Best player to never win a Slam - Miloslav Mecir

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    I know some people say Murray - but I go with Miloslav Mecir. When you say him play, well he just made some elite players look amateurish. Wonderful hands, anticipation, ability to change direction, disguise.

    He won the WCT Finals which was a very big tournament, Miami (when it was regarded as the 5th slam at the time and was best of 5 sets every round) and got Olympic Gold. He also was in the US open final and Australian Open final (lost both to Lendl - no shame in that). He also was dominating Edberg for 1/2 their Wimbledon Semi-final in 1988 before Edberg came alive, even though Mecir had a back brace on. Edberg went onto win the title. I believe if Mecir had got past Edberg he would have beaten Becker in the final.

    I don't know of another player who could make as strong a case (except perhaps Murray - but Mecir was a far more talented player).
     
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  2. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    No. It's Murray. This will probably be proven wrong though when Murray actually wins a Slam and shows he is very likely a better player than Mecir ever was, in the end. In terms of talent, they are in the same ballpark. If Mecir was truly unbelievably talented as people claim, then surely he would have managed to win a Grand Slam event. Btw, I am speaking as a big fan of Mecir's game and he's one of my very faves from that era, where as Murray isn't. It's just what I reckon. Sometimes being exceptionally unique seems to automatically bestow a greater sense of talent on a person, in the perception of others. I kind of get it, but don't agree with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
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  3. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Mecir was one of the most gifted players I've ever seen. He didn't accomplish nearly as much as he should have because of his injury that caused the end of his career. I think it's possible to consider Mecir to be the best player not to win a major.

    I also think a great case could be made for Pancho Segura and Tom Okker. Segura won a few Pro Majors but never a classic major.
     
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  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Mecir is a good choice. But, I'm not sure that he was a better player than Nalbandian. Macir was one of the greatest athletes and movers in tennis history. But, Nalbandian has the edge in terms of stroke production from the ground and the net. Both of their careers were hampered with injuries that probably prevented them from winning majors.
     
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  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Even if Murray wins 3 majors, Mecir was the better player in every respect except his serve. Mecir was bigger, stronger, faster and more talented than Murray, and hit the ball better from every part of the court. However, Mecir suffered from back injuries that limited his serve, even though he was a big guy with a nice service action, and his ability to play long matches. It killed him at majors because of the 5 set format. As an example, at Wimbledon when he was up 2 sets to none against Edberg, and totally dominating Edberg on grass, he eventually couldn't maintain his level of play or movement and Edberg came back to win in 5.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
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  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It is a very south call.I definitely have him as the best 1980's pro not to win a slam and possibly the best non slammer I ever saw.
    Talent wise, Lutz,Okker,Pecci,Ramirez , Ríos can deserve a mention,too.nowadays, it.is Murray and Nalby
     
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  7. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Nusslein in the past would be a consideration also but he won a number of Pro Majors.

    Mecir is one of my favorites ever so in that way I am prejudiced but on an achievements basis clearly Segura is up there with anyone. I think Segura would have won a number of majors if he was not a pro and not allowed to play the majors.

    From the Open Era on however consideration peak play and talent I can see Mecir as the best. I think Mecir at his best was better than many multi major winners.

    From the Open Era on from a most accomplishments point of view I can see Tom Okker as number one. And he was a gifted player, great doubles player too.

    Here's some youtube clips of Mecir and his genius.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2bzlj4ypvw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv9KT9zhJj4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeHRyPCgEC4
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
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  8. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Hello fans and experts,

    After 5 years of reading here, I'm writing for the first time.

    I have read posts of true experts like pc1, Andrew Tas, Carlo Colussi, krosero, urban and hoodjem, but also those posters who still have to learn something to be an expert.

    Best player to never win a slam? Nüsslein or Segura.
     
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  9. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Welcome BobbyOne. For pure accomplishments these two are clearly the best in that area.
     
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  10. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Nalbandian, Haas, Rios, Murray too.
     
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  11. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Miloslav Mecir is one of them, most certainly.

    Do Pancho Segura and Hans Nusslein count? They won pro majors.
     
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  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Leconte is just second to Mecir for 1980´s players.And I never liked him too much, but he is a true talent.
     
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  13. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Not sure. I guess we have to ask Timnz.
     
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  14. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    My wife would probably slap you for that comment. Leconte was her favorite player along with Yannick Noah.:) Team France was her favorite doubles team. To this day she's convinced they were robbed of a US Open doubles title.

    Both gifted players and I loved watching them but overall I preferred Mecir.
     
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  15. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I am unsure if Mecir is the best to never win a slam, but he was certainly one of my all-time favorites to watch.

