Anyone for Ivan Lendl?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Tenny, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. Tenny

    Tenny Professional

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    uh? No one likes him except four people (his parent and two more)? All the time booed? I am a new comer so surely missed those old good days. I read interesting things about him in J Mac's book. Well, it's about personality.

    I think I like his movement on court. He played tennis like a gladiator. Very seriously. Great passing shots. What do you think about Ivan Lendl?

    -----Tenny
     
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  2. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    One of my all-time faves. Give me the behind-the-baseline, big-swinging, insanely-fit robo-grinder every time.

    But then, I'm one of like a half dozen people in the world who really like Rainer Schuettler's game, too.

    Lendl never looked like he was born to play, the way Mac, or Federer, or Agassi, or Sampras did. He seemed like he got everything he earned through sheer force of will. I respect that.
     
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  3. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Can remember during his 80s US Open run how he would take 10 or more steps to rundown his opponents shots and rip a passing shot by them. Had to inspire Ahnold's Terminator performance. From being allergic to grass while standing on a golf course to two Wimbledon finals, that is a true will to improve and win.
     
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  4. borisboris

    borisboris Semi-Pro

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    :twisted: DO YOU PLAY FOR OTHERS OR VICTORY-LENDL PLAYED FOR LENDL AND WAS ALMOST INCOMPRHENSIBLE IN GOING TO 8 STRAIGHT US OPEN FINALS-8 STRAIGHT!! THAT WON'T BE MATCHED. ALL I KNOW IS THAT HE PLAYED WITH MINIMAL WEAKNESS AND A PASSION FOR EVERY POINT, ALMOST A FANATIC. HE WAS A PERFECTIONIST & A PROFESSIONAL AND LIKE CONNORS & SAMPRAS HE LEFT IT ALL ON THE COURT AND WALKED AWAY & HASN'T TURNED BACK. SO HE WASN'T MEANT TO WIN WIMBLEDON, NEITHER WAS MAC TO WIN THE FRENCH.
     
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  5. Nosoupforyou

    Nosoupforyou Rookie

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    It's good to see another schuettler fan lol
     
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  6. Hawaii 5.0

    Hawaii 5.0 Rookie

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    Lendl was an amazingly fit athelete who admittedly had very little talent, but worked his tail off to either outwill,outgrind or just often intimidate opponents.He swung big and hit big shots.He was the best baseliner of his generation and if only he had a better serve and volleyed smarter and had more court tactics with the skills he should have had he'd be one of the best ever(3).He had alot of demons in finals, but not as bad as Clijsters and many people forgot about him becuase he was so solid,steely and cold, he was almost angry at his opponents and it truely was war for him.He was even less well known than many of todays big names like Federer and Safin.4 time #1 and he won 8? GS's, but no Wimby.Almost 100 titles is darn impressive by any standard.The forgotten champion.
     
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  7. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Only forgotten by some Hawaii!

    Lendl was my idol when I was growing up, even though I never patterned my game on his, he was the guy I was always going for. The guy looked so damn uncomfortable on a grass court, yet he got himself to the tail end of Wimbledon more times than his game suggests he should have, and he won at Queens, beating Becker (I think) in the final.

    And he seemed to have a sense of humour too. I love the story of him handing Tony Roche a ball when they first began their association, and asking Rochey to stick it in his pocket. Some time later, ball all but forgotten in Rochey's pocket, Lendl tells one of his German Shepherds to "Fetch"!

    A friend of mine is a sports journalist and swears Lendl was always the most popular interview at the Australian Open. A shame he never let the public see that side of him.
     
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  8. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    Speaking of his humor... There's also the well known story about an after match interview. It went something like this...

    Reporter: What do you think the difference was out there today between you and your opponent?

    Lendl: I won more games than he did.

    Reporter: Yes, but what was the main thing you did that he didn't do?

    Lendl: I won more games.

    Reporter: What do you think is the main reason you won today's match?

    Lendl: My opponent lost more sets than I did.

    Reporter (still trying): What did you concentrate on specifically to win this match?

    Lendl: I concentrated on making sure that I won more sets than my opponent did.

    Yeah... the good ol' days...
     
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  9. SonicSpeed

    SonicSpeed Rookie

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    LOL @ Ivan
     
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  10. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Lendl was very consistent in more than just his tennis. He was the first player that I know of to change his rackets at every ball change, something that is done quite commonly now. He also let his friends hit with the new frames he got from Adidas because he preferred a "broken in" feel.

    Lendl had another system in place as well. I remember reading Brad Gilbert's book and in it he recounted the first time he played Lendl. He said that for the first 4 games, he was really not impressed at all with Lendl. The score was 2-2. Prior to the match, Gilbert's scouting report was that Lendl hit the ball harder than anyone on tour. Lendl's power, that was all he heard. Through the first four games, Lendl had shown him nothing special. It was in the fifth game of the first set that Lendl began to turn it on. Gilbert was dumbfounded. Apparently Lendl liked to play the first 4 games at a somewhat dialed down level and then step it up.

