Chris Lewis Interview - talks Borg,McEnroe,Connors, Lendl

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by britbox, May 17, 2013.

  1. britbox

    britbox Rookie

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    #1
  2. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    One of the more thoughtful interviews that I have read in quite some time. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  3. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    Despite loving Mac's game, I remember rooting hard for Chris in the 83 Wimbledon final. He could never really get into the match. So after a great run Chris lost routinely in the final.

    Chris was a nice guy and a popular figure. But after that Wimbledon our media didn't pay much attention to him again. However, on some of us, he had made his mark.
     
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  4. dirtballer

    dirtballer Professional

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    Fascinating interview.
     
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  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I watched Chris a few times.One of them at Eastbourne, when Sweden and New Zealand played a DC rubber after the 83 Wimbledon.

    Lewis had just been the AELTC runner up and played FO finalist Wilander.Wilander won the match but you could see Lewis was spendt, still his courage, agression and movement kept him alive during 4 tough sets.

    A good but not great player who took his chance to make it to the biggest event´s finals where he had no reason being.But he deserved it.

    He also reached the Cincinnati final and Queen´s semis, always beaten by Mac.As he mentioned, he reached the Stuttgart finals, this time Lendl beat him.

    He reminds me a bit of guys like Bagdhatis or Gonzalez, one timers who where perfectly fit at the right moment at the right spot.But Lewis talent never carried him better than 25 or 30 in the world.
     
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  6. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Biggest thing Lewis had going for him was SPEED!!!!! Dude was fast and quick.....one of the nicer guys on tour back then. No big weapon really.

    Super interview - it's cool how well on a run like that he remembers the scores and players!!!! Nice to read something about the "Duke" (ex teammate of mine and the greatest player ever from Nigeria!!!) and Mike Bauer!
     
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  7. Cuculain

    Cuculain New User

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    I remember feeling cheated out of another potential classic final by Wimbledon organisers.. Connors had just beaten Mac in straight sets at Queens. then they made the bizarre decision of putting the defending champion on court 2 for his encounter with Kevin Curran who had a purple patch match.. and was back to normal when he played Lewis on the semis..1983 had all the makings of another classic final between Connors and Mac but a bizarre decision and Curran playing out of his skin led to a lacklustre final instead..
     
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  8. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Yes McEnroe beat him easily, I often thought if Curren has won the semi he may have diven Mac much more to handle match up wise, well if his serve was on.
     
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  9. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Chris actually got to 19 in the world. Pretty good for a journeyman. Another great match was him beating Vilas on clay in 1978.
     
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  10. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I never said he was a journeyman, but he certainly knew a Wimbledon title would be oversized for his stature.Good guy, nevertheless.I enjoyed his run at Wimbledon, but he was very lucky didn´t play a big player there till Mc Enroe.
     
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  11. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for posting. Good insight into the ERA back then.

    This was interesting on how the pool of players was so small back then:

     
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  12. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Talker, I contradict you and Chris Lewis: There were many tournaments in Lewis' time and many good players as well.
     
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  13. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    I've posted with Chris before elsewhere, he's a straight shooter if there ever was one.
    He says it like it is and he's dead on here.

    If you have references then show them.
     
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  14. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    I meant Journeyman as a term of honour. I associate it with keeping at your craft and doing the hard yards day in, day out, even if you aren't the star.
     
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  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Then I will agree with ya;-)
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Geez man Bobby is so damn right
    Besides the toughest colection of top players, from mid 70 till mid 80 it was tennis media and public explosion around the whole planet
    Never companies invested as much as in the era known as Golden
    Challengers and satelites developed and exploded geometrically then and exos around world took place almost week in, week off
    Tennis has never had so much attention, popularity and corporate marketing and money
    Heard of pro agencies ran by Don Dell, Mark Mc Cormac and others?
    Well, they were created at that time to provide management services and financial consultancy to the top players
    That alone summarizes the greatness this sport achieved in 70's and 80's
     
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  17. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Talker, In 1983 there were at least 121 ATP tournaments held. There were 12 players with at least 3 tournament wins. Inferior to current time??
     
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  18. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    I would say Chris knows firsthand being brought up in the system, it wouldn't be apparent why he would say different.

    This is something to look into for the historians. Maybe we can get some other information from players around that time.

    No need to come to hard conclusions now.
     