    His footwork was incredible.
     
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  16. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    If Segura counts, it's him. He won 3 US Pro titles on 3 different surfaces and was the second best player of the 1950s behind Gonzales, in my opinion. Of course, the Wembley Pro title eluded Segura, finishing runner-up 4 times.
     
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  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Leconte was an amazing talent and shotmaker. But, he didn't win a major because he was too erratic, IMO.
     
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  18. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Scope

    I was instially thinking open era. However, because I didn't restrict it in my initial post it is fair enough for those to suggest those pre-open era players.

    Could we now subsequently restrict it to those who haven't won either a Pro Major or a Major in any era? I still think Mecir's talent and CV is superior to Murray's (but understand those who don't agree :) )
     
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  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    No love for Nalby? I think he was better than Murray.
     
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  20. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    The flying Dutchman Okker has to be right up there. He had an absolutely lethal topspin forehand and was such a gifted shotmaker and quick footed around the court.

    His results at all the big tournaments and on all surfaces were strong as well. He was the runner-up to Ashe in 5 sets in the 1968 US Open final, lost to Laver in the 1969 RG semis, to Rosewall in the 1971 Australian Open semis and to Borg in the 1978 Wimbledon semis.

    Some of his biggest titles were at Monte-Carlo, Rome, Hamburg and Hilversum on clay, Montreal on hard courts and the Rothmans WCT in Toronto and Dewar Cup in London on carpet.
     
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  21. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I agree with you. Mecir just had unique speed and hand/eye coordination. Hasn't Murray been compared to Mecir?
     
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  22. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    He has. Brad Gilbert said when he was coaching Murray that Murray reminded him of Mecir.
     
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  23. BTURNER

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    He sure is in the running but before we put Mecir on another planet with praise, most of which I agree with, He did have some problems beyond that back that stood between him and those major winners. His serve was just not good enough, his volley was inconsistent, and lets be honest, there was some mental toughness lacking in some big matches or against some opponents. I recall the man dissolved into vanilla pudding vs Connors one match up something like 5-2 in the final set. Connors did nothing, Mecir just choked. He was also intimidated by Lendl.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
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  24. OriginalHockeytowner

    OriginalHockeytowner Rookie

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    Without TTW, I would never even know Mecir existed. I had read his name in several tennis autobiographies, but just sorta wrote him off. Then I actually saw him play, thanks to the power of YouTube. All I can say is, WOW, how did this guy stay under my radar for so long? Easily one of my top 5 favorite players to watch, his style was so smooth, and so deceptively lethal.

    I agree that he's the best player to never win a slam, for sure!
     
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  25. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    He was also capable of driving Lendl crazy. The 1987 Miami final is one of the best performances I've seen, where Mecir not only drove the world number 1 crazy, but made him look silly for most of the match. One of the best rallies of all time in the third set as well, where the crowd rose to their feet in thunderous applause.
     
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  26. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    I'm a huge Mecir fan but I don't think you are giving Murray enough credit.

    As for that Semi between Mecir and Edberg I actually thought Edberg raised his game to break through in the final 3 sets.
     
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  27. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I can't speak for Mecir, but, I offer the following: sufficient pain will turn the toughest player into pudding, back pain will put a big crimp in your serve, and I doubt Mecir was intimidated by Lendl. He beat Lendl in 3 straight sets in Miami, frustrated Lendl badly, and mocked him at one point for making a stink about the way a ball boy was holding a towel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
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  28. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    This is largely true.

    Leconte could be amazing one day--a true artist: going for low-percentage shots every time and making almost all of them. And the next day, he'd look like a blithering idiot--making none of those same low-percentage shots.
     
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  29. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I don't know the exact quote but after Leconte had beaten Lendl several times in a row Lendl complained that the shots Leconte misses against others goes in against him. I remember reading that and laughing.
     
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  30. BTURNER

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    <I'll sneak in here and quietly withdraw my comment about Mecir being intimidated by Lendl. Everyone will forget I typed it and my reputation will stand tall>
     
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  31. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Hahaha! If it makes you happy, you can delete your prior post and I'll delete my quote of your prior post. ;)
     
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  32. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Let's put it this way BTURNER is one of the most respected posters around.
     
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  33. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Someone should ask Lendl who is better player Murray or Mecir, Lend would know.
     
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  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Lendl also says that he would get killed by today's players. Yet, an over the hill Agassi took a prime Federer to 5 sets at the 2004 USO QF, and 4 sets at the 2005 USO final, and Lendl had a 6-2 H2H advantage over Agassi.
     
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  35. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, pc1. I appreciate that. I guess its good for all of us to be humbled by our own dumb posts occasionally. Its someone else's turn next.
     
