Ivan Lendl totaly underated

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pepe01, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Becker could overpower Ivan, one of the few who could back then and Ivan was candid about Becker's power being a big factor in his defeats.
     
    #51
  2. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Sorry dude Agassi won Wimbledon. Lendl did not so no they aren't about equal on grass. and frankly Lendl would not have beaten Goran that day.

    As for the slumps you are correct -if Andre had not gone south for three season in his physical prime he would probabaly be ranked ahead of Ivan. But he did not and did not have a s great a career.
     
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  3. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    And, Agassi could overpower Becker!
     
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  4. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    One more thing to note about the Lendl-Sampras head-to-head is that the last 2 matches were played in 1994, the year Lendl retired with a chronic injury, as his level of play took a terminal dive and he was losing in early rounds everywhere. 1994 also happens to be Sampras best year as far as I can see: he won two majors + the year-end championship + three Super-9 tournaments.

    So if you ignore 1994 for being so obviously indicative of nothing but a total mismatch, and you look at the rest of their head to head (1990-1993), you are left with the following fact: A 19-22 year old Sampras is 3-3 against a 30-33 year old Lendl. All the Lendl wins were on carpet. Two of Sampras wins were on hard.

    Again, from this, you can hardly conclude that Sampras in his prime would have thoroughly “dominated” 25-27 year old Lendl on everything but clay. A more reasonable assumption is that Sampras would have dominated on grass, Lendl would have dominated on clay, and it would have been too close to call on other surfaces.
     
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  5. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    After 1989 it looked like Agassi toyed with Boris
     
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  6. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    IMO, Lendl had the better serve, although Agassi's serve is underrated, they were about equal on forehand, and Agassi had the better backhand. Agassi hit harder than Lendl and was just as steady. But, most importantly, not only was Agassi's return game better than Lendl's (he probably had the best return game in the history of tennis), Agassi's return game was better than Lendl's serve game on a relative basis.
     
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  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    As soon as someome uses terms like "thoroughly dominated" when discussing the relative greatness of all time greats, you know they are not thinking clearly. Having said that, I don't recall anyone saying that about Sampras and Lendl.
     
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  8. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    Lendl was by some distance better on fast hard courts than agassi. By some distance better at the US Open and miles ahead at the year ending championships. In general , quite a bit better on indoor.

    yes, agassi was better on grass, but that was due to lendl not being that comfortable there with the movement and bounces in comparision to the hard courts.

    And agassi himself was better on slower HCs than on fast HCs , and better on slow HCs than lendl IMO ...

    And of course lendl was quite a bit better on clay.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
    #58
  9. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    you are under-rating the difference in their serves IMO ....

    Also I think lendl's FH was a bit better than agassi's ; the running FH in particular is a no-contest.

    You also neglected the movement factor. Ivan was a better mover than agassi.
     
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  10. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Not entirely convinced about the grass. These are their best 6 years on grass:

    Lendl
    1989: 11-1
    1990: 10-1
    1986: 6-1
    1987: 10-2
    1988: 5-1
    1985: 7-2

    Agassi:
    1992: 7-0
    1999: 6-1
    1995: 5-1
    2001: 5-1
    1991-4-1
    2000: 6-2

    Best year, Agassi has a better record
    Second best year Lendl has a better record
    Third best year Lendl has a better record
    Fourth best year is equal
    Fifth best year Lendl has a better record
    Sixth best year Lendl has a better record.

    Does this mean that Agassi was better on grass? Why?
     
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  11. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Brad Gilbert was of the opinion that Lendl hit harder overall than Agassi but Agassi took the ball earlier so the ball came back a bit quicker.

    Frankly I think it may very well be a myth that Agassi is the greatest returner in the history of tennis. John McEnroe I believe started this. I believe a number of players I've seen were superior to Agassi with Jimmy Connors as one of the more prominant names.

