Ivan Lendl totaly underated

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

  1. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    I was referring mostly to Lendl's grasscourt game, but he also had a net game in some key matches on hardcourt.

    He came in 77 times during the '88 USO final. CBS had him at 63% success late in the match.

    His number of approaches during the '87 USO final, which he won, was probably very similar. (He was at 50 approaches after 3 hours).

    The '85 USO final was a much briefer match with fewer approaches, but his volleys were working to perfection that day.

    Agassi's numbers are much, much lower. In his 2000 AO win over Sampras, he approached just 26 times over five sets, a typical number for him. And he won 19 of those, but at that frequency of approaches you're basically coming in when the point is already half won as another poster put it.

    Agassi does have a crazy number of approaches in his five-set loss to Wilander at RG (1988 ), something around 100 approaches. And they were successful rushes. But that stands out because he never took that anywhere in later years, and retreated firmly to the baseline.

    Edit: Lendl had 28 volley winners in the '88 USO final, and 24 in the '87 final. Agassi in the 2000 win over Sampras had just 3.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  2. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    On a lighter note. i remember the Wilander-Agassi match at RG 1988. Maybe Andre did too much running in the first four sets. In the last set he he couldn't stand erect anymore, let alone run. His thin legs gave up on him, and he was grimacing from cramps.
     
  3. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    For backcourt players like Lendl only Borg, Connors and Agassi won it and they all had two handers on the BH to help them be able to drive the serve return. Lendl was forced to chip it a lot on grass.
     
  4. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Absolutely incorrect. tony Roche and Lendl team agreed the only way for him to win Wimbledon was to serve and volley every point and they were correct. This question is not meant to insult but how old are you? Did you see any Wimbledon matches from the 80's and 90's?
     
  5. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    The funniest comment of all was Agassi would have had a Federer esque career without Sampras. What nonsense. Agassi lost 4 slam finals to Sampras. That would give him max 12 slams, even if we assumed all else remaining the same. Even if you argue he might have won another slam where he lost to Sampras before the final, like 93 Wimbledon or 2001 U.S Open, both disputable at best, you could even more easily argue some of the 4 finals he lost to Sampras. 1990 U.S open he probably wins against no decent opponent the way he played the final, especialy if it were Lendl who totally owned Agassi up until to that point. 1995 U.S Open he might have had to face Courier who had a 6 match win streak dating back to 91 (and including a straight sets win in 95). 2002 U.S Open he might have had to face Hewitt in the final, and beating him in the semis is no guarantee of the same outcome in the final, especialy with the semifinal turnaround which is much harder on older players. Hewitt was the clear #1 at the time and had owned Agassi most of the previous year. So 12 is a generous estimate, and possibly a high one.

    1999 was his only potential year of sort of total dominance without Sampras, but not really as he didnt even win a tournament the first 5 months of the year. 1995 he was amazing on hard courts which was spoiled by Sampras at the U.S Open. It would have been one of the best hard court seasons ever without Sampras, but virtually nothing achieved on clay, grass, or carpet that year (other than a respectable semifinal at Wimbledon). Dropping out of the top 100, and dropping out of the top 5 and sometimes top 10 many different years is not Federer esque in anyway, and I say that as someone who likes Agassi and does not like Federer.

    Sampras also made Agassi a better player. Agassi had to push himself harder than ever for periods, and get over his teenage rebel ways, just to reach a level he could even compete with Sampras. Without Sampras there, Agassi probably isnt even the same player. Also if Agassi had already won about 8 slams he probably retires at age 30 after his mostly poor 2000, and doesnt win his last 2 Australian Opens either.

    As well who is the best rival Agassi had other than Sampras. Considering he and Becker were only playing mutually top tennis for about a year, that would leave Courier perhaps. In that case lets eliminate all the long term contemporary rivals Lendl faced better than Courier- McEnroe, Connors, Becker, and now figure out how many slams he has. Alot more than 12 it would seem.
     
