theme, a Soviet antagonist, why Ivan Drago was portrayed as a bully who ostensibly murders the then affable American Apollo Creed in the ring, and why that struck a chord with Americans in general then. The FACT is that many Americans familiar with tennis and/or Lendl, who was here prior to the movie coming out, immediately drew comparisons between him and the Ivan Drago character.





Lendl hates communism - pity you seem to think it was ok. If you want to have a discussion email me.

krosero
07-24-2009, 05:32 AM
Lendl hates communism - pity you seem to think it was ok.And where is there even the slightest suggestion, in that post, that communism is okay?

FiveO
07-24-2009, 05:38 AM
And where is there even the slightest suggestion, in that post, that communism is okay?

Thanks krosero.

5

pmerk34
07-24-2009, 05:45 AM
And where is there even the slightest suggestion, in that post, that communism is okay?

His whole post.

FiveO
07-24-2009, 05:58 AM
Lendl hates communism - pity you seem to think it was ok. If you want to have a discussion email me.

pmerk,

I don't know if I haven't explained my position well enough or you're simply trying NOT to get it, but FYI, I'm of Lithuanian/Czech and Cuban lineage. I'm not labeling Lendl a communist or a "Bear" hugger. I was not one who fell into that stereotyping mindset. Not the way I was brought up. In fact, just recently, my dad and I were reminiscing about the first time we saw Lendl play in person, at the Open in a early day match in a nearly empty Louie Armstrong stadium and how wowed we were as to how he was able to simply pass his opponent baseline to baseline regularly, with higher frequency than a Connors ever could. Awesome. He was and is a tennis player to me. In fact, while not my favorite (as I identified more with true all-courters and s&v stylists), I rooted for him against his main antagonists in the form of Connors and McEnroe. You've got something stuck in your craw. You've simply picked the wrong guy to chew on that, with me.

5

pmerk34
07-24-2009, 06:05 AM
pmerk,

I don't know if I haven't explained my position well enough or you're simply trying NOT to get it, but FYI, I'm of Lithuanian/Czech and Cuban lineage. I'm not labeling Lendl a communist or a "Bear" hugger. I was not one who fell into that stereotyping mindset. Not the way I was brought up. In fact, just recently, my dad and I were reminiscing about the first time we saw Lendl play in person, at the Open in a early day match in a nearly empty Louie Armstrong stadium and how wowed we were as to how he was able to simply pass his opponent baseline to baseline regularly, with higher frequency than a Connors ever could. Awesome. He was and is a tennis player to me. In fact, while not my favorite (as I identified more with true all-courters and s&v stylists), I rooted for him against his main antagonists in the form of Connors and McEnroe. You've got something stuck in your craw. You've simply picked the wrong guy to chew on that, with me.

5

Ok, I liked Lend too. I just think your premise is off base.

dsa202
07-30-2009, 10:13 AM
Okey -- I've talked to Ivan a few times and he's very easy going and has great (if pitch-black) sense of humor.

Borg has only good things to say about Ivan and don't blame him for some mistakes he made. He didn't know a lot (coming from a world very different from the pro tennis-scene) and met with a lot of biased and unfair hostility which had nothing to do with him as person. His reactions sometimes had good reasons. I won't detail some of the things I heard.

Remember Ivan had Tony Roche as coach, and Tony's a swell, easy-going fella and he wouldn't stayed with Ivan if he was that "cold-mean-grey-boring-type" that media latched on to from the start. Media loves mania, hysterics in search of selling copy and more often than not act as the demagogue...

That doesn't mean he's perfect -- who is? I don't know any who is...

Ivan also has a very healthy disinterest for popularity. FiveO's comments on this are -- as always -- dead on.


Stop lying you never spoke with Lendl.

JoelDali
08-04-2009, 01:12 PM
One of the most amazing tennis tricks I ever saw was at Indian Wells when I was 12 back in 1982. My dad and I were watching Lendl train/practice and he literally touch-caught a ball with his raquet that was going full force. The guy had amazing touch for a historially solid baseliner.