    In the 1990's, the decade which Agassi was at his peak I compared his return statistics to Michael Chang who also was a fabulous returner. While I wasn't able to do an exact numerical comparison with the exact number of matches played I did do a rough comparison by simply adding up the percentage of games won on return for each during the year and Chang came out slightly ahead. Agassi looks fabulous while returning because he hits a lot of winners but I believe that some players can get more returns into play like a Chang, Connors, Rosewall or Laver. I remember seeing a Laver match against Roscoe Tanner a number of years ago. I thought Tanner was hitting incredibly fast serves but Laver was getting them back somehow. Tanner's ace total was very low but I think against almost anyone else he would have had a lot of aces.

    Agassi had a great forehand but I believe Lendl's forehand is one of the great shots in tennis history and superior to Agassi's. I also have no doubt Agassi had a superior backhand to Lendl but Lendl's backhand was very good.
     
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  12. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Agassi won Wimbledon, Ivan did not. The only grass tournament that matters is Wimbledon.
     
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  13. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    I saw a ton of Connors, Lendl and Chang. Agassi's return is the best I ever saw so I agree with McEnroe who played against all of them. I never saw anyone destruct Boris Beckers' service the way Andre could.
     
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  14. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think Agassi saw Becker's tongue out and that was some sort of clue about his serve. I don't remember the exact details. But it was fun watching Agassi destroy Becker's great serve. Becker always seemed shocked at how way Agassi handled his serve.

    Problem is that Agassi's serve return may have looked better than it actually was. A Chang for example may not hit as many winners straight off the serve but his defensive abilities kept in the rally to potentially win the point. Chang led the ATP a number of times in percentage of return games won as did Agassi.

    Bottom line is that the results may not have been as good as what people thought about Agassi's return.
     
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  15. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I think, Lendl and Agassi played some matches against each other, a couple of times at the USO. From what i remember, Lendl beat him pretty badly, say 8 out 10 times.
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Lendl was a better or more complete player than Agassi.Both were not great movers, but Lendl improved his side to side movement while Agassi just relied on ground stroking.

    Plus, Lendl´s serve was a real weapon, while none of them were great net players, Lendl was much better than the duck net player that Agassi was.Agassi´s BH was better than Lendl´s FH on the groove, in the same way Lendl´s FH was better than Agassi´s.

    So, Lendl gets the advantatge, far and wide
     
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  17. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    I always felt Agassi hit them back harder, but Connors (like Chang) got more serves back in play. Connors, in particular, got back service bombs that would be un-returnable for most. All are great returners, no doubt there.
     
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  18. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    True.Ivan´s game, even at 30 or 31, was a very bad match up for Andre...
     
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  19. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Regarding grass Agassi is probably better on grass because he won Wimbledon (if he had lost the 92 Wimbledon final I doubt anyone would say this). However he isnt much better.

    Breaking them down by surfaces Lendl is far superior on clay, fast hard courts, and carpet. Agassi is slightly superior on grass, and slightly better on rebound ace where Lendl had limited opportunities with the Australian only starting on rebound ace in 88. Overall big edge to Lendl.

    Breaking down their games Agassi only has the edge on the backhand and return. Lendl had the better forehand, better serve, much better movement, much better defense, better fitness (fit Agassi was equal here, but Lendl was very fit his whole career), probably better volleys, better overhead. Passing shots were about equal. Mental games both flucuated from very strong to less so depending which phase of their career they were in. Overall clear edge to Lendl again.

    Competition? Overall Lendl had the tougher competition. Yes Agassi faced Sampras, but that left the French wide open, and to a lesser degreee the Australian, if he were good enough. He was at the Australian but not at the French. Agassi didnt really face anyone else, his most success came from 99-2003 during the transition era where guys like Hewitt, Kuerten, and Roddick spent most of the time at #1. Even in 94-95 Edberg and Courier were already on the way down and out, Becker was still a force but mainly only on grass and carpet where Agassi had little to no real success either year anyway, same with Ivanisevic. Lendl faced Borg early on, McEnroe, Wilander, and Connors for many years, then Becker and Edberg as well. Overall definitely more competition.