  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Limpin,

    as much talented as Agassi was, and certainly he was more fun to watch than Lendl, I gotta agree with the poster´s comparison.Anybody of both could beat the other but Lendl moved better ( not great, but better), had a better serve ( his return was a bit better than Agassi´s serve), and while Agassi would hit you off court in series of 3-4 strokes, like a boxer, Lendl needed just one booming forehand.It is close, but my opinion is Lendl was a bit better as a player.It´s true that in Lendl´s peak, he hadn´t to face a monster champion like Sampras as Agassi had to face in his own peak.
     
  7. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Your logic is not only twisted. It is so heavily muddied that it contradicts its own premises.

    So let’s look at your belief system more carefully. With a much worse return game everywhere, a worse ground game on grass, and now also a worse net game (according to you), we are left to wonder how on earth did Lendl on grass manage to have overall better results than Agassi (or at least not inferior ones).

    Ability at net cannot be compared when the difference in the frequency of approaches is so large. The heavy selection process by the player who seldom comes in makes the comparison meaningless. It would be like comparing the results between two shooters, one of whom shoots at all kinds of moving birds, while the other one shoots only at sitting ducks. You might as well conclude that Agassi was better at net than guys like Becker or Edberg, based on the fact that he probably had a better ratio of success on net approaches.

    Agassi may have secretly possessed a better net game than Lendl, but he sure chose not to reveal that ability.

    Lendl and Agassi’s game on grass does say something about the issue of versatility. The natural habitat of both players was definitely the baseline. But only one of them chose to depart from his natural instinct and adopt a s&v game on grass. And as it turns out, he had at least as much success with it on that surface, probably more, than the player who stuck to his baseline game.

    The bolded part is important for the logical conclusion. If you really, really believe that Lendl’s decision to play s&v on grass showed poor judgement (and maybe it did, I don’t know), then you must also believe that if he had stuck to his baseline game he would have done better than he actually did. And since what he actually did was already as good or better than Agassi, then your belief implies that Lendl would had done distinctly better than Agassi on grass if he had kept his usual ground game. There is no escape from that implication.

    Which means you own belief system leads to the conclusion that Lendl’s ground game on grass was better than Agassi’s, thus coming full circle to contradict your own premises.

    Just to clarify: I do not think Lendl’s ground game on grass was better (you do, without realizing it). I do think that his net game was a lot better, if only because Agassi’s net game was comparatively non-existent.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  8. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    true, but that error is only with respect to counting aces/doubles. That is not going to affect return games won % .... well unless there are noted errors with respect to games won/lost.
     
  9. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not sure what exactly you are getting at here. Becker punished serves, 2nd serves even more so with his one-hander on grass ( and other surfaces as well ).

    Edberg did well with his one-handed return on grass ( and other surfaces as well )

    its not the fact that he had a one-handed BH , but rather how his one-handed BH was that mattered. On the faster grass, an average 1-H BH was probably quite a bit more useful or more of a weapon than an average 2-H BH
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  10. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Did you see Lendl play at Wimbledon on TV as it happened? Or god bless, if you did live at Wimbledon?
     
  11. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    what exactly are you on about ?

    Lendl's return especially on the BH side was a relative weakness for sure on grass . But its not just because it was a 1-H BH as other 1-H BHs did have success returning on grass in the same era.

    its not the fact that he had a one-handed BH , but rather how his one-handed BH was that mattered.

    to put it in much simpler terms, not all 1-H BHs are alike .
     
  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    How old am I? Hahaha! Put it this way, I started playing tennis in 1969. I've seen every great champion of the past 40+ years play live, including Tony Roche. I've seen both Agassi and Lendl play live on several occasions. IMO, Agassi was the harder hitter and the better, more talented, player. He wasn't as consistent a performer as Lendl. But, his peak level of play was higher.

    Agassi had some of the best touch that he demonstrated with some of the most brutally well executed drop shots I've ever seen. His chip backhand on the stretch was also very good when he was able to get in decent position to hit the ball. His net game was competent at best, but, that's all I can say about Lendl's net game, despite Tony Roche's efforts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  13. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Cool. I saw Agassi play live and twice and both times I said to myself How on earth does this guy ever lose a match. No one except Nadal has destroyed low slice off both wings like Andre did
     
  14. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    Those percentage points difference are not that significant. A match or two here or there brings it to even.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    What a great year to start playing tennis¡¡¡¡
     
  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It was a great year for rock and roll, too! :cool:
     
  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Woodstock? Stones concert in Hyde ?

