Lendl or Connors

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by realplayer, Jul 8, 2007.

?

lendl or connors

  1. lendl

    46.2%
  2. connors

    56.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    504
    Connors and Lendl where both no. 1 for a long time.

    Lendl even longer than Connors but Connors won more tournaments.

    Connors was far more dominating in his prime than Agassi.

    But who was the better player Connors or Lendl, that is the question of this poll.
     
    #1
  2. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I vote for Lendl but it is a super tough call for me. Both are great. I think both had greater careers then either McEnroe or Agassi.
     
    #2
  3. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,346
    i am a big Lendl fan but I think Connors was a better player because he would win more of the big matches that he was supposed to win. Lendl would lose more of the big matches that he could have won, for examples the 1988 US Open final against Mats Wilander and the 1989 round of the 16 match at Roland Garros against Michael Chang.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
    #3
  4. navratilovafan

    navratilovafan Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    830
    I would go with Connors barely for the reason Mick stated.
     
    #4
  5. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Even though it is a tough call to make, I would go with Lendl because once he was in his prime he was a very consistent player who was tough to beat, and his winning head to head records against both McEnroe and Connors reflect just how tough it was to consistently beat him. If I could say anything about Lendl and his losing record in Slam finals, it would be that even though he usually played at a pretty high level he didn't possess that extra special little something to call upon when things were tight.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
    #5
  6. hewittboy

    hewittboy Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    549
    It is hard to say. Both are great champions. Lendl though was pretty dominant 3 years in a row. Connors was arguably the best player 3 years in a row from 74-76, but only dominant in 1974.
     
    #6
  7. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,508
    Location:
    OREGON
    Lendl By The Thinnest Of Hairs. Can You Ask Easier Questions Next Time? How About Who's The Better On Grass - Muster Or Chang
     
    #7
  8. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Connors would have won 10-12 grand slam titles if not for Borg and McEnroe closing the door most of the time.

    In his prime years Lendl had no one like those guys. Mac awol, Becker/Edberg kids, Mecir weak of mind, Wilander low on talent, Cash a total schizo, Mikael Pernfors - never mind.

    I like Lendl but Connors wouldn't have lost to Wilander in New York in 88.
     
    #8
  9. NadalandFedererfan

    NadalandFedererfan Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    930
    I dont really agree with anything you said.

    Yes Connors had Borg and McEnroe. However McEnroe became a major contender in 1979, while Borg was gone after 1981. So from 1974-1983 he only had both of them for 2-3 years of that whole time. Of course there are other people, including Lendl himself in the early 80s you could add, but definitely wanted to point out he did not have both Borg and McEnroe at the very top for that many years of his long period in winning all his slams.

    I think you are underestimating Wilander. He won 7 slam titles, and 3 slams in a year once, which puts him as an all-time great. He won slam titles on all 3 major surfaces. He is still probably a notch down from McEnroe/Connors/ Lendl, but not that much.

    Becker's real obstacle to Lendl as a "kid" was specificaly on grass only, and Becker is one of the great grass court players in history, and was at his best on grass when he was this "kid" you refer to, improving on the other surfaces as he got older but best and scariest on grass of all while being that "kid", and he denied Lendl 2 different times (1986, 1988, 1989) a Wimbledon title. By the time Becker became a serious threat to Lendl at the other slams he was no longer a "kid", and as a grown man Becker denied Lendl the 89 U.S Open and 91 Australian Open titles.

    By the time Edberg was a serious contender he was no longer a "kid", and he too denied Lendl a possible Wimbledon title in 1990 (if Lendl would not have won anyway it would only have been because of Becker), and at the Australian Open in 1987, as well as possibly at the 1991 and 1992 U.S Opens.

    Pat Cash is not an all-time great but he is much better then a total schizo. Cash beat Lendl 3 times at a Grand Slam at his peak, the 86 Wimbledon final, the 87 and 88 Australian Open semis, he had match point on him in the 84 U.S Open semis too. He was a serious big time player, whose career was hampered by injuries alot like Richard Krajicek in the 90s.