I just remember looking up at my dad going, wow, did you just see that MF catch that ball going 80mph.

kiki
01-07-2012, 02:49 PM
If you aren´t european it is very hard to notice or understand how eastern europeans have been always caught deffensively, because they have been ******d by either germans or russians.

But, if you know the day to day people in Prague,Budapest or Varsaw, you could understand how they would mistrust any western press in the same way they mistrussed the Soviets.Nastase,Fibak,Kodes,Navratilova,Mandlikova and Lendl all of them hated much more the Russians - and Germans- than the americans, much less western europeans ( where they really belonged) or aussies ( which is a far more open minded that the US)

Nadal_Power
01-07-2012, 03:45 PM
If you aren´t european it is very hard to notice or understand how eastern europeans have been always caught deffensively, because they have been ******d by either germans or russians.

But, if you know the day to day people in Prague,Budapest or Varsaw, you could understand how they would mistrust any western press in the same way they mistrussed the Soviets.Nastase,Fibak,Kodes,Navratilova,Mandlikova and Lendl all of them hated much more the Russians - and Germans- than the americans, much less western europeans ( where they really belonged) or aussies ( which is a far more open minded that the US)

When F1 first went to Hungary in 1986. team crews brought everything, from water to toilet paper, cause they didn't know what to expect behind Iron Curtain

With Ivan it couldn't been much different, and he wasn't helping with his weird humor, house behind walls and trained guard dogs. It wasn't easy for him, that's for sure.. after 3rd US Open title he was asked about how many more he needs to win to become crowd favorite. In his style he said ''15 all in all, so 12 to go''

When Miloslav Mecir won 1987 Key Biscayne there was story how he really doesn't feel comfortable in USA and that he would rather like to be at home in Czechoslovakia, fishing

hoodjem
01-08-2012, 07:07 AM
By all accounts, Lendl does have a "wicked" sense of humor. He very much likes to play practical jokes on his "friends."




(And, for the record, I have never spoken with him.)

Maui19
01-08-2012, 12:31 PM
Back in the day, Lendl was a complete a-hole. He was rude to people, awful to the press and a jerk to other players. Sports Illustrated once had a cover story with a picture of Lendl with the title: "The champion no one cares about." That is pretty a pretty remarkable comment when you think about it.

Clearly he has mellowed with age, and now people are revising history to make him seem more palatable.

Nadal_Power
01-08-2012, 12:47 PM
Back in the day, Lendl was a complete a-hole. He was rude to people, awful to the press and a jerk to other players. Sports Illustrated once had a cover story with a picture of Lendl with the title: "The champion no one cares about." That is pretty a pretty remarkable comment when you think about it.

Clearly he has mellowed with age, and now people are revising history to make him seem more palatable.

After winning US Open 1986!! That article was pure ****, and cover was inadmissible

Americans were very frustrated at that time, with no player in Wimbledon 1/2 for the first time since 1970. and only one player in 1/4 of US Open, for the first time since 1966. That was not Ivan's guilt by any means

gavna
01-08-2012, 01:37 PM
After winning US Open 1986!! That article was pure ****, and cover was inadmissible

Americans were very frustrated at that time, with no player in Wimbledon 1/2 for the first time since 1970. and only one player in 1/4 of US Open, for the first time since 1966. That was not Ivan's guilt by any means

No it wasn't. The main point of the article (by Curry Kirkpatrick) was how when Lendl was on court the stands would empty and during the very dull final people were leaving the arena and the famous (infamous) shot of Ashe reading the Sunday NY Times. Lendl WAS dull and his pretty lousy reputation with the press and obvious distrust of them didn't help. In Mid 1986 no one flocked to see Lendl play like they would to see a Noah, JMac, Connors........