    Laver-Gonzales-Hoad-Rosewall= Dantley-Entwisthle-Townshed-Moon
     
  18. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    well, not sure how "correct" they were....he never did get the trophy. It's often debated if Lendl stuck to his "regular" game, he might've been better off. Not so sure about that either....grass just did not suit him, period.
     
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    problem with Lendl on grass was timing and footwork, it simply didn´t match him at all, no matter how hard did he try.grass is better suited for instinct players, at least old grass, like that of 1970-1999
     
  20. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Have to agree, his backhand did not serve him well on grass...whereas the 1-handed backhand of McEnroe was magical, Ivan's was problematic at best.
     
  21. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    On many surfaces Lendl's backhand was excellent but not on grass where his backhand return was a bit of a weakness. Players like Borg, Connors, Laver, Rosewall, Edberg, Becker, McEnroe among others who played on that type of grass had superior grass court returns. Oddly enough I'm not sure if Sampras had a superior grass court backhand return but he was so strong on holding serve and his movement on grass was superior to Lendl's. Fred Perry did not think Lendl moved well on grass.
     
  22. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Grand Funk Railroad
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    DON'T GET ME STARTED!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  23. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Interesting thing is, relating to the question of a natural grass game, that Lendl won the junior Wimbledon. Later on, his problem was his deep backhand volley. Becker crucified him with cross backhands returns, drawing many nets and long errors from the backhand volley. Maybe Lendl better had stayed back more on second serves. I think Borg did stay back on second serves, especially against good returners like Connors.
     
  24. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Maybe Lendl would have been better off staying back on both serves and playing to his strength.
     
  25. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    The heavy hitting baseline game was indeed Lendl's natural game. Problem is, if Lendl had stayed back on all serves, on old grass against people like Becker, Edberg, Mac or Cash, they would have come in on the return, making the court very small. Lendl found some rhythm on grass at Queens in the late 80s, but at Wimbie he always lost it again.
     
  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Agassi won on the old grass staying back beating Ivanisovic, McEnroe and Becker along the way. It seems to me that Lendl would have had a better chance staying back and only coming in on short or weak shots.
     
  27. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    The 1992 Mac was not the 1983 prime Mac, nor was the quite unfit 1992 Becker the 1986 Becker. Ivanisevic was a nervous wreck, he butchered his volleys in the last set of the final. In a final Lendl-Goran i would bet on Lendl. He would be close, but he would beat him, like he beat Zivojinovic.
     
  28. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think Goran would have won. Goran was absolutely dominant on serve on his way to the 1992 Wimbledon final. For example, he beat Lendl in the R16 and didn't even face a break point, then he beat Edberg in 5 sets, dropping his serve once after only facing one break point in the whole match, and then he beat Sampras in 4 sets whilst not even facing a break point. What cost Goran in the final were several things, dropping his serve in the opening games of both the second and third sets, not taking advantage of his break point chance at 3-3 in the fifth set, and double faulting twice in a row from the start of the tenth game when serving at stay in the tournament at 4-5. Goran was more up and down with his serve in the final, with the superb and the disastrous, the latter coming at some crucial moments.

    I mentioned that Goran beat Lendl in the R16 whilst not facing a break point. Goran won 6-7, 6-1, 6-4, 1-0 ret. Lendl retired because of a lower back injury, in pain both physically and mentally from failing to win Wimbledon yet again. Goran then made this interesting comment after the match:

    After brilliant wins over Edberg in the quarter finals and Sampras in the semi finals, that bolded bit would come back to bite Goran in the final.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  29. 1970CRBase

    1970CRBase Guest

    In retrospect Lendl perhaps traded off a much greater chance of winning two French opens for a lesser chance of winning one Wimbledon. Another US was less likely but at least 90/91 FO he had the best chance of winning those against mostly guys he owned outside of Becker/Edberg whom he could probably beat on RG clay. Five FO's and ten slams would have put his career in a whole new light today.
     