    Wilander would have never beaten Connors in a U.S Open final? How can you say that for certainly. Wilander is certainly a superior player to Orantes and probably Vilas (who Wilander beat in the French Open final as a newbie) who both managed to pull an upset win over Connors in U.S Open finals.

    I dont know the exact hypothetical estimate, but it seems quite possible that Lendl lost as many more possible slams to the trio of Edberg, Becker, and Wilander as Connors did to Borg and McEnroe.
     
    #9
  10. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Connors made an amazing amount of semifinals. So many it's utterly insane. In 1981 he lost in both Wimby and US Open semis to Borg. In the former he was up to sets to love. Yes, Borg and Mac were not always there together but they were contenders for four years in a row (starting with Mac's 1978 masters victory). By the time Lendl reached his peak none of these guys were anywhere near their prime - or had retired as in Borg's case.

    I think Mats was a three-four slam title kind of guy who happened to win seven. Borg's retirement handed him his first - Lendl's chokes handed him a couple. Wilander was a guy who capitalized on opposing mistakes - an elite player but nowhere close to Lendl in terms of talent. McEnroe wound up with the same number of majors as this guy, for goodness sake. But, hey, I like Mats - who doesn't like Mats?

    Becker wasn't doing much outside of grass and carpet until the very late 80s - coinciding with Lendl losing his #1 ranking. You have to admit that at the very least in terms of 85 and 86 Becker was pretty darn young and no threat to Lendl anywhere but grass. Those are two peak years for Ivan.

    I'm not talking about 91 and 92 - I'm talking about the peak Lendl years. A lot of guys past their primes and pre-their primes while Lendl was dominating hardcourts and clay.

    I know all of this - every era should have its Pat Cash. But Pat Cash was no Borg.

    It's my opinion. Lendl didn't play badly but he had enough power to knock Wilander unconscious, but couldn't close the deal. Connors beat Borg twice in US Open finals and Borg was miles better than Wilander.

    I'm not really crunching numbers. My point is simple - in Lendl's peak years, those guys weren't anywhere as good as Connors' elite contemporaries.
     
    #10
  11. snapple

    snapple Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    319
    Wilander was 5-0 against Connors. While admitedly Jimbo was well past his prime, I think that Wilander would have given Connors a boat load of trouble in any era they played. Mats rose to the occasion in GS finals, which is perhaps the reason you make the ridiculous assertion that he was a 4 time slam winner who happened to have won 7. Please.
     
    #11
  12. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Okay, fine. Make it five.;)
     
    #12
  13. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,715
    You are too kind. ;)
     
    #13
  14. Rafa freak

    Rafa freak Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Messages:
    445
    Location:
    Tennis court
    I like lendl better
     
    #14
  15. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Mats called. He likes the cut of my jib.

    I knew it.
     
    #15
  16. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    260
    At the time Lendl played Connors was aways considered the player with the greater career because Connors won far more blue chip slams. In their careers the US and Wimbledon were considered easily the most important two.People often used to raise Borg's failure to win the US and Lendl's failure to win Wimbledon. People didn't raise Connors and Mac's failure to win the French or the failure of Borg and Mac to win the Oz. Sampras was the first player where big questions were raised over his failure to win the French. And even then, this was at the end of his career.

    The problem with the who's greater Lendl or Connors debate on this forum is that people are now looking at their careers with 2007 glasses, in a time where the Australian is almost as prestigious as the other slams, and when the French is pretty much on a par with Wimbledon and the US. Looking at their careers from a 2007 perspective where the concept of blue chip slams has gone, their careers are pretty evenly matched.

    But and this is a huge but, Connors and lendl didn't play in 2007, so we have to look at their careers from the viewpoint of their time. And once we do that Connors is the clear winner over lendl: 7 blue chip slams to Lendl's 3.

    I have no doubt that in his heart Lendl would have preferred to have achieved Connors' grand slam haul to the one he ended up with.
     
    #16
  17. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    NJ, USA

    By the time Lendl won his 1st AO in 1990, the AO was consistently being played by all the top players, which no longer made it the forgotten major.
     