    Also compare who they played in their slam finals. In Lendl's 19 slam finals he faced Connors twice, McEnroe three times, Borg once, Edberg twice, Becker three times, Wilander 5 times, and the weakest opponents were Mecir twice, and Cash on grass. Agassi in his 15 slam finals faced Sampras in 5, Courier in 1, and Federer in 1, going 1-6. One of those being against 19 year old Sampras who had barely escaped 30 year old Ivan Lendl to get there. Beyond that his other 7 slam titles came facing Goran Ivanisevic (toughest remaining one being on grass), Kafelnikov, Stich, Todd Martin, Medvedev, Clement, and Schuettler. He also lost a slam final to 30 year old Andrei Gomez.

    Overall achievements are a no brainer even with Agassi's career slam so I wont bother even going into those. Lendl's 1986 and 1987 are both better than any year Agassi ever had (be it 1995 or 1999), and Lendl was the dominant player the whole 85-87, and one of the clear 2 or 3 dominant players the whole 81-90 period (much of the 88-90 period still considered and ranked the #1) so dominance is a no contest too. Consistency between Lendl and Agassi, LOL! Versatility would probably favor Lendl since he won so much on everything but grass, whereas Agassi won something big on all surfaces, but the bulk of his wins by far were on hard courts, and more specifically slow to medium paced ones. That leaves only the longevity probably in Agassi's favor although Lendl also had excellent longevity.

    Lendl vs Agassi as far as historical ranking isnt even a debate. People still debate Lendl vs Nadal even though Nadal has 10 slams and the Career Slam himself.
     
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  20. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    and Gomez said afterwards that he was grateful that Lendl didn't enter the French that year.

    says a lot on just how dominant Lendl was that at the time of the 1990 French, when he was 30 & hadn't won a FO since '87, that one of the favorites said he knew his chances to win the tournament were higher without him in it(not to mention oddsmakers, analysts, etc, who agreed that without Lendl in the draw the tournament was wide open)
     
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  21. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    I see what you mean, but I also see that you are putting all the available weight on one single match of one single year, if you look at the grass results I presented. In other words, you are reducing the sample to its smallest possible size. Is that reasonable? It would be reasonable if we didn’t have any other samples available. It so happens that we do. Ignoring them seems very arbitrary and suspicious. The moment you allow even a slightly larger sample size under examination, things no longer point in the same direction. Over those six best years for both, Lendl is ahead by 1.35. Over their entire career, he is ahead by more than twice than figure.

    So what I see is that the results don’t bear out the supposition that Agassi was definitely better on grass. To be fair, they don’t say anything definite in the opposite direction either. So my conclusion is that they were both competent grass players, certainly way above the pack, but neither of them was a truly outstanding grass player. And my conclusion is that I don't have enough evidence, either from watching them play or from looking at the results, to determine who of the two was better on grass. So I call it even on that surface.

    Elsewhere, I do have evidence, both visual and number-based, and I can say without much of a doubt that Lendl in his best years was not inferior to Agassi’s best years on hard courts, and a lot better on clay, and much much better on carpet.

    This doesn’t even address the issue of consistency. A persistently irritating factor about comparing Agassi with most other player is the enormous restrictions you have to deal with regarding what you can and cannot consider. You cannot bring anything from certain years in the 90s (which would have been his normal prime years) because on certain years he was supposed to be off, except if a good result appears, in which case you are allowed to use it. You cannot bring up pre-1990 Agassi because he was not yet 20 years old, except if something stands out, in which case his youth is an amplifier of potential things he could have done in the future. In a similar way, you can use the stuff in the 2000s when it's good; but if not, you will be reminded that he was past 30. In other words, the samples from Agassi have to be cherry-picked with exquisite care across time, and only favorable ones are allowed. This gets a bit irritating after a while. I also think that Agassi has been the beneficiary of the single most massive marketing campaign in the history of tennis, at least in his own country, which explains why so many people in the US are completely convinced that he was one of the top 4 or 5 players of all time.