    Another great story came from Scott Davis, a very talented American player (who never reached is full potential). When Lendl was on top, he tried to intimidate other players by hitting them with the ball. Scanlon knew of this tactic and decided to intimidate Lendl with the same ploy. He hit a short ball to draw Lendl in, and Lendl replied with another short ball. Scanlon siezed the opportunity and rifled a ball that hit Lendl. Lendl turned and got it square in the back. It backfired on Scanlon. Lendl turned around, looked at Scanlon and said "Is that as hard as you can hit?" I don't think Lendl had to hit Scanlon after that, he was pretty much demoralized. :shock:
     
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  11. Brian Purdie

    Brian Purdie Semi-Pro

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    I feel absolutely horrible for not respecting Lendl in his prime and viewing him as a menace and he was painted as an Eastern block commie, namely by Mac (who as a GreenPeace and Dems supporter, has voews more Communistic than Lendl ever did).

    Said Lendl: "There's no other way out of that country. I know what Communism was like. Most people don't. It's certainly not a place where I wanted to stay my entire life. The only way to get out of there was to be great." And he did that and defected to the US, all to be painted on the cover of Sports Illustrated as "The Champion Nobody Cares About". Seriously, how demoralizing must that be?

    I didn't know that he was so humerous until retirement and viewed him as a machine during his playing days. As a result, I came to respect Sampras, however lop-sided the score. As one sportswriter wrote "I enjoy watching a close match, I but I enjoy even more to watch the absolute dominance of a player over another in a final". In a way it proves just how good a player is when they simply destroy everybody.

    My fondest memory of tennis was watching Lendl, Mac, Becker, and Edberg in the Queens Club in 1990. Lendl won, and I was upset, but now I realize how immature I was.
     
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  12. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Ivan worked harder physically & mentally, even in practice, he kept a little book consisting of notes on every player on the tour, tips on how to play them and most important, tips on how to beat them, he left nothing to chance, when he stepped on the court, the actual playing became the easiest part of the equation.
    "If I don't practice the way I should, then I won't play the way that I know I can."
    Ivan Lendl. I think that Ivan will always be considered one of the greatest tennis players to ever play the game with the results that his mental/physical combo produced :!:
     
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  13. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    I really thought that Mac the Brat needed a fist sandwich and Lendl was the guy to do it so I was a fan from the first time I saw him(during the WCT days). Lendl had talent but he was really the first person of his generation to take fitness to a new level(Roy Emerson was extremely fit). He brought the big baseling game into the sport and now it is fairly standard among pros.
     
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  14. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    hi there.his was a different sort of baseline game than todays baseline game. it was alot flatter and more penetrating. borgs game was more a precursor to the modern game IMO w. heavy top from both sides and the grips and the two fisted bh. i would like to see some of these so called great baseline athletes of today hit topspin like they do w. a frame the headsize of borgs..also lendl was mostly just ignorant and mean to autograph seekers and journalists or mostly just ignored them, also sarcastic, and arrogant and mostly humourless. if people are mostly mean, they seem to get alot more props and attention for the rare times they are nice..and the people that are nice all the time like samps and edberg get almost no attention. he was mostly just a surly cranky dude IMO. i know they worked alot on his image so he could be more marketable back then because he was one of the top guys and tennis was booming back then. his forehand was by far the biggest out there for a while. Ed
     
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  15. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Damn Ed!

    That just put a dampener on my Sunday! I always thought Lendl was a genuine good guy.

    I remember during a post match interview at Kooyong, a journalist asked him about a language code violation he'd received during the match.

    He just gave a wry grin and replied

    "All I said was that the court had had too much sex".
     
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  16. Bertchel Banks

    Bertchel Banks Semi-Pro

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    From all reports he was a first class jerk. He once said there needs to be a zero-tolerance drug policy in tennis. Making no exceptions for "feminine" medication, saying in essecne "too bad for them."



    Don't know about Edberg, but Sampras was not nice. Arrogant, sarcastic, rude and disrespectful, and mild racialist.
     
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  17. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    sorry Galain..i witnessed this behaviour from him first hand several times. it's one thing to comment on something when you watch on tv or just because you have opinions which is cool too..but another to be right there when he tells kids to go away when they say. 'may i please have your autograph mr lendl?' or mostly he wouldnt even acknowledge them..he would just march thru them on the way to his practice court. i think the dude softened there later on and you sure gotta admire his discipline tho. Edo
     
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  18. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Fair call Ed. Had I been one of those kids, I would most likely have been devastated.