Frank Silbermann
01-08-2012, 05:40 PM
I always preferred to watch whichever player had a stroke from which I wanted to learn. I didn't use a two-handed backhand (nor one with two fists -- not quite sure what the difference is), and Connors had a weird bunch-fingered forehand grip, so I got quite sick of always seeing him vs. whomever in just about every televised match in 1975. (TV typically would rarely show anything but the final, and that year Connors was usually in it.) I didn't like to watch Borg, for similar reasons. I liked McEnroe on grass, because everybody played serve and volley and I could see his topspin backhand just about every time he returned serve. I liked watching Vilas on clay, again, so I could see his topspin backhand.

I liked watching Lendl, because he had a great forehand that didn't violate the rules of technique too badly, and because he was _aggressive_ from the baseline (he didn't just mess around waiting to see who would hit the first short ball).

I didn't care what nationality players were, because I didn't think it was relevant to my own improvement. I didn't much care about players' personalities, because I wasn't planning to spend time with them.

Eventually, I stopped watching TV tennis completely. In most tournaments we'd see a close-up of the server until just before ball contact, and then the station would switch to the helicopter camera and it just looked like two people playing Pong (an early video game). It seemed like only Wimbledon actually hand cameras anywhere near ground level.

I never understood other spectators' concern about players having dull personalities. To me, that was like worrying about whether a lap-dancer could hit a good backhand volley.

Lsmkenpo
01-08-2012, 05:56 PM
During an interview, rapper Snoop Dogg was asked which sport people would be surprised to know he liked.

He replied: "Tennis. I used to like Ivan Lendl. He was sharp. An old schooler. Make it happen and roll out. Now I like Venus and Serena, but Ivan was the truth." http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/3725045.stm

pmerk34
01-08-2012, 08:03 PM
Back in the day, Lendl was a complete a-hole. He was rude to people, awful to the press and a jerk to other players. Sports Illustrated once had a cover story with a picture of Lendl with the title: "The champion no one cares about." That is pretty a pretty remarkable comment when you think about it.

Clearly he has mellowed with age, and now people are revising history to make him seem more palatable.

100% correct and very emotion he ever showed on court seemed to be a negative complaint about something -everything.

pc1
01-09-2012, 06:52 AM
No it wasn't. The main point of the article (by Curry Kirkpatrick) was how when Lendl was on court the stands would empty and during the very dull final people were leaving the arena and the famous (infamous) shot of Ashe reading the Sunday NY Times. Lendl WAS dull and his pretty lousy reputation with the press and obvious distrust of them didn't help. In Mid 1986 no one flocked to see Lendl play like they would to see a Noah, JMac, Connors........

I enjoyed Lendl's play and I liked his strokes and overall game. Maybe it's different tastes but I enjoy matches like the 1988 US Open final between Lendl and Wilander which had long rallies, different variety of spins and angles and Wilander approaching the net so often.

And I didn't think his game was dull.

slice bh compliment
01-09-2012, 07:05 AM
During an interview, rapper Snoop Dogg was asked which sport people would be surprised to know he liked.

He replied: "Tennis. I used to like Ivan Lendl. He was sharp. An old schooler. Make it happen and roll out. Now I like Venus and Serena, but Ivan was the truth." http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/3725045.stm

Yes, there you have it. Done. The truth. Snoop Dogg knows the game well.
Wait until you guys get Snoop's opinion on polyester strings, 10u tennis, the Mahut/Isner match and doping in tennis. The truth!

...
And I didn't think his game was dull.

Good post. What could be dull about a lot of power, great movement, a big serve, running backhand passes and a massive forehand? Sure, Lendl was a little stiff-looking. He was no Cash, Edberg or Mac at net. But, what a great player.

the green god
01-09-2012, 09:10 AM
Considered a ***** by almost all the players, and also earned their and fans disdain for being a tanker and quitter. Throw in being from a communist country(Reagan era jingoism) that time in history, there was not a lot to like.

hoodjem
01-09-2012, 09:41 AM
After winning US Open 1986!! That article was pure ****, and cover was inadmissible I disagree. It had nothing to do with America not having a native-son champion, and everything to do with Lendl's personality, or lack. Lendl certainly did not play to the crowd: he was dour, serious, frowning, focused on his game, all-business, and machine-like.



