forget who the best was, who has done the most for tennis?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by randomname, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. randomname

    randomname Professional

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    my vote goes for billie jean king, she single handedly legitimized women's tennis, created the WTT format and leage and founded the tennis on campus program. and no, the guy who invented tennis doesnt count
     
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  2. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    Jimmy Connors for men. He changed the sport to a more aggressive style. No longer a country club sport. Popularized the 2 handed backhand for men.

    BJK for women.
     
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  3. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

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    Agassi for men. he continues to contribute to the community of the underprivileged in las vegas in his college prep school and donates his time to help kids get motivated to play tennis there. there probably is no bigger name that will be remembered throughout the ages for his tennis, his comeback, his endorsements, his hair, etc...

    if you think Federer has done more.......do you think more kids are motivated to play tennis because of his recent dominance the past few years? Many more of us will remember being drawn to the sport of tennis by Agassi's flashy/rebellious ways :D He was always such an incredible showman, entertainer, and fan's man. This can't be said at all about Federer, Sampras, or Nadal. <3

    EDIT: i would have no idea about these old timers. i grew up in the 80s/90s
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2008
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  4. racquetfreak

    racquetfreak Semi-Pro

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    BJK - hands down has had the greatest impact regardless of gender. Others were great, and perhaps more entertaining, but none had a more positive, wide sweeping impact on all aspects of the sport of tennis.
     
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  5. kairosntx

    kairosntx Professional

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    Jo11yRoger
    YULitle
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  6. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    As far as US tennis, King and Connors, agree.
     
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  7. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

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    It has to be Jack Kramer IMO, he blazed a trail for the Pro game, formed the players association....etc.....etc
     
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  8. North

    North Professional

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    Billie Jean King. Her match with Bobby Riggs not only helped open up sports in general for women more but helped popularize tennis for a lot more people.
     
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  9. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    Borg definetly helped to popularize the game by becomming the first tennis "star". Someone who had a rockstar like quality with girls screaming for him, fans chasing autographs etc etc.

    Borg was the first player who was really famous outside tennis circles.
     
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  10. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Jack Kramer did a lot to start men's international pro tennis. OF course he made his millions there, too.

    Arthur Ashe: citizen of the world. A great and humble champion.

    Kenny Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Rod Laver, Pancho Gonzales and Ilie Nastase. These are players people still talk about...even non-tennis fans.

    Yannick Noah. Charity. Love for the game. Cool factor at an all-time high. More than tennis. Ditto for Guga Kuerten.

    Ion Tiriac: Kind of a Jack Kramer, only later, and in East and Central Europe. Very profit-minded, but has supported tennis and run/sponsored tournaments along the way.

    BJK, of course, for womens tennis.

    Johnny Mac, Borg, Jimmy...for tennis' heyday. Thanks for everything.

    As commentators in the US during my years as a young tennis player and fan: Bud Collins (and for being the games historian), Fred Stolle, Tony Trabert.....Cliff Drysdale.

    On the instructional side: Peter Burwash, Vic Braden, Dennis Van Der Meer, Ron Holmberg, Nicky B., and of course, your friendly neighborhood tennis pros.

    Equipment: Warren Bosworth.

    Scoring: James Van Alen.

    The suits:
    Hamilton Jordan, Lamar Hunt, Donald Dell, Mark McCormack.
     
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  11. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Slice,

    As an American I'm surprised you didn't include Bill Talbert and Perry Jones.
     
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  12. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Lacoste. The Crocodile. Best tennis brain ever. Player, thinker, inventor, businessman. Outthought Tilden, invented the ball machine, made chic clothes. Had the best logo.
     
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  13. WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis

    WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis Hall of Fame

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    The first person I thought of was Billie Jean King.
     
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  14. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    For me its.......

    Billy Jean and Arthur Ashe hands down.

    TennezSport :cool:
     
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  15. k_liu

    k_liu Rookie

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    For the sport: Billy Jean and Arthur Ashe hands down.