    I just don't see any criteria by which you can put Agassi ahead of Lendl. Only mass hypnosis can accomplish such a feat, it seems to me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
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  22. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    At bold part, if that is the final of a GS, that single match holds a lot of weight !

    He beat becker and ivanisevic on his way to the title.

    Besides agassi has similar ( very slightly better ) winning % at Wimbledon.

    You would maybe have a decent case for lendl statistically if he had a better winning percentage by some margin, but that is not the case here.

    Besides what were lendl's biggest scalps at wimbledon ? edberg in 87 ? who else ?

    agassi beat becker & ivanisevic in 92, krajicek in 93, rafter in 99, phillippoussis in 2000 ....

    Watching them play, IMO agassi was better on grass
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
    #72
  23. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Plus the Agassi-Rafter Wimbledon matches were ones for the ages.
     
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  24. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Both had bad backs during their peaks that the public didn't know much about. I don't know why you think Lendl was a more complete player. I don't see it. If anything, Agassi hit harder and with more touch and shot variety than Lendl. Nor was Lendl a better volleyer or net player than Agassi, IMO. They were equally uncomfortable at net. The only advantage that Lendl had over Agassi was his running forehand and his serve, and the serve wasn't that much of an advantage.
     
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  25. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    pc1,

    We've had this discussion before. I think you over-rate chang's returning in comparision to agassi's.


    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Matchfacts/Matchfacts-Landing.aspx

    Very recently ATP has updated their stats , so we have stats from 91 onwards ... Agassi and Chang are at roughly the same % , 32 ....

    Factors that tilt this quite a bit in agassi's favour:

    1. agassi's returning on grass

    2. he faced a higher % of top players than chang did, hence his % was bound to drop

    3. the sheer impact of his feared return

    4. chang held serve less often ( obviously ) , so he has to be hungrier to break .. Agassi's serve was quite a bit better, so he didn't need to put all the effort into returning as much as say chang had to
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
    #75
  26. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    Agassi did not hit it harder than lendl. He just took it earlier.

    And Lendl was quite a bit better at the net than agassi . No question about it .

    Agassi with more shot variety based on what exactly ? His slices ???? seriously ?

    And you are totally neglecting the movement aspect , which is a very key aspect. Lendl was better than agassi at that.
     
    #76
  27. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    - Having seen them both play, up close, Agassi hit harder than Lendl.

    - Agassi had great drop shots that Lendl didn't have.

    - I didn't say anything about slices, I don't know where you got that from, although both had decent, but not great, slices.

    - Agassi had better touch at the net, although neither were comfortable at net.

    - Neither were great movers, but, Lendl's wristy forehand was more effective on the stretch than Agassi's.
     
    #77
  28. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    disagree ... Both could hit equally hard. Just because lendl didn't unleash it as often as agassi, played with more patience, doesn't mean he couldn't hit it as hard .....

    which he mainly used after 99 or so , didn't use them that much before.

    what ???? agassi's slice sucked, yes, sucked. Lendl had a pretty good slice. This one isn't even anywhere close !

    I mentioned slices sarcastically because lendl could slice and junk . Agassi couldn't. Greater variety of shots than lendl ? really ?

    Lendl was quite a bit better at the net. He actually volleyed ok on the faster surfaces, especially grass. Agassi's net skills for most part were his swinging volleys and putaways . That's about it.

    yeah, neither were great movers, but Ivan was better ....
     
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  29. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Agassi hit harder than Lendl
     
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  30. lendlmac

    lendlmac Rookie

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    No he did not hit harder than Lendl. not even close.

    When Agassi was beating Lendl at the end of his career, Lendl was already 32, way past his prime and not as strong as he was in his ealy, mid 20's... Lendl retired at 34 in '94, Agassi started to beat Lendl by age 32 and on...Lendl was already much slower, and already was suffering from early back pain strain problems, as early as '91 in Philadelphia Finals against Pete Sampras, which Lendl won handldily, over-powering Sampras left and right, ace after ace...in the Finals, mind you...before swiching to his Mizuno frame..in the transition period...