"inadmissible"?
Perhaps you mean inexcusable or unacceptable?

slice bh compliment
01-09-2012, 10:21 AM
Considered a ***** by almost all the players, and also earned their and fans disdain for being a tanker and quitter. Throw in being from a communist country(Reagan era jingoism) that time in history, there was not a lot to like.

Of course, i was talking about his tennis.
The tanking went away after his first few years on the circuit.
The communist thing....hahaha, I guess the casual fan did not know that Lendl is a capitalist who loves the US so much he settled here.

bluetrain4
01-09-2012, 12:31 PM
As far as i remember, he was certainly disliked by a segment of fans (especially in the U.S), and he was presented as robot-like, icy, and maybe lacking a bit of personality (at least personality that he willfully showed to the fans), but, no, he wasn't really considered a "bad" guy (bad locker room reputation, bad sportsmanship, gamesmanship, extraordinarily abusive towards umps and opponents) as I remember.

As others have pointed out, at least in the U.S., he was often squaring off against U.S. players, so fans weren't on his side.

chrischris
01-09-2012, 02:44 PM
In short , it takes 2 to tango.

mental midget
01-09-2012, 04:59 PM
that lendl and edberg get along really well says a lot about the real ivan. or, perhaps, the real edberg. either way, he definitely seems to be a great guy at this stage in his life, at least

slice bh compliment
01-09-2012, 05:44 PM
...
I just remember looking up at my dad going, wow, did you just see that MF catch that ball going 80mph.

Yeah, Joel, I saw that, too. I was sitting right by you and your family.
Young Joel: "Wow, daddy, did you just see that MF catch that 80mph ball?"
Mr. Dali: "Hahahha, ni99a please, I thought I dreamed that shiii, he a bad mother-"
Mrs. Dali: "Shut yo' mouf"
Joel and his dad: "We just talkin'bout Lendl!"

Yep, I was right behind you guys -- the unshaven dude with epic hair, wearing a v-neck, a houndstooth porkpie and thick black glasses drinking a PBR.

EDIT:
Oh, and the above dialogue is a reference to a blaxploitation film from the very early 1970s.

Mick
01-09-2012, 07:52 PM
bud collins gave lendl a scary nickname, "the ostrava ghost" and mcenroe called him a "scary robot"

PrinceMoron
01-09-2012, 11:12 PM
I thought the reason he did not smile much was because of the poor dental work. Clearly had some work done now.

Arvid
01-09-2012, 11:12 PM
Lendl is the only player i have ever seen win a tournament and not even raising his arms or show any particular emotion. To me its hilarious for one thing, but secondly this guy didnt suck up for anybody, he only really cared for the big titles, and so he wasnt gone stand there and pretend that he was over joyed about winning a smaller tournament. It makes him very unique i think. Dont know if this is true but supposedly he and Edberg decided to play a final of an atp tournament in best of 3 sets instead of 5 just so they could have time to go and play golf afterwards....

Sentinel
01-10-2012, 04:58 AM
I thought the reason he did not smile much was because of the poor dental work. Clearly had some work done now.
Ah so there's one more common thing between ivan and andy :)

slice bh compliment
01-10-2012, 03:57 PM
I am waiting for Snoop Dogg to chime in on this.

Also hoping he will cruise by the 10u threads in the junior section. Things are getting quiet over there!

slice bh compliment
01-10-2012, 03:59 PM
Lendl is the only player i have ever seen win a tournament and not even raising his arms or show any particular emotion. To me its hilarious for one thing, but secondly this guy didnt suck up for anybody,....