    Just as a quick aside ('cause I don't want to derail the thread) - I saw Lindsay Davenport go out of her way after a practice to sign things and say hello to the people who had gathered to watch her. She seemed like a lovely girl.
     
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  19. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    galain..i agree. she seems very nice and approachable. get to watch her here at the upcoming bausch and lomb. i think most of they players are good people, but there are always a few exceptions <kinda like the people that post on this board>lol
    capriati doesnt seem well liked at all by her fellow players. i realize that to get to the top level, you sure need to be confident and i think it a pretty hard thing to balance that sort of stuff...be humble and cocky at the same time. think lindsay would have won more if she was a little less sweet. as for me, i am still hacked off they dont make your Foster's Lager in Oz anymore..best to you,Ed
     
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  20. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    ha.....the censor replaced c*cky w. peepee...too funny. being humble and taking a peepee at the same time is far easier than being humble yet 'c*cky'
     
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  21. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    :lol:

    I was trying to work out what weirdo American slang it was you were using on me!

    Re - Fosters - try and get your hands on some Victoria Bitter instead (VB). It's just Fosters with a paintjob!
     
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  22. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Ha..paintjobs on beer cans just like tennis frames...thats pretty good. Thanks for the tip Gailan on the VB..will see if my little pub here has it....for now I am recommending Spatem Optimator on tap if you guys have it down there..best,Ed
     
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  23. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    I wanna meet the censor dude. I'm guessing we'd have a rather interesting conversation - and I might even understand a complete sentence or two.
     
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  24. Hawaii 5.0

    Hawaii 5.0 Rookie

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    Bertchel Banks I have to disagree in the fact that he had a different approach to the game, just like he had a different sense to humor.No matter what kind of jerk he was, your forcing him to live up to your expectations and not seeing him for the great tennis player he was.If you want jerks he not even close to the biggest one let alone first class.He is a forgotten champion that despite his flaws deserves his spot among the best tennis players.
     
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  25. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Lendl gets more well liked and respected with each passing year. He wasn't appreciated for being the truly great player he was, one of the Top 5 players of the Open Era. Now he is getting that recognition.
     
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  26. Bertchel Banks

    Bertchel Banks Semi-Pro

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    No one can take away his record, that's for sure. However, he's disliked because he was a bore. He reaped what he sowed.

    Like norcal said, when you're a mega-jerk, like Lendl, you get a lot of hype if you smile at the cameras that one time in kalamazoo, or compliment a journalist's on her fun top.

    Someone did spend 278? weeks at #1, this ensure that he isn't forgotten. Should be be celebrated? Not when he's gone out of his way to yell at little kids.
     
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  27. lendl lives

    lendl lives Semi-Pro

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    lendl was the best when i was growing up. i couldn't understand what it was like to play on grass (or even clay till my junior year in high school) so i didn't care if he could win on it or not. he was the king of the hard court. i don't understand how people could be so cruel toward him. btw i liked mac as well but how is it that he never did get a fist sandwich? lol.
     
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  28. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    I remember watching a wimbledon semi vs Becker (1989?) and Lendl was playing great - really looking like he had cracked playing on grass. He was 2-1 up in sets and I think a break in the 4th and totally in control, Becker was going crazy and was absolutely out of it when the rain came. When the match restarted Becker sorted himself out, came back and won. I felt really sorry for Lendl that day as he was looking good enough to win the final.
     
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  29. AndyC

    AndyC Semi-Pro

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    I find it incredible that people think Lendl made the most of his limited talents. Come on.. what does he have to do to be recognised? He certainly made the most of his talents. Limited? He's certainly up there with the best in the open era.

    19 grand slam finals.. winning 8 of them. As someone pointed out he was in 8 consecutive US open finals winning 3 in a row. Also won 3 French and 2 Oz opens.

    This is a guy who really understood what it was to be a tennis great and dedicated himself in an all out bid to become Wimbledon champion (and be one of a handful to win all 4 GSs) and drilled himself until he could actually play a serve and volley game though this was to end in heroic failure (in that he failed to win Wimbledon).

    What else.. 270 weeks at No 1. Only Connors and Sampras can compare. 94 career titles.. don't think many can claim more.

    The only flaw that could have been levelled against him is his relatively poor hit rate for winning GS titles bearing in mind he was in 19 finals.

    Oh and one last thing about limited athletic ability? This guy is good enough to be a scratch golfer despite coming to the game late. And there was one occasion where a pro golfer was bouncing the ball on the clubface (in a pro-am tourney) wherebouts Lendl started bouncing his ball on the grip.
     
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  30. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

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    Who was a bigger jerk yet more revered now than Johnny Mac? I hated the guy when he played, even though I'm lefty, and I love him now ... We know nothing about these people other than what we read and hear and catch occasional glimpses of in public.
     
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