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  36. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Miloslav was a very talented player, won a WCT Finals, won Olympic Gold, had big wins over Mac, Lendl, and the Swedes. Of the Open era, I would say him and Murray stand out. Andy has made 4 Major finals to 2. Lendl was Mecir's biggest problem in Slam events, Federer is Murray's. Mecir would cause Murray a lot of problems in any match-up, and they would have some classic shot-making encounters, I think.

    Segura was a great player in the Pro game. Don't know too much about Nusslein and how he would compare to Murray and Mecir.
     
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  37. Iron Man

    Iron Man Rookie

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    nope , Murray is by far the best player to never win a slam
    ( 4 finals in which he faced the best players + Many master shields and tournaments + BIG talent )
    it's just because he's competing with 3 of the best players ever that he hasn't won a slam so far , it's not a matter of talent here but a matter of mental toughness and experience

    when Murray wins a major maybe Mecir has a a say though I doubt it as I think Nalbandian deserves this so- called title
     
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  38. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    How is nalbandian over mecir?

    Mecir won 2 titees only a tad below slam level - wct finals and miami (best of 5 sets every round in those days). Nalbandian has 1 title at that level - the masters cup. Nalbandian had 1 slam final, mecir had 2. Just not sure of your reasoning here.
     
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  39. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    Nalbandian and Rios are IMO.

    Murray and Mecir are there too.
     
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  40. Iron Man

    Iron Man Rookie

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    Nalbandian won 2 masters 1000 in Madrid and Paris ( over Nadal & Fed )
    and the Master's cup (1500) beating Federer and ending that long series of invincibility , he was also a Wimbledon runner-up and reached the semi finals in majors for many years , besides experts agree he has a very big talent and could have been much better if not for his injuries and lack of concentration .

    his backhand is considered as one of the best shots ever and he was a very good volleyer too...
     
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  41. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I should do this about 100 times.
     
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  42. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Tom Okker should be mentioned in this thread.
     
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  43. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    If you don't include Pro Slams (that excludes Segura and Nusslein) then Okker may be the best choice considering how much he did in his career. And he was a super talented tennis player too. Rod Laver thought he was extremely gifted and Ashe hinted at that too. I think Okker was a better player than a number of players who won majors. According to Vainquers Okker won 51 tournaments in his career, among them the Italian. He could win on any surface, grass, clay or indoors. He was fast, excellent volleyer and his forehand was one of the best.
     
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  44. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I agree that Nalbandian is a viable choice. IMO, he has the edge in shotmaking over Mecir, but, Mecir has the edge in speed, court coverage and athleticism. Both suffered from injuries that may have kept them from winning multiple majors.
     
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  45. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I agree. He certainly had many more career titles than Nalbandian or Mecir. I wonder to what degree his loss to Ashe in the 68' USO hurt his confidence at majors. Murray may catch Okker's career titles. Hopefully, he'll win a few majors on the way.
     
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  46. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    I saw him at Indian Wells in the late eighties. He had already been eliminated, but he hung around anyway and gave free lessons to a bunch of really young kids on one of the outer courts. They all looked like they were having a great time.
     
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  47. Monsieur_DeLarge

    Monsieur_DeLarge Semi-Pro

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    I think people make a little more of that match than it perhaps deserves. I see it mentioned regularly, but in five other matches against Lendl, Mecir never won a single set.[source] As a Lendl fan in the '80s, Ivan vs Mecir was a nervous prospect, but in retrospect I was worrying needlessly.

    Mecir was certainly an outstanding natural talent with fantastic movement, but given their respective CVs I can't put him ahead of Murray. Roughly even with Nalbandian, both in terms of their achievements and also for the fact that both players showed glimpses of truly great ability, but never sustained it for any great period.


    Regards,
    MDL
     
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  48. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Have you seen the match?
     
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  49. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    I don't remember which one exactly, but in of those he defeated Djokovic too (He defeated Fed and Rafa in both).
     
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  50. Monsieur_DeLarge

    Monsieur_DeLarge Semi-Pro

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    Yup, although it's been a while now. Besides Mecir's play, what I also remember is Lendl making a lot of unforced errors and double-faults. Didn't he DF twice on break-point in the first set alone? That's not Mecir "making him look silly", that's Lendl imploding all by himself.

    Mecir certainly deserved the Lipton win ~ and it was a very aesthetically pleasing one ~ but two sets still went to 7-5. If Lendl had been playing closer to his regular standard I think it'd have been a four- or even five-set match. Between the scoreline, and the fact that Milo got so much help from Ivan's sub-par performance, I can't regard it as a rout.


    Regards,
    MDL
     
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