    Lendl hit way harder than Agassi only using an 80 sq. in racquet, Agassi needed a 105-110 inch frame to even come close to hitting shot for shot with Lendl....and still came up short..unitl Lendl was 32... Sampras hit harder than Agassi...look at the 90 U.S. Open Final...Sampras blew Agassi off the Court...using an 85 in square frame...

    Boris Becker hit harder than Agassi.... Agassi was very good, heavy hitter, but didn't blow you off the Court...he and Courier were eqaul in that regard, shot for shot...Muster hit as hard as Agassi, but no as hard as Lendl.... shot for shot...Agassi was a better returner, and beat everyone that way......but not in the class of Lendl's power... not even close..
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
    #80
  31. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Why becuase you said so? Sampras also hit harder then Lendl as did Becker. Is Lendl your relative or something?
     
    #81
  32. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    A lot of weight yes. But does it have all the weight? Now you enter the new measurement of "scalps" size. Well, Edberg in 87 at Wimbledon, McEnroe and Becker in 90 at Queens,, Cash in 83 at the AO, Cash in 91 at the Beckenham – Kent Grass championships

    Back to the numbers on grass, Lendl has 2 Wimbledon finals, one Australian Open final, 5 Wimbledon semis, another AO semi, 2 championships at Queens and 2 Beckenham - Kent Grass Court Championships. He is 3 perecentage points higher than Agassi lifetime on the surface, and 1.35 higher on their 6 best years.

    I still think you are dismissing all the information except one match of one year. The fact of winning one of those finals is very relevant if you want to measure accomplishment. Agassi accomplished more by winning that. But if you want to see who had better results on the surface in general, you cannot base it all on one match. Agassi played 68 matches on grass, and Lendl played 107. You need to take a look at what they did beyond one single match.
     
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  33. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I do think one good point was made. That Agassi seemed able to overpower Becker who in turn overpowered Lendl convincingly at times. On the other hand Becker didnt start beating Lendl on non grass surfaces until he was already starting his decline. During Lendl's dominance Becker was even losing their matches on carpet, so for sure would have anywhere else (other than grass). Then on the other side Agassi just seemed to read Becker's game and his serve more easily than anyone else for whatever reason.

    Either way Lendl's overall career so far trumps Agassi's, there is really no way to argue Agassi as ranking higher just based on overly subjective views on their games.
     
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  34. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Lendl was a very competent, if not dynamic, grass court player. He just wasn't as lucky as Agassi, plain and simple :)
     
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  35. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Of Becker's 10 wins over Lendl, only the last 2 were when Becker had a higher world ranking than Lendl, and even then Lendl was number 3 in the world.

    Lendl beat a teenage Becker in 2 Masters finals (Jan 1986 and Dec 1986). They were good wins, and considering Lendl's position as world number 1 and 25-26 years old, he should have been winning them. It speaks volumes that the pundits and commentators weren't so sure that Lendl would win the December 1986 Masters final after Becker had beaten Lendl in 3 of their previous 4 matches.

    Lendl did everything he could to win Wimbledon. He was never good enough to do it. Apart from 1990 Queen's Club, Lendl never looked comfortable on grass, to my eyes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
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  36. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Well non prime Lendl can still easily be ranked higher than peak Becker, so pointing out Lendl being ranked higher isnt neccessarily proof of anything. Becker was hardly ever ranked higher than Lendl, even in his dream year of 1989 he couldnt outrank Lendl in at best his around 6th best year ever. Lendl is just by far the better overall player, despite that he found Becker a tough matchup for him perhaps. Lendl even in 1992 and much of 1993 was ranked higher, was he more prime than Becker then too, LOL!

    I would say 1988 is when Lendl started to decline after nearly 8 years of being at or near the very top, and 3 years of total dominating tennis.