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  19. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    Up until 1990 or so, the rule was ALL top players had to play on the outer courts at least once. Center and Court1 were the show courts. Court 2 was considered a show court as was Court 14 in later years before the big changes, but they qualified as outer courts. I liked the rule and wish it still applied.

    I would say that Connors should've been put out there before the QF, especially with a big server like Curren looming. I remember Martina not being put out there until the QF in 1982 and 1988. But one of the big controversies was when Chris Evert was put out there twice in 1987 nearly losing to Fairbank and then again in the QF vs. Kohde.
     
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  20. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    Talker, I just gave you facts. It's your decision to accept or neglect them...
     
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  21. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    In late 70s to even 81 or 82 the ATP only went up to 600 (maybe a bit more) or so in the singles rankings. If for example you played the PENN Circut and won at least two matches you got 1 ATP point.......good enough in mid 1980 to get a 600 or so ranking!

    Totally different times.....did not have a third of current challengers/futures type events.
     
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  22. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    Many think that because tennis was popular in those times with Borg, McEnroe, Conners, etc. then there was plenty of money to support a lot of players at the lower levels.

    As Chris said, many young and promising players didn't get enough money to follow their dreams, had to do something else.
    This problem was always there so the pools were small from the beginning and a lot of potential great players never developed.
     
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  23. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    Thank you.
     
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  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In contrast the top 25 was so much tougher...unthinkable a Ferrer could make the top four let alone remain there for so long
    And you don' t win the big titles if you aren' t at least a top 25-30 guys
    Or you are a Becker or Sampras kind of teen phenomenon
     
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  25. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    load of cr*p ...

    ramirez was #5 in 76, dibbs was #5 in 78 , solomon was #5 in 80, jarryd was #5 in 85 ..

    jeez and how many players outside top 25-30 have won big titles recently ?

    you have a certain rafael nadal in this era
     
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  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    All of them better than Ferrer
    Nadal is a weak era phenomenon but he still is one
     
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  27. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    lol, based on what ? trip to nostalgia land ?

    ferrer is a clearly better player than all of them.

    even a 19 year old nadal would've beat your favorite laver left right on clay :)

    essentially you only have 4 teenage greats in the open era : borg in the 70s, wilander and becker in the 80s and nadal in the 2000s. by that I mean those who had consistent great success in teen years.

    sampras' run in US Open 1990 was a one-off
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
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  28. Avles

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    Solomon and Dibbs, better than Ferrer?

    Here's some video of Harold Solomon in action:

    http://www.ina.fr/video/I05318467 (play starts at 0:22, longest rallies start at 1:23.)

    Oh yes, he's clearly better than Ferrer... :roll:
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
    #28
  29. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    #29
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Just compare their records.OK, maybe Ferrer record is just as good as Solly and Dibbs, so they belong to the same tier...
     
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  31. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    oh¡ I know it hurts you that Sampras won at 19 while Federer not

    BTW, when is teen age overcame? because Mac won the Masters at 19, Edberg won the AO at 19 and, of course, you forgot Michael Chang, who won RG at 17.Like Wilander.
     
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  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Ramirez could do things on a tennis court that Ferrer can only watch on you tube...
     
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  33. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Knows some of the top guys

    Chris knows some of the top guys. He was Ivan Lendl's coach for a while, late in Ivan's career in the early 1990's. Chris' brother is one of the coaches on Lendl's staff at Lendl's tennis junior program in Florida. Chris Lewis also toured New Zealand with Bjorn Borg in late 1983 for an exhibition series between the two of them.

    As a side note he played my brother Chris a number of times (my brother always lost) when they were both very young :)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
    #33
  34. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Which brings us to an entertaining game
    Who ranks as NZ second best player ever after Sir Tony Wilding?
    Parun and Lewis both lost a slam final on grass
    Lewis did better on small regular events while Onny had better results at majors
    Parun was a strict s&v player and Chris a baseliner
    Did they ever face each other on tour?
     
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  35. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, Even though Lewis reached the Wimbledon final, I rank Parun a bit higher.

    I don't know if they met at all.
     
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  36. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    While Lewis did quite better on clay and hard, Parun had a bunch of Wimbledon,Forest Hills and Australian quarters all of them on grass
    Known for his great endurance, he reached the 4 th round at Wimbledon aged 35 or 36
    He beat Clerc but lost to Peter Fleming
    Don' t tell me why but I always felt simpathy for the guy
     
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  37. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    kiki, Yes, a nice guy. I talked to Onny after he had beaten Clerc in, I believe, 1979 when he was 32. Or it was in 1980.
     