    For the sport and charity: Andre Agassi
     
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  16. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    de villiers.


    but i'm not joking, he has done for tennis... ok, done bad... but done ! :rolleyes:
     
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  17. miniRafa386

    miniRafa386 Hall of Fame

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    agassi or j-mac
     
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  18. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

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    i dunno about all time, but in the course of my lifetime, i'd say agassi. i grew up in a town or 14,000 with eight courts (prolly the only 8 courts in the county) and when agassi broke onto the scene, they were full of kids my age (12-18 ). in my high school, all of the guys who played tennis played because of agassi.

    recently, i would say that skraggle & samster's exibition matches are doing much to build a groundswell of support for the game and are winning the hearts and minds of new fans for tennis!
     
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  19. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    I think John Mac and Jimmy Conners (or Borg) Rivarly really spiked interest in tennis in early days.

    But I would say Agassi really changed the way sponsors look at tennis and raised public interest in tennis.
     
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  20. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Duly noted, AndrewD, thank you.
    As an Aussie, anyone to add?

    One of the game's legendary coaches, Harry Hopman!!
     
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  21. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Gotta add another vote for Agassi here, since the pretentious snobs on this forum section won't mention him. Also Borg and Connors.
     
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  22. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Slice,

    I think that Harry Hopman's contribution is an interesting one. While he was significant as a player, an administrator, a reporter and as our Davis Cup captain (not a coach per se, more of a motivator, an eagle-eye for talent and a politician - Bollettieri operates in a similar fashion but, in my opinion, has contributed far more as a coach) he has actually transcended all of those roles. However, what did he contribute?

    If anything, you could say that he provided the means by which the greatest generation of tennis players our sport has ever seen (forget Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang, I'm talking Sedgman, McGregor, Hoad, Rosewall, Rose, Fraser, Emerson, Stolle, Newcombe, Roche, Court, etc, etc, etc. Not just one or two years but a true generational conveyor belt of talent like we've never seen before or since) could develop and bring their games to the world stage. Then, of course, he has transcended that role to become synonymous with the Davis Cup.

    I'd also like to put in a vote for Tony Trabert. In my opinion, he's the greatest player to never be fully acknowledged - in particular in his own country. As a player, politician, Davis Cup coach and broadcaster he's done an enormous amount for the game of tennis internationally and in the United States (not forgetting that he served in WWII). In my opinion, among the American men, he's on a par with Kramer and Ashe for the contribution he's made to the game.
     
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  23. AndrewTas

    AndrewTas Rookie

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    I agree with AndrewD that Hopman and Trabert contributed quite a lot to tennis. The ITF acknowledged this in 2005 when they awarded Trabert with their Phillipe Chatrier Award which is given to Contributions to the Game of Tennis.

    Others to be awarded the award are:
    1996 Edberg
    1997 Evert
    1998 Laver
    1999 Pietrangeli
    2002 Kramer
    2003 BJ King
    2004 Noah
    2006 Margaret Court
    2007 McEnroe

    I like to mention Herman David, the chairman of the All England Club in the 1960's and Derek Hardwick on the LTA of England who forced the hand of the ILTF in 1968 and finally got the open era started by making Wimbledon open. Without them, and no open tennis, Gladys Heldman would not have been able to start the Virginia Slims circuit with BJ King crusading for more money or the circuit we have now would not have occurred.
     
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  24. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Yes, the 1967 Wimbledon pro, which was organized by Herman David, was instrumental in bringing up open tennis. Wimbledon threatened the reluctant ITF to go alone through with open tennis in 1968. Its interesting, that in 1960 a vote for open tennis on an ILTF meeting at Paris, didn't come together, because a handful of delegates was out in town and didn't attend the voting. For pure star quality, one has to mention Suzanne Lenglen (despite the nose). There was never a bigger star in tennis.
     
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  25. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

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    Yep well done I would like to add on equipment, Howard Head who changed for better or worse the way the game is played today.
     
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  26. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

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    my sentiments exactly :D
     
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  27. CGMemphis

    CGMemphis Rookie

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    Great post.

    In my opinion this would be in light of what they did for the game itself, within itself.

    I cannot find any other tennis player, American or worldwide that has brought the game to the public any better than Andre Agassi. Billie Jean King brought equality, and thats no laughing matter. It brought media attention to the game, so she is deserved her credit. Andre brought the public to the game.