  30. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    That's a really good point. But at least he knows he tried everything to win Wimbledon. If he had played those French Opens, and actually played 7 full and tiring rounds, he might be wondering today whether he could have won Wimbledon if only he had skipped the grueling task of winning the French and doing the difficult transition to grass.
     
  31. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think so. The returning makes a huge difference and agassi was crushing returns that day vs Goran , which was part of the reason for Goran getting nervous. Lendl rarely, if ever , returned like that.
     
  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Oh man¡¡ get started soon...and don´t forget Who,Stones,Cream,Jefferson.. and all those magic moments tennis babies will never even dream of....GO ON LIMPIN¡ MAY BE IT WILL BE 4-5 OF US, But we´ll enjoy it...lte´s create a club¡¡¡:)
     
  33. pepe01

    pepe01 Rookie

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    Do you think this tennis era is better than 1988 to 1994 era?
     
  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Not for American tennis! And, I do think the field of champions was a bit deeper then.
     
  35. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    thats true gomez himself said one of the main reasons he won the french open that year was because lendl didnt play it, his h2h record against him was not very good!
     
  36. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Lendl could easily have fallen victim to another Svensson or Chang. His 1992 return to the French Open saw him blow a 2-set lead against Oncins. Lendl also got bagelled by Huet in 1993.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  37. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    That is true, but if he got to his pigeon Gomez, he would have been toast, even with how well Gomez was playing at the 1990 French. When you a veteran and have lost to someone that many times in a row and been so dominated in most of those defeats, especialy when you have been around as long as Gomez has been, you dont really believe you can beat them, especialy when you are in the own twilight of your career no less.
     
  38. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Why would it only be 4 or 5 of you.

    Are you implying that very few young people know of older times?
     
  39. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Hahaha! The "olden days." I'll just say that TT has been an enlightening experience for me about how little "young people" know of "older tennis times." Does that mean they are equally uninformed about other older things, like music? I'm guessing that it does. But, for every rule, there are exceptions. Manus Domini is one who seems to have a clue.
     
  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Nathaniel,

    I believe you're pretty knowledgeable of tennis history and of course anyone can study tennis history and become very knowledgeable because all the resources are there to learn.

    Honestly how many people here have seen Bill Tilden play? Very few if any but a number of people have great knowledge of him because he was a legendary player. I've already written that if I had a time machine that I would have loved to have seen the famous Tilden-Cochet 1927 Wimbledon match not just to see the comeback by Cochet but also to see the unique tennis styles of both players.

    I know a lot of people in other sports who obsess with studying that sports' history and it amazes me what they know. Some are fairly young.

    I just think in reading about the past in any sport that you have to keep an open mind about things and decide whether the person writing about the event isn't embellishing what happened and how great the player was.
     
  41. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    This is no true.Gomez beat Lendl 2 times in major finals in 1989, one of them in the Spanish Open, before he won RG.He could have beat Ivan in 1990, the same way he wouldn´t have had the lesser possibility 4-5 years before
     
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Of course, that is why I´m implying.There should be 2 threads over here, one for 35 years old down and another for 35 years old up...and still, I´d be discussing a lot with the second group:)
     
  43. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Domini, at least, is trying to learn a bit, even if he really doesn´t seem to know much about.But he is honest about that...and, for music, yes, but then again, let´s not be hard on them, at the end....What kind a music have they listened to??? I mean, it is not their fault...if there has been no creative music over the last...20 years??? ( to be graceful)
     
  44. Limpinhitter

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    OT: Truth be told, to me, I'm a freak for the rock/big band fusion sound of the 60's and 70's. BS&T, CTA, TOP, Chase, Ides of March. Those were amazing bands with an amazing sound that I'll never get tired of. And, to hear it live, all those horns blowing their a**es off, is an experience virtually no one under the age of 50 has had, or will have. Sad really!

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  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Other times, other music, other spirit...what kind of evolution have we really had??? look at Wimbly, what on earth have they done to that wonderful grass?
     
  46. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Ides of March "Vehicle" (live): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EBMo8xHGNs

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  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Ja Ja Ja
    Ja ja Ja... and some people loves to call us trogrodlites¡¡¡ Why go out of the cavern if we had it all?
     

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