Johnny Mac - The Definitive GOAT

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by OTMPut, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    IMO the rivalry was as much interesting as anybody else
    Those turndowns added to excitment and interest and you would say it was a matter of who got into the other' s mind
     
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  2. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    in Mac and Lendl's case, as they were the 2 most accomplished mind games specialists, it's no wonder they had their special outcomes.
    as Gilbert tells in his book, they knew how to control the match, delaying the pace to their advantage, etc.
    imagine them both doing it to one another :D
     
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  3. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    watched it many times. my two faves, yin and yang so to speak.

    it's NOT the same now.
     
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  4. Gizo

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    The fact that the two players despised each other made their rivalry all the more special. There wasn't anywhere near as much mutual hatred between Connors and Lendl (Connors said himself that he didn't really hate Lendl at all).

    Mac really was Lendl's punchbag in 1981-1982 and he could only win 1 set in those 7 matches, so the way he turned things around to win 10 out of their next 12 matches, with numerous crushing wins, was very impressive.

    I'd love to know what their head to head was in their unsanctioned matches, as they played each other quite a lot in all those big money invitationals at Antwerp, Tokyo, Toronto, Milan etc.
     
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  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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  6. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Nice work. I think Lendl beat Mac in a couple of Tokyo Suntory Cup finals (in 1984 and 1985), but Mac owned Lendl in Inglewood.

    Usually I do prefer watching competitive matches rather than one sided beatdowns, but if there's one player I enjoyed watching in full flight when he dished out beatdowns and destroyed his opponents, it was Mac.
     
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  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes.I still have flashes stick into my memory of the 1984 and 1985 Masters, where he looked like playing in another galaxy.

    In any case, there was no " exhibition" or " unofficial" match between those 2.Some of those matches were more spectacular and torrid than some regular tour matches.
     
    #57
  8. Goosehead

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    it was considered a surprise when lendl beat mac at the 1985 u s open final..

    McEnroe was really gloomy at the presentation afterwards, not only losing his title but he lost the no 1 rank for the last time next day.
     
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  9. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    #59
  10. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the video, great to watch. From 1985-1987, the US Open was dubbed the Czechoslovakian Open, with all 6 male/female singles champions, and 9 out of the 12 finalists including all 4 in 1986, born in Czechoslovakia.

    It was a shame how Mac declined after that 1985 US Open final. He was the clear favourite to win his 5th US Open title, having been in imperious form over the summer and completely outclassing Lendl at Stratton Mountain and Montreal. Plus Lendl had lost 6 out of his previous 7 slam finals including the previous 3 US Open finals. Mac's 1985 SF against Wilander in the heat was brutal.

    For anyone interested, this the link for a 90 minute movie called 'John McEnroe The Rites of Passage', narrated by Bud Collins, profiling Mac from his college years through to his battles against Borg.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XYbvHibG2c
     
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  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Like him or not, Mc Enroe has been one of the most expected and polarised players in the history of this game.I still remember what big expectation he brought in order to break the strenghold of the pure baseline play that was dominating the last 70´s with the likes of Borg,Vilas and Connors plus a few more.The old S&V guys such as Newcombe and Laver were praising him and many journalists believed that he was the most talented player since Laver and even more than Laver.

    What Mac basically brought to the table was the resurgence of the classic style, in fact he was the only player that was able to beat 5 times Wimbledon champion Borg.

    Of course, many also welcomed the brash, arrogant and flamboyant style that, after Nastase´s best years and Connors " becoming a good boy", was clearly downhill.

    Finally, he also brought two great things: respect and attention for doubles and also, for the Davis Cup.he is one of the greatest DC players of all time and , of course, an all time great in doubles.
     
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  12. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Great post. Like Connors and Lendl, he could behave like a complete a**hole a lot of the time, but he is unquestionably one of the best things to have ever happened to tennis, contributing massively to it becoming more of a mainstream sport in the 70s and 80s, and salvaging the prestige and reputation of the Davis Cup in the US.
     
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  13. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    #63
  14. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    #64
  15. BTURNER

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    Guys don't you expect your GOAT to prove themselves on all surfaces and all the majors or are you so impressed with his doubles, he gets a pass on red clay and still reaches the highest accolade in tennis? This is not just about '84 implosion. In 10 tries, He reached the semis exactly twice and the quarters twice. Most of the time, he did not make it into the second week. I don't care how low a priority RG is or was. Even Billie Jean realized you cannot be taken serious at the highest levels without beating red dirt at RG at least once. Its not like his shelves have lots of Rome, Berlin or Madrid memorabilia to dust instead.

    IMO, it is even more important that a s/ver show he can conquer his worst demons, his toughest opponents and the slowest courts to gain GOAT cred, just as any baseliner must prove his worth on the fastest of surfaces beating the bestest there, at least once or twice over the long haul.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I never said Mac is GOAT
    Laver is
    All I say is he was one of the most special players ever
    I don' t care about comparatives or statistics or fanboys
    Give me the best version of him or the best version of Hana any given day to me and, from 1980 on I will tell you that I need nothing else to enjoy REAL TENNIS
    I have never seen GOAT debate linked with such a simple and for us fans pure concept
    WHO DO YOU ENJOY THE BEST WATCHING

    While I have a few more faves (Connors,Hingis,Edberg,Graf,Becker,Sampras) from 1980 on nobody has been greater than Mc Enroe & Mandlikova
     
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  17. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Yes hardly anyone who has posted on this thread even considers Mac to be in GOAT contention, they're just praising his game and achievements.

    I would rank him just above Connors and Lendl in the greatness scale though.
     
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  18. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Love him or Hate him, I think that if you consider both singles and doubles and service to country (Davis Cup) then he is a top GOAT candidate. Now throw in longevity, he is still playing top level tennis and IMO is the best player in his age class and could still beat many great younger players. Im think GOAT does mean "of all time" and Im also applying the longest playing time consideration to this futile debate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
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  19. BTURNER

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    Well the folks on the first page of this thread , were making some curious arguments in February. I see plenty of virtues in the McEnroe game and there are few men I'd rather watch. You never knew what was coming from that racket face. His game was a unique fusion of science, art, and the athletic. But he imploded too early and did not prove enough.
     
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    For geniuses like him and a few others, there is one single cathergory: genious.Kinda hard to put them in a tier with others...
     
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  21. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    It is a shame that Mac "imploded" too early.
    I think his relationship with Tatam O'neil was central to that exit from the top of the pro tennis tour. Atleast he did return and has been competing his whole life with the best.

    Its also a shame that Bjorn retired too early because of burnout.
    I think many would like to see Bjorn and Mac play some some singles exo's now, with wood rackets. This would be very entertaining and really help everyone remember how tennis was played. You can bet on Mac moving forward.
     
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