    He was and is the Air Jordan of tennis. He had not only a serious career, he impacted the average kid to play tennis regardless of social/economical/geographical boundaries.

    Agassi philanthropic and charitable contribution to society are by absolutely incredible. One read of the recent interview in Tennis Magazine and you will see his mindset of not only being grateful for what tennis has afforded him but in turn using that return that to the community.

    If you read his farewell speech, those words and his ovation are far beyond just being a good player. I cannot forsee any current pro retiring publicly with such gratitude:

    "The scoreboard said I lost today, but what the scoreboard doesn't say is what it is I have found.

    "And over the last 21 years, I have found loyalty. You have pulled for me on the court and also in life. I've found inspiration. You have willed me to succeed sometimes even in my lowest moments.

    "And I've found generosity. You have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams, dreams I could have never reached without you.

    "Over the last 21 years, I have found you. And I will take you and the memory of you with me for the rest of my life.

    "Thank you."
     
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  28. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

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    GAH.. can't choke up like this while i'm at work T_T
     
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  29. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Fail. This sham of a match is the biggest stain on tennis in memory.

    Good things did come for women's game, but not because Billie Jean beat an overweight Riggs.
     
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  30. peluzon

    peluzon Rookie

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    Marcelo Rios for Latinoamericans ,, after him there was a lot of good players ..... Guga, Nalbandian, Gonzalez , Massu, etc etc etc
     
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  31. Lendl and Federer Fan

    Lendl and Federer Fan Hall of Fame

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  32. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I think we should change this thread to "Who Do You Blame for the Current Sad State of Tennis?" (i.e. brainless bland baseline bashers)

    And I would list Lendl at the very top. Remember the title of his book Power Tennis.
     
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  33. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    Great list! That's pretty comprehensive. If I had to narrow it down to two I would go with BJK and Ashe. They each gave so much of themselves that they may have even hurt their own careers at one time or another. But both inspired people in a way that put tennis in a positive light and also transcended tennis itself.

    Martina certainly put herself out there. And she and Chris served long periods of time as the president of the WTA even during their playing days.

    Pam Shriver is certainly a player that did an awful lot off the court. When other players shrugged off WTA assignments, sponsor parties, workshops, etc. Pam was there to pick up the slack.
     
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  34. Lendl and Federer Fan

    Lendl and Federer Fan Hall of Fame

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    You sounded like someone blames his/her problem on other people. Are you a SV, if not, don't blame others for stucking on the baseline.
     
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  35. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    That is, perhaps, speaking as an American.

    Speaking as an Australian, I would say that there has been a long line of players who have been better ambassadors for the game than Agassi, more willing representatives of their country and who didn't suffered the same number of 'blips' along the way. In my country that would include people like Harry Hopman, Frank Sedgman, Evonne Goolagong, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson, Jack Crawford, etc, etc. If I were South American I would probably say Vilas or Sabatini. The French might suggest Noah, Suzanne Lenglen or any of the '4 Muskateers' and the list goes on.
     
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  36. Nickognito

    Nickognito Rookie

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    Tilden and Kramer
     
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  37. rosenstar

    rosenstar Professional

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    Agassi is mostly responsible for the way today's game is played. He was really the first to hit the ball hard off both wings and take it early. Before him, no one could hit the ball that accurately, that hard, and that early.

    He also greatly contributed to the racquets of today. He was one of the first players to use an oversized racquet. His choice to do so has had a great impact on how racquets have been produced marketed.

    Andre Aggasi created the game of today. He is (for the most part) a mold for almost all players in today's game.
     
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  38. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Ashe, BJK, Kramer, Agassi........

    Oh, and richard Williams (according to him). :)
     
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  39. Lendl and Federer Fan

    Lendl and Federer Fan Hall of Fame

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    LOL.......
     
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  40. daddy

    daddy Legend

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    Lendl just implemented the hard work part into the tennis, not to say others have not been working hard. But his ways really proved that had work pays off. he did not make the biggest contribution but surely had many things to di with the development of tennis to todays standards which are not sad by any means. Or if you think otherwise, go beat a pro allrounder baseline basher and get back here to post.
     
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  41. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Guillermo vilas ! He worked so hard to win big tournaments. It's an exemple.
     