    #17
  18. sandy mayer

    sandy mayer Rookie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    260

    It is true when lendl won the Oz in 89-90 it was much more coveted, but not a single player on the ATP tour would have preferred to win it to the US or Wimbledon, including Lendl.
    My point is not so much about which slams were toughest to win, but which were most prestigious, and in the time of the careers of lendl and Connors, Connors' grand slam collection was easily more prestigious than lendl's. This is why I have no hesitation in saying Connors had the bettter career.
     
    #18
  19. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    13,211
    Location:
    Puerto y Galgo....
    I would go for Lendl mainly because of Connors atittude on court... (that is part of being a player too)

    But This:

    Mr. Cyborg. get real:
    Take a look at this :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mats_Wilander

    and this was all being low on talent... image if... just imagine...
     
    #19
  20. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    Lendl would have won over 14-16 grand slime titles if not for Borg, Connors, McEnroe, Becker and Edgerg closing the door most of the time. That's a fact.

    In his prime years (1983 to August 85) McEnroe had no one of stature to contend with except Lendl, who was "weak of mind," at that time, an aging Connors whom he crushed at the 84 Wimbledon final (1, 1 and 2), Mats Wilander who was "low on talent" (and a "kid" to boot); Chris Lewis, or some such name who faced Mac at the 83 Wimbledon final, Bill Scanlon, who had problems with drink and took him out of the 83 US Open, and... never mind.

    I like Connors, but Lendl wouldn't have lost to Orantes in 75 or Vilas in 77 in New York.

    See how easy it is?
     
    #20
  21. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    Your contention that Lendl had no great competition to "close the door on him" unlike Connors, is so absolutely ridiculous it cannot be left unanswered. Lendl's "prime" extends a whole decade, as does Connors. The "peak" within that prime extends 1985-87, and even then he had plenty of tough competition that closed the door on him.

    Consider the following list of players who "closed the door" on Lendl at grand slam finals and semifinals, then compile a similar list of those who closed the door on Connors at the same stages. Then tell me who "would have won" more slams by this method. If you count *only finals* lost to Borg, Mac, Connors and Becker he would have 15 slams total. If you add semis lost to Becker and Edberg it would be 19 Here it goes

    Grand Slam finals lost by Lendl:

    1981 Rolan Garros Final (to Borg)
    1982 US Open Final (to Connors) [this was Connors 1st or 2nd best year]
    1983 AO, US Open Final (to Connors)
    1984 US Open Final (McEnroe) [this was Mac's best year]
    1985 Roland Garros Final (to Wilander)
    1986 Wimbledon Final (to grass "wunderkind" Becker)
    1987 Wimbledon (to Cash) [Cash's peak year; played perfect grass tennis that day]
    1988 US Open Final (to Wilander) [this was Wilander's best year, won 3 slams and semis at Wimbledon]
    1989 US Open Final (to prime Becker)
    1991 Australian Open Final (to prime Becker)

    GS semifinals lost by Lendl (there may be some missing, these are the ones I remember):

    1985 Australian Open Semifinal (to Edberg, who then beat Wilander in the final)
    1987 Australian Open Semifinal (to prime Cash, who then lost to Edberg in the final)
    1988 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Becker, who went on to lose to Edberg in the final)
    1989 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Becker, who then beat Edberg in the final)
    1990 Wimbledon Semifinal (to Edberg, who then beat Becker in the final)

    Lendl lost at least two more semis to Borg and Mac at Wimbledon, can't remember the exact years and don't have time to look it up)
     
    #21
  22. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    Correction. On the above list, Lendl lost the 1983 AO final to Wilander (not Connors) and the US Open final to Connors.
     
    #22
  23. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    That's a nice history lesson, but read my post. I'm speaking of Lendl's peak years. They coincide with a lull in competition. If you want to argue that this isn't true then go ahead.
     