Mah ni99a Lendl kep' it real, even in front of the Man.

big ted
01-11-2012, 08:39 PM
he wasnt evil he just wasnt popular. his game was boring for its time, he showed no personality on court. alot like sampras, let his racquet do the talking. and it didnt help that his opponents were some of the most colorful of all time: mcenroe, becker, connors, vitas... also his tanking early in his career did not make him a fan favorite

Lsmkenpo
01-11-2012, 09:44 PM
Mah ni99a Lendl kep' it real, even in front of the Man.

http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/2010+Cedars+Sinai+Sports+Spectacular+FBhCEDTw0wll. jpg

hawk eye
01-12-2012, 08:10 AM
he wasnt evil he just wasnt popular. his game was boring for its time, he showed no personality on court. alot like sampras, let his racquet do the talking. and it didnt help that his opponents were some of the most colorful of all time: mcenroe, becker, connors, vitas... also his tanking early in his career did not make him a fan favorite

All this talk about him being evil, having a black sens of humor, the hatred he seemed to arouse among the american public (and players), the controversy about his personality and the way he treated other players doesn't really correspond with his then other line he gets labeled with often in this thread, his so called 'lack of personality.'
The guy had tons of personality, wether you liked him or not. Many people didn't obviously. He had more obstacles to take than most other top pro tennis player in his time, but he triumphed everywhere except at Wimbledon. And even there he came close. He didn't submit to trash talking wiseguys like Mac an Connnors, he just fired right at them from point blank when they were at thenet. No wonder McEnroe never goes all chummy chummy with Ivan as he does with Bjorn, 'my great rival and best pal and buddy'.

pmerk34
01-12-2012, 08:14 AM
All this talk about him being evil, having a black sens of humor, the hatred he seemed to arouse among the american public (and players), the controversy about his personality and the way he treated other players doesn't really correspond with his then other line he gets labeled with often in this thread, his so called 'lack of personality.'
The guy had tons of personality, wether you liked him or not. Many people didn't obviously. He had more obstacles to take than most other top pro tennis player in his time, but he triumphed everywhere except at Wimbledon. And even there he came close. He didn't submit to trash talking wiseguys like Mac an Connnors, he just fired right at them from point blank when they were at thenet. No wonder McEnroe never goes all chummy chummy with Ivan as he does with Bjorn, 'my great rival and best pal and buddy'.

Don't fall into the trap that people who don't like Ivan think McEnroe is some great guy. Both of them weren't the nicest guys in the world. McEnroe in his autobiography doesn't pretend to paint himself as a nice guy during his playing days and alluded to his arrogant behavior and there were plenty of contemporaries of his who did not like Mac for the way he would purposefully explode (usually always when losing) and carry on with umpires to break the rhythm of matches and his opponents focus.

On the other hand Mac had some insights into Lendl saying that he had a odd personality and he would mercilessly make fun of lower ranked players in locker rooms and because of the pecking order of the game they couldn't really fire back.

hawk eye
01-12-2012, 09:26 AM
Don't fall into the trap that people who don't like Ivan think McEnroe is some great guy. Both of them weren't the nicest guys in the world. McEnroe in his autobiography doesn't pretend to paint himself as a nice guy during his playing days and alluded to his arrogant behavior and there were plenty of contemporaries of his who did not like Mac for the way he would purposefully explode (usually always when losing) and carry on with umpires to break the rhythm of matches and his opponents focus.

On the other hand Mac had some insights into Lendl saying that he had a odd personality and he would mercilessly make fun of lower ranked players in locker rooms and because of the pecking order of the game they couldn't really fire back.