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  42. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Christian Bimes. Francesco Ricci Bitti. For their contribution to the ''suits with fun names to say'' category.

    Roland Garros for crossing the Mediterranean Sea....and for being the name of a Slam.

    Ted Tinling for designing the clothes of a [ahem] unique time in women's sports.

    Phillippe Chatrier. Another good suit with fun name.

    Alan Mills and Brian Early for looking concerned while at the same time appearing knowledgeable about the weather.

    Yuri Sharapova for adding an off the charts, never before seen level of contrivedness to the game.

    Clan Djokovic for taking it up a notch.

    John Barrett for his commentary. Dan Maskell, too.

    Melchior Di Giacomo and Russ Adams, photography.

    Peter Bodo for .... the cheese factor ... and doing a little something for the low-end tennis head.

    Richard Evans for his writing. Steve Flink, too.

    Seena Hamilton for her tournament directing at the top of the jr level.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
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  43. Lendl and Federer Fan

    Lendl and Federer Fan Hall of Fame

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    Ivan Lendl
    The Father Of Modern Tennis

    The first time I heard the name Ivan Lendl was in 1979, during the US Open, my favorite tennis hero of the time, Bjorn Borg was being interviewed after an early round win, the announcer asked him who he thought is a new up and coming star that we should be looking out for, without hesitation, the tennis God of the time said, "Ivan Lendl, he's very good and will get even better". That year Ivan lost in the 2nd round to the hard serving Roscoe Tanner in straight sets. I Wonder if Bjorn knew the extent that Ivan would later dominate the tournament that he tried so hard to win and never did. No other player in the Open era has dominated the US Open like Ivan Lendl. An American born on the wrong continent at the wrong time, he not only adopted a new country, but another style of play, a love for the hard courts that was throughout his career his favorite surface to implement the utter destruction of his opponents.

    By now you must be wondering why I have the audacity to call Ivan Lendl he father of modern tennis, after all he was according to Sports Illustrated the original champion that no one cared about, the cold, hard, machine, that planned the bludgeoning of his foes without mercy and without flair. He was despised by all, the media, the fans and even his fellow players. For years, it seemed the only four people that liked Ivan Lendl was his mother Olga, his father Jiri, his mentor\coach Wojtek Fibak and me, John Figaro. One of the great days in tennis history is the famed "Super Saturday" at the US Open, where the men's semis and women's finals went the distance, featuring captivating, dramatic and high quality tennis by all 6 competitors. The seasoned tennis fan will remember Ivan's heroic topspin lob over Pat Cash's head to save a match point and eventually securing a berth in the finals, but what I remember most was the crowd yelling "Ivan go home", booing when he wins a point, aggressively applauding his errors and attempting to distract him during his service toss, - no it wasn't just the NY crowd, Europeans showed their true colors also, during the famous 1988 Italian Open final with Argentinean clay court specialist Guillermo Perez-Roldan, Ivan was totally frustrated, he took out some of his anger on the umpire and lines people and even responded to the crowd who booing and heckling him with great fervor. The pesky and speedy Roldan was taking full advantage of the situation, but like he usually did, (over 1,200 times), Ivan won 6-2,4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

    So why is he the father of modern tennis? Prior to the rise and domination of Ivan Lendl, professional tennis was ruled by 2 styles, players could either be classified as Borgians (High loopy, heavy topspin, from the baseline, very defensive, waiting for the opponent to make a mistake) McEnroeseque (serve and volleyers with weak ground strokes, who rushed the net at every opportunity), then came Ivan, he brought massive power from the baseline to the game. No longer where baseliners defensive players, he attacked and took control of the outcome of the point, instead of waiting for an error.

    The modern tennis game is based on the following strategy:

    Big inside out forehand

    Big serve

    Total fitness

    Speed afoot

    Strong physique

    Thorough preparation

    Crush or be crushed

    Ivan was the first champion to use and master the inside out forehand from the ad-side of the court, crushing weak replies for winners.

    His forehand game was setup by his serve, during his domination, no one had a bigger, more consistent and accurate serve than Ivan Lendl. He used his powerful serve to dictate right from the beginning, and his forehand to close the point out.