    #23
  24. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Here's a fact for you: until the 1985 US Open final Lendl did not deservedly win a grand slam title. That's right - it took him until the age of 25 to truly earn one. Yes, you will probably get on me for not respecting his 1984 French Open win over McEnroe and I admit that he put in a gargantuan effort. But Ivan said it himself in a recent interview that he would have lost the match 9 times out of 10, but that time it was the one.

    Connors was excellent all the way through 1984. The fact that Mac crushed him speaks more of Mac than it does of Connors. When did Lendl ever have someone as dangerous as peak-Connors in his best years between 85-87? He didn't.

    Sure he would. Orantes was playing out of his mind after an amazing semi comeback and so was Vilas.

    Wilander didn't play out of his mind. He was just Wilander as always. Steady as it goes, ultra annoying, returned everything because Lendl played afraid.

    Connors never played afraid. His biggest problem was that he tended to get cocky - he did it that time at Wimbledon against Ashe and was handed two breadsticks. He learned from that mistakes and went on incredible runs in 82 and 83 where he was at his best. He choked nothing away in those years and his five-set win over McEnroe at the 82 Wimbledon trumps anything Lendl has done in his career.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
    #24
  25. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    13,211
    Location:
    Puerto y Galgo....
    So this is a fact? i would say this is an opinion but who am i to judge anything


    I am confused, but i would say that this noe is indeed a fact...

    Mr Cyborg. why is it that whereever i go in this forum, i find you having a one man pointless argue with the crowd? oh... i see, they are all wrong...
     
    #25
  26. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    No, that’s not a fact at all. The realm of facts doesn’t include what a person deserves or does not deserve. As has already been pointed out to you, that’s a matter of opinion, not fact. The only factual element here is your belief, your opinion, that he did *not* deserve it. I could claim it’s a “fact” that Lendl *deserved* to win all 5 slam finals he played before 85. It would not be a fact because I say it, but it could be a fact that I believe it, and who are you to dispute my personal beliefs?

    Again, what constitutes earning a slam “truly” as opposed to earning it “untruly” is strictly a matter of opinion. In this case, it is a particularly ludicrous opinion. Lendl won that match fair and square. He put so much effort into it that Bud Collins had to wait at least 15 minutes for Lendl to be done vomiting profusely before he could interview him. So tell me, why didn’t he deserve to win that match? Because it’s a fact that you don’t think he deserved it. There are no other reasons. Next thing you're going to say is, oh, maybe Mac choked, so this is not a "truly" won slam by Lendl.
    These so-called “facts” used to be called fiddlesticks in the old days.

    The 32 year old Connors of 1984 was not really peak Connors. Look at his record and h2h with Lendl and others that year. Mac was very good at the Wimbledon final. Connors looked pathetic.

    When you want to justify a win, you say the winner played "out of his mind". When you want to dismiss it, you say he didn't “deserve” it. I agree Orantes and Vilas played very, very well in those finals, but SO DID WILANDER in the 88 final against Lendl. The fact that he didn't have a flashy style (in fact I admit his tennis was boring) doesn't mean he couldn't play outstandingly effective tennis. His record speaks for itself. That particular year, 1988, Wilander *was* playing "out of his mind" pretty often. His unforced error count in that match against Lendl is as close to zero as can get. He barely missed a first serve the entire match. He won three slams that year. Lendl wasn’t playing "afraid”. They did exchange a lot of sliced crosscourt backhands, but they had done the same at the 87 final, and Lendl won it. In 1988 it was Wilander's turn. Why do you think Connors could have beaten him so easily? Because you just believe so. No other reason.

    There we go again. Connors five-set win over Mac trumps anything Lendl has done. On the other hand, Lendl's five-set win over Mac at the 84 RG final was not “truly” earned and “undeserved”.

    Because you say so. Not because of any “facts.”
     
    #26
  27. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,863
    Beating Mac at Wimbledon is quite a bit different than beating him at the French, no? that's all that cyborg was pointing out, I think. and you didn't address what Lendl himself said about the '84 FO final, that he would lose that match 9 times out of 10, that he got lucky that one time.