I know what you mean but I don't believe you're either in the McEnroe corner or in the Lendl corner. I happen to sort of like both players myself, very different but both great in their own right, but couldn't help routing for Lendl a little more when he was put away like some boring, jerky east block guy who shouldn't be piling up titles in the flashy western sport of tennis. The problem I had with McEnroe in his playing days was that he seemed to think he was the only one who had the right to act like a jerk and get away with it.
I've read Mc Enroe's book and he isn't easy on himself all the time there.
But even there he is playing down on Ivan a little too much. To me his description about Ivan's behaviour toward journey men is coloured by his own grudge he still helds agains a guy he always thought he was superior to, but eventually was overtaken by. Probably Lendl was just teasing those guys in a good humoured way, with a bit of a nasty edge as his sarcasm sometimes had. The ones with some personality would give some smart replies an i don't believe he would have minded that. You don't "have to put up with that". What could be the consequences? Anyway, it's better than totally ingnore lesser players like Jimmy Connors seemed to have done most of his career.

hoodjem
01-12-2012, 09:45 AM
All this talk about him being evil, having a black sens of humor, the hatred he seemed to arouse among the american public (and players), the controversy about his personality and the way he treated other players doesn't really correspond with his then other line he gets labeled with often in this thread, his so called 'lack of personality.'
The guy had tons of personality, wether you liked him or not. Many people didn't obviously. He had more obstacles to take than most other top pro tennis player in his time, but he triumphed everywhere except at Wimbledon. And even there he came close. He didn't submit to trash talking wiseguys like Mac an Connnors, he just fired right at them from point blank when they were at thenet. No wonder McEnroe never goes all chummy chummy with Ivan as he does with Bjorn, 'my great rival and best pal and buddy'.Who would?

Borg respected McEnroe as a player.

Lendl respected McEnroe as a target.

slice bh compliment
01-12-2012, 10:08 AM
And there you have it.

Funny, the parallels between Lendl and Pete.
http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/2010+Cedars+Sinai+Sports+Spectacular+FBhCEDTw0wll. jpg

Great post, man, LOL!

kiki
01-12-2012, 02:51 PM
I know what you mean but I don't believe you're either in the McEnroe corner or in the Lendl corner. I happen to sort of like both players myself, very different but both great in their own right, but couldn't help routing for Lendl a little more when he was put away like some boring, jerky east block guy who shouldn't be piling up titles in the flashy western sport of tennis. The problem I had with McEnroe in his playing days was that he seemed to think he was the only one who had the right to act like a jerk and get away with it.
I've read Mc Enroe's book and he isn't easy on himself all the time there.
But even there he is playing down on Ivan a little too much. To me his description about Ivan's behaviour toward journey men is coloured by his own grudge he still helds agains a guy he always thought he was superior to, but eventually was overtaken by. Probably Lendl was just teasing those guys in a good humoured way, with a bit of a nasty edge as his sarcasm sometimes had. The ones with some personality would give some smart replies an i don't believe he would have minded that. You don't "have to put up with that". What could be the consequences? Anyway, it's better than totally ingnore lesser players like Jimmy Connors seemed to have done most of his career.

believe me, Lendl and Mac were the 2 coins of the same money.One a eastern block arrogant and the other a western block cooky jerk.Different but the very same.maybe, that is why they couldn´t stand each other.

jrepac
01-12-2012, 03:05 PM
some dislike of each other among the top guys of Mac, Lendl and Connors made things very interesting, IMHO.

None of them, Lendl included, were angels.

Varying degrees of boorishness depending on the day and circumstances. Perhaps Lendl was the least overt about it; he just hit the ball at your head, is all.

chandler bing
01-15-2012, 03:47 PM
If you aren´t european it is very hard to notice or understand how eastern europeans have been always caught deffensively, because they have been ******d by either germans or russians.

But, if you know the day to day people in Prague,Budapest or Varsaw, you could understand how they would mistrust any western press in the same way they mistrussed the Soviets.Nastase,Fibak,Kodes,Navratilova,Mandlikova and Lendl all of them hated much more the Russians - and Germans- than the americans, much less western europeans ( where they really belonged) or aussies ( which is a far more open minded that the US)


Martina, for one, has changed her thinking a bit on that subject. Her girlfriend of some years is a former Miss USSR.

chandler bing
01-15-2012, 03:51 PM
I'm really enjoying this thread, BTW. I wasn't a huge Lendl fan initially but grew to respect him a lot. His comeback win from two sets down over McEnroe in the 1984 French Open was just incredible.

kiki
01-17-2012, 12:37 PM
[/B]

Martina, for one, has changed her thinking a bit on that subject. Her girlfriend of some years is a former Miss USSR.