    As for Becker he really played his best tennis from 1986-1989 anyway so beating him in 86 was as tough as beating him any year (other than 89), although being much younger he didnt decline after 89 at the rate Lendl was.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2011
    #86
  37. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Lendl made the finals of Wimbledon twice & semis 5 times serve & volleying on virtually every first & second serve. In order to win so many matches by serve & volleying on every point, one has to have a good percentage at net. Lendl certainly did(I tracked his net points in several grass matches) and he had good volleys(rewatch his '86 & '87 finals. he didn't lose either match due to his net game, it was his return game on grass that was a problem)

    I have collected several complete grasscourt matches involving Lendl(& plan on getting more) the pattern remains the same in almost all of them - S&V all the time.

    I'm not sure how you can compare the volleys of someone who served & volleyed so much on grass with pretty good success to someone who hardly served & volleyed on any surface in his entire career. Its almost like comparing Agassi's volleys to Edberg's, the gap in the amount of volleys that Lendl hit in his career compared to how many Agassi hit in his career is quite large.

    As far as slices - Lendl probably used his slice backhand more in one tournament than Agassi used in one year.

    rewatch his matches with Wilander at the French & USO's, I would guess majority of all bh's that Lendl hit in those matches were slice backhands.

    here's some of the '87 FO final(note the net approaches on clay. he was a lot more versatile than Agassi)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiDoDwAA1OQ


    how can you know if they are accurate numbers though? krosero has posted many times on how many matches on their site pre 2000 have incorrect serving stats(counting aces & doubles twice)
     
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  38. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    ? Ivan Lendl is one of the greatest indoor carpet surface players ever. So what if he played Becker on carpet? That doesn't tilt it in Becker's favor much if at all vs Ivan.
     
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  39. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Lendl put all of his might to win matches on grass. His quest to win Wimbledon at all costs is well documented. He trained the right way and employed the correct strategy to win it. He just wasn't good enough to do it. The footing was not to his liking and having a on me handed BH hurt him on grass as well.

    And BTW I don't need to go searching all over the internet to try and "prove" his BH wasn't a liability at Wimbledon. I saw the matches and it absolutely was especially the service return and passing shots.
     
    #89
  40. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    It's underrated.
     
    #90
  41. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Todd Martin is under rated. Paolo Cane is under rated. Everyone is under rated except for those who are over rated
     
    #91
  42. olliess

    olliess Semi-Pro

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    Were there a lot of two-handed BHs winning Wimbledon during that era? Did I miss something?
     
    #92
  43. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    At '83 Wimbledon he also beat Cash and Tanner. At '86 Wimbledon he beat Zivojinovic.

    But that was largely about matchups. Look at the summer of '89, when Agassi met Becker in Davis Cup. Becker was nearly unbeatable in Davis Cup at that time; he's also one of the best indoor players ever; and we all know his record when playing in Germany. And Agassi nearly beat him.

    Two months later Agassi meets Lendl at Flushing and loses to him a second straight year in four sets. Doesn't show anything like the confidence he showed in his rivalry with Becker.

    It's much harder to overpower a baseliner like Lendl from the opposite baseline, than it is to overpower a net-rusher like Becker whose serve you can read very well. Lendl gave Agassi no targets to shoot at, and he covered his baseline well, so it was hard to hit through him.

    Meanwhile Lendl was able to find the open spaces on Agassi's side of the court. In the '88 semi he had more winners than Andre (22-20, not including his 9-1 lead in aces).

    Exactly. Bringing in the rankings doesn't exactly help Becker. Lendl was consistently ranked higher than Becker, despite being much older (and even when he had started declining while Boris was not). That only shows that Lendl was, week in and week out, a better player than Becker on all surfaces (except grass).

    Yes almost all, the 83AO final standing out as one time that he stayed back a lot. Also when he lost to Connors at Wimbledon he didn't SV very much -- I think maybe out of respect for the Connors return.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
    #93
  44. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Only Borg and Connors, I think.
     
    #94
  45. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Speaking of scalps, here are some of Lendl and Agassi's most notable ones at the USO.