    You seem to ignore what Lendl himself said in many of these arguments(like him saying that Mac wasn't the same player after '85, etc, etc)

    I think Lendl's injury problems in '88, had a lot to do with Wilander winning the French & US that year (lendl played very few events that year in comparison to /86/'87, he didn't have ideal preparation for the us open, got injured at the french)

    but he did play very scared vs wilander in the '85 FO final, his form was so much better than Mats that year(during the French & the claycourt season) Mats was S&V on some rather weak serves that Lendl rather tamely netted.
    I think that match showed that the '84 final didn't erase his big match nerves at all.

    Its funny I noticed a pattern on match point in 3 of the lendl-wilander major finals. Mats S&V in the ad court to Lendl's backhand on match point up in the '85 FO final & '88 US Open final. Lendl missed easy returns on both points, trying to come over the ball. Mats S&Ved match point down in the '87 US Open final, Lendl just sliced a backhand return down the line for a winner.
     
    #27
  28. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    I read your post. You are considering how many slams Connors would have won over his entire prime (1974-1984) had Borg not closed the door to Wimbledon 5 straight years and had Mac not taken a few US Opens and Wimbledon's himself. I am doing *exactly* the same thing with Lendl over his entire prime (1981-1991), examining who closed the door in what finals, to see what he "would have won". I asked you to compile a similar list of finals where similar greats closed the door on Connors, but you prefer evasive ballet.
     
    #28
  29. christinamaniac7

    christinamaniac7 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    Big Apple
    i voted jimbo,cuz he was the better player generally than lendl. actually he was the man of big matches and big moments...
    even though lendl has been #1 longer than him!
     
    #29
  30. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    There is nothing evasive about it. Lendl wasn't good enough to win the French Open when Borg was there and he wasn't good enough to win it the subsequent two years when the 17-year old Mats Wilander and 'loopstroke' Yannick Noah won it.

    Subsequently Connors' opposition affected him throughout his peak years (one can actually argue that he had two peaks).
     
    #30
  31. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    You know it. I know it. Dogs know it. Mac should have won the French Open in 84. He was better than Lendl. Even on clay he was better than Lendl. It's objective truth.

    I knew you were bright. I'm mostly going for opinions here. You'll find that most others here are doing the same.

    Connors was very good through 1984. He was better in the subsequent two years. As for Mac - he wiped the floor with everyone that year.

    Lendl's balls shrink into little tiny atoms against Wilander in that match, because he hated when guys got this close to him. Jimmy, on the other hand, loved being challenged - what he hated was being surprised. At his most confident he was proven a fool - the Ashe match proved this; the Orantes match proved this somewhat. Again, I prefer Connors because he gave us amazing battles against the very best all the way into his mid-30s. Lendl, conversely, spent much of his career winning events where the best weren't participating, until finally McEnroe and Connors succumbed to old age. Lendl subsequently enjoyed a nice, comfortable, not altogether unimpressive, reign. It was good while it lasted, but he was never pushed like Connors.

    Adressed already.

    Meh. I am the walrus.
     
    #31
  32. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    These two men, Connors and Lendl had very similar careers. Both won 8 Slams, and they've won more regular tournaments than any other two men.

    I do think there's something to the "blue chip" theory, and that Connors has a better resume with 2 Wimbledons and 5 USO's than Lendl does with 3 USO's. Just speaking in terms of which titles are more prestigious, Connors wins.

    Connors also had a longer career, with unforgettable late-career runs at the majors.

    But then there's the question of who was the better players on their best days, and that's mixed. Here's my take:

    Wimbledon -- Connors

    USO, Flushing Meadow -- Lendl by a whisker. Connors had the crowd and loved the surface, but Lendl was passionate about this tournament and was also great on the surface. I just don't see Jimmy going up a break on Lendl in the fifth set, and staying ahead with his own weaker serve, except against the choker Lendl, not against the prime Lendl. And if Connors stays with Lendl all the way to the tiebreak, I'd give Lendl the advantage for his bigger serve. Lendl also has the better 5-set record, I believe.