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  38. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    Right, Chris has been very close to Lendl for a long time.
    We had a discussion about Lendl in 2008.
    He was nice enough to drop by a forum for quite awhile back then and would answer just about anything you wanted to know.

    I wouldn't be surprised, if he was asked by the right person, if he would stop by here and answer a few questions.
     
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  39. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    It was in 80 but I really thought he was older than 32
    Fleming made his best slam result after defeating Parun and losing his quarterfinal to Mac
     
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  40. carpedm

    carpedm New User

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    It's interesting how Lewis talks about McEnroe trying to beam him in his first service game ( he had a great reaction volley because of it ). Lewis had two similar scenarios during Mac's next service game and yet he instead tried to hit around his fiery opponent instead. I guess he didn't want to wake a sleeping giant by ******* John off but seeing the final score, maybe Lewis should've adopted a few Lendl-isms.

    Besides, who wouldn't want to walk around the club as the guy we beamed Mac?
     
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  41. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I said consistent great results and great. chang was not a great player. edberg wasn't consistent enough

    mac was closer to 20 when he won the masters .

    as far as sampras is concerned, why would it hurt me ? sampras had one excellent run in USO 90, but was nowhere near consistently great at that time. reality.

    as far as when teen age is defined, you have the clue in the word teen . thirteen to nineteen !
     
    #41
  42. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    Really interesting interview. Thank you.
    Side note, imo, Ellesse really was the most stylish tennis kit in the early 80s
     
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  43. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    let's see :

    dibbs made two semis at majors - at the FO - in 75,76

    ferrer has 5 semis at majors - USO 2007, 2012 ; AO 2011,2013, RG 2012

    ferrer has a QF at wimbledon ( 2012 ), dibbs' best at wimbledon is 2R

    ferrer made the final of the Masters in 2007 beating nadal, roddick and djokovic

    dibbs made the final of WCT in 78 , but that was a weakened one with connors not there and borg injured.

    similar no of titles overall .

    overall ferrer's record is clearly better.

    solomon has 1 final and 2 semi at RG, better than ferrer there, but nowhere else, not HC, grass or indoors. he has only one other semi at a major. no final at WCT or masters. ferrer's record is better overall.

    you are saying now maybe they belong the same tier. So ferrer could be top 5 then as well just as they were, correct ?

    O-W-N-E-D :)
     
    #43
  44. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    umm, chris lewis apart from the 83 wimbledon final never went past the 3R of a major, highest ranking was #19, he wouldn't have reached the final if curren hadn't taken out connors.

    gonzalez apart from his AO 2007 final has a semi, 2 QFs at RG; one QF at wimbledon and 2 QFs at USO. he reached the AO 2007 final thrashing nadal and haas

    baghdatis has a wimbledon semi and a quarter apart from his AO 2006 final. he reached the final beating roddick, nalbandian, ljubicic.

    both easily tougher draws than lewis'

    both gonzalez and baghdatis have a highest ranking within top 10.

    lewis is nowhere in the same league as these 2. these 2 are much better players.
     
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  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    get a clue about Golden tennis and come back.

    ferrer would , at most, be a good top tenner.as I said, Ramirez is a much more complete player than your iconoc moonballer.
     
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  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    what is the conversion factor between 2000´s drafts and 1970 or 1980´s drafts? due to the weakening of eras, it should be factored in and pownded.

    Like we should pownded pro vs am slams and WCT/Masters against AO but also against FO/W/USo during the 70´s and 80´s...many things should be factored in in order to clarify things.

    However, I never said Lewis was a great player, and you could be right.And Gonzalez and Bagdhatis have possibly a better overall career.
     
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  47. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    If solomon and dibbs were top 10nners, ferrer obviously would be easily.

    If you call ferrer a moonballer, what would you call solomon and dibbs? Mega moonballers ? :twisted:

    Ramirez was a more complete player, but not a more successful player in singles
     
    #47
  48. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    The ao vs wct/masters in the 70s is more objective fact based on the no of top players entering. Comparision b/w eras as a whole is much more subjective.


    And yes, gonzalez and baghdatis are far better than lewis
     
    #48
  49. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    wake me the day midget ferrer wins the IO Ramirez won in 1975 beating peak Orantes in three straight sets...
     
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