    Ivan was the first champion to take advantage of scientific advances in training routines. He lifted weights, did aerobics and cross- training. At his prime, no other tennis player was in better shape.

    He may not have been the fastest, but his off court work and his anticipation, made it seem like there was no ball he could not reach.

    At 6'2" 175lbs, he was the prototype of the modern tennis player, he was not going to pushed around.

    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

    Bjorn Borg never had an easy match, his style of play did not allow him to take the initiative, with Ivan the approach was, if you're not going to hit it, I will, as a matter of fact, I'm going to hit it no matter what you do.

    Look at the men's a game, and to some extent, the women's game, what you will see are players, using the above formula perfected by Ivan Lendl to earn millions of dollars and entertain fans all over the world.

    Next time you see Pete Sampras (whom Lendl took under his wing and spent time observing and learning how to be a champion at Ivan's home) hit his famous patented running cross-court monster forehand, think of Ivan he did it first and intimidated anyone standing across the net. - Approach with caution!

    Next time you hear how fit Jim Courier & Thomas Muster used to be (two players whom Lendl has a 9-1 record against) keep in mind that they were following the example of the innovator of tennis fitness. Let's not forget Andre Agassi, whom Lendl called "A forehand and a haircut" during Andre's coming out year, he is now number one and the fittest tennis player on the planet but he too is following in the footstep of Ivan Lendl. To be a champion, one must work harder than work itself.

    Next time you see players changing racquets during ball changes, next time you see racquets being delivered in plastic bags, next time you hear of players having their own personal stringers, next time you hear how precise each racquet is customized, think of Ivan Lendl, he started the whole thing, which at the time fed the fuel of him being called a machine, but instead he was well on his way to being the first true professional tennis player the world had ever seen.

    No, he was not the most talented, but through hard work, he achieved a thousand times more than other gifted mortals. His tennis achievements when put together in a package has not been equaled by any other tennis player.

    He was not appreciated, he did not get his full merit, he did not get the love and respect that he deserved. We all remember Jimmy Connors's run at the 91 US open, Ivan's effort the following year was just as impressive if not more, in the 2nd round Lendl's victim was none other than Jimbo who quickly sniped "It's not the Ivan Lendl that I remember, he does not hit the ball hard any more, he just bunts it". If not for a rain delay the night before, Stefan Edberg would not have won the tournament, after jumping to a 2 set lead and a break, Ivan came roaring back and was leading until play was suspended. The next day, Ivan came to within a half inch to go up 5-3 in the 5th set, but Edberg broke back and went on to win the match in a 5th set tiebreak, 6-3,6-3,3-6,5-7,7-6, one of the best matches I have ever seen.

    He gave the world many 5 set thrillers, like his first Grand Slam final in 1981 at the French Open against Bjorn Borg, a match that most tennis fans seem to have forgotten. By 1984 even though he had already had two Masters (Tour championships) under his belt, the media gave him the choke label, he can't win the big one they said. He had reached 4 Grand slam finals and came up empty each time, a closer look at his opponents at those finals would reveal four of the greatest names in the history of the sport, Bjorn Borg once, Mats Willander once, and Connors twice, who won his first three grand slam finals. I think Ivan would have beaten Phil Dent and the well beyond his prime Ken Rosewall (twice) with the same ease.

    He could not play on grass they said, but he managed to win 89 matches on that surface, including 3 grand slam finals and two championships in consecutive years (89,90) at the Queen's Club event before Wimbledon. In 1990 en route to his victory there he beat John McEnroe and Boris Becker in the semis and finals respectively. The one aspect that always impressed me with Lendl was the fact that he served and volleyed on both first and second serves at Wimbledon all the time, he changed from a power baseliner to a serve and volleyer, could McEnroe have reached 5 semifinals and 2 two finals at the French by staying back on both 1st and second serves all the time, I doubt it, as a matter of fact he only managed one semi and one final at the French playing his normal aggressive style. Andre Agassi proved that one does not have to serve and volley to win at Wimbledon, perhaps if Ivan had maintained his regular game and not been so obsessed with winning the number one trophy in tennis, the question of who was the greatest would have been laid to rest a long time ago.
     