    USO, clay -- Lendl would have been better, though of course he didn't play on this surface. Nor did he play the next two categories.

    USO, grass -- Connors

    AO, grass -- Connors

    AO, hard court -- Lendl. His physique takes it in the heat, without a tiebreak to end it in the fifth set.

    French Open -- Lendl, convincingly.

    Masters, indoor carpet -- Lendl. Maybe he would have won it by a slim margin, but Lendl had phenomenal winning streaks on indoor carpet. A case can be made that it was his best surface, and not Connors' best.
     
    #32
  33. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    Lendl did play McEnroe in one Wimbledon semifinal, 1983, and lost it. He never played Borg at Wimbledon.
     
    #33
  34. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Messages:
    2,108
    Location:
    [K]ANADA
    lendl was a player i admired when i was young, not sure why though.
     
    #34
  35. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    Lendl was a force from 85-91.....those are his prime years.

    Becker won 2 majors by the time he was 20 years old and made it to the FO finals. He won 4 majors by 1989 (he was 21 years old)...young yes, but 4 time major winner by then and a great, great player.

    Edberg won 5 majors from 85-91 and was an extrodinary player and gifted athelete....you are not giving him his due.

    Wilander...LOW ON TALENT? He won 7 majors from 83-88....low talent...you are smoking some really good stuff to believe that. The guy was a machine...post-Borg type.

    Its obvious on many posts and comments you make about players from the
    80's that you are poser....you never really watched tennis back then. You know so little and your logic is so absurd that it is a shame you make these ignorant, ignorant statements. You might me a nice enough person, but you are full of s...h...i.....

    Yea...those guys were not as good/talented as Borg and Mac, but you make it sound like they were junk. You are talking about the greatest years in tennis (early 80's to mid 90's). Lendl dominated in a different era.

    As for whose better...tough call...too close for me. I would rate Lendl a tad higher because of the era he played in.
     
    #35
  36. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    You make solid points and its obvious you know what you are talking about...Cyborg was either asleep, not born or had no TV in the 80's. When you look at his statements you could tell he tries to act is he knows something but he does not, in turn he wastes our time on his nonsense. Check some of his other posts...you will see.
     
    #36
  37. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    It's a good point. But Lendl beat McEnroe at the USO in 1982, 1985 and 1987 (losing there to Mac in 1980 and 1984). Defeating McEnroe at the USO is, on paper, a comparable win to Mac on grass.

    Arguably, beating Mac in straight sets, which Lendl did in all three of those victories (82, 85, 87), is better than Connors' 5-set win at Wimbledon -- but I wouldn't necessarily take it that far. I'd need to see the 1982 Wimbledon final to say more.

    I've noticed that pattern too. I interpreted differently. I don't think it can mean that Lendl played better in the 1987 final than in the 1988 one. Lendl was reported as having a fever in 1987. I don't know how serious his fever could have been; but whatever the case may have been with his health, he played defensive tennis. Both men did. TV and print commentators alike noted that the 1988 final was more lively, and that it moved more quickly (5 sets took the same amount of time in 1988 as 4 sets took in 1987), because both men were trying to make things happen. Wilander came to net 131 times in 1988, Lendl 77 times. I don't have the 1987 stats, but I remember how timid Wilander seemed when he had viable chances to come in or to pull ahead. He had set points in the third set, and had he won those, the match would have gone at least five sets -- a very favorable situation for him.

    Anyway I think it's just as likely that Wilander's aggressive play was what made Lendl go for those topspin returns. That 1987 slice, as I remember it, was a defensive bunt; I thought at the time that Lendl was lucky to win the tournament that way.

    Wilander, when aggressive, made Lendl nervous because he put him off balance. Lendl never quite knew when Wilander was coming in, because Mats would take his chances on some serves but not others; on certain short balls in long rallies but not all of them, and not predictably. Wilander was a baseliner who couldn't be counted on, at any given moment, to stay back (except on second serves). He had the best mind in the game and was always trying to throw people off balance.