    Lendl's scalps/Agassi's scalps

    Connors/Connors
    Edberg/Edberg
    Stich/Stich
    Becker/Becker

    McEnroe/Hewitt
    Wilander/Chang
    Krajicek/Martin
    Cash/Kafelnikov
    Courier/Federer
    Ivanisevic/Korda
    Leconte/Muster
    Mecir/
    Noah/
    Agassi/
     
    #95
  46. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Your conclusion does not follow from your premise. Volleying skills and net play capability are not the equivalent of the frequency of serve and volley. Agassi didn't serve and volley because he had one of the best ground games in the history of tennis and had a better chance of winning by staying back. But, so did Lendl, IMO. Lendl's election to try to win by emphasizing his weakness doesn't establish superior volleying, it establishes poor judgment.

    As for slices, once again you confuse frequency with superiority. Agassi correctly used his slice sparingly because his 2hb was the best backhand in the history of tennis. Lendl used his slice more frequently because his topspin bh wasn't that much better.

    I've seen them both play live, up close. I already know how they play.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
    #96
  47. pepe01

    pepe01 Rookie

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    Yes i can see it totaly under rated, only Roger could broke his record of semis on grand slams, and thats because Federer, Nadal, Nole and Murray are playing on weakest era of tennis, take a look who are behind them and their performance year by year.

    The list.

    1.- Federer
    2.- Sampras
    3.- Laver
    4.- Lendl
    5.- Borg ( he retired so early and that costed him to be the greatest)
    6.- Nadal
    7.-Agassi
    Then Becker, Edberg, Courier, Chang, etc

    Lendl had all shots even a decent net game, but not enough to beat Cash and becker, but on that grass surface even Federer or Nadal could not beat becker, cash or edberg.
     
    #97
  48. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Net skills cannot be compared at all between a player who comes to net after every serve, come what may, and a player who comes to net only when he has the point more than half won already. There is simply nothing to compare.

    The fact is that Lendl’s overall results on grass with s&v are in no way inferior to Aggassi’s without s&v. In fact they are superior except for one match. Three slam finals, six slam semifinals and two Queen titles obtained mostly with s&v, plus a higher winning percentage on the surface -- versus someone who hardly came to the net -- cannot possibly mean that Agassi had a better net game or better hands at net, or anything better at net. Same thing about slice, which when well executed can be one of the most effective shots to approach the net on fast grass. If Agassi had such a superior slice, and such a superior net game, one wonders why he chose not to put those two things together. A lot of twisted logic is needed to think that a guy who goes fishing two weekends per year is a better fisher than one who makes a living doing it. If Agassi had tried to make a living on grass by showing up at net even half as often as Lendl did, he would not have made a living at all.
     
    #98
  49. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    There's nothing twisted about my logic. You just chose to ignore my explanation. Your logic, however, suffers from the same flaw suffered by Moose Malloy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
    #99
  50. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Lendl's topspin backhand was at least as much a weapon as his slice, but he used his slice for variety, and when he needed to slow the pace against someone (Connors for example). It helped his grasscourt game, and on carpet I can think of one prime example where his chip backhand return was a key weapon in a win over a big server: the second '86 Masters final, against Becker.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3q9Y5fAdMo

    His slice was not the best of his time but it was much better than Agassi's. Agassi may never have developed a better one because his topspin BH was alltime great, but that simply reflects well on his topspin BH; his slice remained inferior.

    As for volleying, Lendl did SV competently in most of his grasscourt matches -- and he came in relentlessly in many of them. With success. That's the key here, I think. It may or may not be true that he could have done better at Wimbledon by staying back. But that doesn't mean his net game was inferior. As Moose stated, it was his return game that was the problem on grass. His net game, while far from the best of his time, was much better than what Agassi's.

    Agassi stayed back there partly because he didn't have a good enough serve for SV -- and partly, as you say, because his strengths were in the back of the court. His service return on grass was levels above Lendl's; and his groundstrokes were more compact than Lendl's, therefore better suited to grass. But none of that means that Agassi did what Lendl did at net, as often or as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

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