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  44. Lendl and Federer Fan

    Lendl and Federer Fan Hall of Fame

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    Here's another example of the establishment, history and his opponent not giving Lendl any respect, if you look at any tennis encyclopedia or listen to any McEnroe broadcast, you will hear how "he got tired in 1984 and lost the French", but in reality, Lendl won that match on pure guts, determination, skill and power. The eventual score does not resemble someone who ran out of gas, it is more like a player who's tactics and nerve caught up with him and tried as hard as he could to weather the storm, but could not fight the fury. Score 3-6,2-6,6-4,7-5,7-5 Lendl

    McEnroe, Connors and borg are part of the greatest rivalries of all time, but one name is missing, you guessed it, the greatest rivalry of all-time in the open era is not McEnroe-Borg, but McEnroe-Lendl, but it sounds more glamorous for McEnroe to dismiss Lendl. The numbers don't lie, Ivan deserves his proper due, yes he will be inducted in the tennis Hall OF Fame, unlike Borg, I'm sure he will show up and accept his well deserve day of coronation.

    Ivan reached 19 grand slam signals finals, more than any other male player in the open era, he won 8 of them, but a closer look will reveal the fact that he lost 10 of those finals to 5 of the greatest champions in the open era, Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Willander and Becker. Pete Sampras, the greatest tennis player the game has seen so far, has a total of 12 grand slams, 7 of them were against players who not only were never number one, but players who never won a single grand slam tournament, of the remaining 5, three of them were against Andre Agassi. How many slams would Ivan have won if he had faced players of that caliber? Of the 19 Grand Slam finals, Ivan faced, players who were multiple slam winners and former number ones, 15 times.

    The US Open committee may never give him a day of his own, but as a true fan of the man's effort on the tennis court, I will not let his legacy die. Ivan Lendl was the best of his generation, his contributions to the game are innumerable. He is truly a champion of champions.
     
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  45. xnarek

    xnarek Rookie

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    I hate how people hit so hard this days, but then again, i wonder if i will get used to that when im older?
     
    #45
  46. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Sampras has 14 Slam titles, not 12.

    And I agree with you about Lendl. He is one of my all time favorite players.

    Regarding who has done the most for tennis, I would have to say Billie Jean King. There wouldn't have been a women's tour without her tireless efforts. Billie Jean also said that Evert came along at just the right time and generated massive interest in women's tennis and she was just what the fledgling women's tour needed. Billie Jean knew a star when she saw one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
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  47. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    I agree on King. Even while King is easily one of the top 8 women players all time her tennis greatness is almost dwarfed by her other contributions to the game.

    I also agree Evert deserves alot of credit for help ushering in this new era of womens tennis. She was not only an exceptionaly talented young tennis player with great mental toughness, but she was very attractive, marketable, popular, had that intangible "star" quality which you either have or you dont, all which were essential for the new face of the womens game as Court and King were fading out of their primes to draw in the much needed viewers and interest.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
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  48. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    LendlFedererfan, man, you said more about Lendl than Lendl could! WOW!

    Of ourse he did a lot for tennis, but he did it quietly and led by example. THis is a very different form of contribution to the greater good...than the more traditionally loved / lauded / revered characters like Ashe.

    Lendl had a similar legacy to Graf. Ashe had more in common with say, BJK.

    I was not a Lendl fan really, but I have nothing but respect for his game, his work ethic and his will power. Good sense of humor, too.

    BTW, a lot of people do not know this (especialy people who've read Spadea's book), but he'd help kids out at the clubs he bought in the Westchester County and SW CT area. He'd also sometimes bring young players to hit at the court at his house in Goshen.

    Not a bad guy. BUt, to be honest, in the end, I'd place him somewhere other than the top of this thread's list.
     
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  49. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    Totally Agree.........

    L&FF,

    Very well said sir! I totally agree with everything you stated. Lendl was never appreciated for what he did for tennis, but you can count me in as one of his biggest fans. Both he and Martina Navratilova completely changed the game for the better.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
    #49
  50. Lendl and Federer Fan

    Lendl and Federer Fan Hall of Fame

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    Glad some of you agreed. Still not everyone is convinced Lendl has done more for tennis than anyone in the modern era; I guess people in general are influenced by those have more exposes on TV.
     
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