I wouldn´t mind to have a former Miss USSR girlfriend, too ( even that means she´d be pretty old since there is no USSR since 1991...20 years ago)

kiki
01-17-2012, 12:38 PM
even the dull and dark Lendl had a special charisma that no players today has...and he was considered the least charismatic of the 1980´s champions ( maybe, along Wilander)

chandler bing
01-17-2012, 11:35 PM
I wouldn´t mind to have a former Miss USSR girlfriend, too ( even that means she´d be pretty old since there is no USSR since 1991...20 years ago)

LOL

Martina's partner Julia was the very last Miss USSR in 1991 and she was only 19 at the time. She still looks pretty good:

http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Martina+Navratilova/Adrian+Grenier+2011+Open+NYC/AVe0KAec0QG

chandler bing
01-17-2012, 11:38 PM
even the dull and dark Lendl had a special charisma that no players today has...and he was considered the least charismatic of the 1980´s champions ( maybe, along Wilander)

Agreed. Lendl had a wicked sense of humor.:) Pat Cash has been whining about that shoe incident forever, he really needs to build a bridge and get over it.

vegasgt3
01-17-2012, 11:59 PM
I used to work the Cincy ATP (Masters). I brought the players to and from court and was in the locker room with them. Lendl was a bit of a jerk, very arrogant and did not hang out with anyone. Mac was an *** on the court as was Connors, but he had friends off court, treated the fans well and I think it helped he played doubles.

You have to remember that there were a lot of gentlemen still playing the game at this time, so the contrast of a Lendl was jarring.

kiki
01-18-2012, 11:51 AM
LOL

Martina's partner Julia was the very last Miss USSR in 1991 and she was only 19 at the time. She still looks pretty good:

http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Martina+Navratilova/Adrian+Grenier+2011+Open+NYC/AVe0KAec0QG

Martina really looks awful¡¡¡

kiki
01-18-2012, 11:54 AM
Agreed. Lendl had a wicked sense of humor.:) Pat Cash has been whining about that shoe incident forever, he really needs to build a bridge and get over it.

That sense of humour enerved Connors,Gerulaitis and Mc Enroe in such a flamboyant way¡¡¡.Europeans and Latins were OK or at least didn´t have strong bad feelings, except for Panatta and Noah ( and later on Becker)

chrischris
01-18-2012, 11:55 AM
bud collins gave lendl a scary nickname, "the ostrava ghost" and mcenroe called him a "scary robot"

Bud Collins is overrated and imo talks a lot of rubbish from time to time.

dominikk1985
01-18-2012, 03:20 PM
i mean the guy is methodical, yes, as per old school baseliners should be. but on the boards i have seen words like EVIL used to this guy. why was this? is it because he came from a communist country at the time and fufilling the western world's stereotype of the soviet "robot" type athlete?

among other things he had the reputation of being a headhunter. if the opponent came in with a crappy approach he would hit a monster forehand right at his head.

like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xAPwx3z950


or this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwD2XuhqLg8&feature=related

kiki
01-18-2012, 11:04 PM
among other things he had the reputation of being a headhunter. if the opponent came in with a crappy approach he would hit a monster forehand right at his head.

like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xAPwx3z950


or this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwD2XuhqLg8&feature=related

True.He learned it from the aussies,a ccording to him.He was a great headhunter...is he working at Heidrick & Struggles?

dominikk1985
01-19-2012, 01:49 AM
look how hard that second FH was. If he played now and had modern equipment and strokes I think he could easily exceed 100 MPH on his FH.