    He didn't do that to Lendl at RG or the USO in 1987; he stayed back too much. At RG in 1985 and at the USO in 1988, Wilander was more adventurous, and was forcing Lendl to go for his shots. That's how I see those two Lendl backhands into the net: they are to Lendl's credit, and shows that he was fighting; they don't show that he was playing worse in those years.
     
    #37
  38. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.

    Wow...you really have a screw loose if you think Wilander was lucky to win 3 of his 7 majors. Man....you are frustrating to read. Based on the poster guess I am not the only one...Cyborg please go way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
    #38
  39. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,263
    I picked Connors because Lendl didn't have that cool skyhook overhead. ;) LOL
     
    #39
  40. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    7,884
    Location:
    Next door to Elisha Cuthbert.
    Don't you sleep?:p
     
    #40
  41. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    If you have Lendl's quote, it would be interesting to see.

    But if Lendl is putting it down to simple luck, he's not giving himself enough credit. I didn't see anything in that match that leads me to believe that luck was falling Ivan's way that day more than John's.

    And it is no "fact" that Lendl didn't deserve that title. Nor is it a fact that McEnroe choked that match. It's a disputable issue, and when I saw that match recently, I did not see a choke. I saw a comeback by the player who was better over five sets on clay, on that day. Better on the day: that's who deserves to win.

    I'd say that it's pretty impressive for Lendl to beat Becker at the Masters in January 1986, December 1986 (both times in straight-set finals) and in the 1987 round-robin.

    Lendl also beat a young Edberg in straight sets at the 1986 USO, when Edberg was the reigning AO champ. Connors at the 1984 Wimbledon was the reigning USO champ, a comparable player (two-time Wimbledon champion, like Edberg was a two-time USO champion).

    And Lendl beat Wilander at the 1987 French when Wilander was the favorite. Certainly Wilander was as dangerous on clay in 1987 as Connors was on grass in 1984, probably more dangerous.

    It's hard, I admit, to find a victory more impressive than that one, at least on paper (I haven't seen it). If what we're talking about is the 8-year span between Connors' two Wimbledon victories, then no, Lendl didn't do that; no one else in the Open Era has. If we're talking about a 5-set win over McEnroe in a Slam final, Lendl has that. If it's the achievement of taking McEnroe's title away from him on his best surfaces, Lendl has that: he did that to mcEnroe at the USO in 1982 and 1985, albeit in straight sets (though I don't know why that should be less impressive than a five-set victory, esp. when Lendl did pull that off at RG).

    If we're talking about great achievements, let's go back to the 1984 Wimbledon final. There we have one of McEnroe's greatest achievements. But even there Lendl has something comparable: he faced no break points in defeating McEnroe at the 1987 USO, just as McEnroe faced no break points in the 1984 Wimbledon final.
     
    #41
  42. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,579
    Someone has already mentioned that Connors never beat Wilander. He first played him in 1983 or 1984, so of course Connors was already declining. But he would have had problems against Wilander that were similar to those he had against Borg. Connors had a game that would not have matched up well against Wilander. Wilander and Borg were more consistent than he was and could outlast him. At his best, Connors could play them evenly from the baseline, but then the difference would be that Connors didn't have much of a serve.

    Connors eventually had these same problems against Lendl. I have not seen his early wins against Lendl, though I have read that he fed off Lendl's power. He couldn't do that (at least, not as much) against Borg, certainly not against Wilander.
     
    #42
  43. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    13,211
    Location:
    Puerto y Galgo....
    Dear Cyborg; Watching you dealing with every one here in a helpless fight makes call on your rationality: please read bellow:
    According to Merriam Webster

    Fact :
    Etymology: Latin factum, from neuter of factus, past participle of facere
    Date: 15th century
    1: a thing done: as aobsolete : feat b: crime <accessory after the fact> carchaic : action
    2archaic : performance, doing
    3: the quality of being actual : actuality <a question of fact hinges on evidence>
    4 a: something that has actual existence <space exploration is now a fact> b: an actual occurrence <prove the fact of damage>
    5: a piece of information presented as having objective reality
    :confused:
    Opinion
    Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin opinion-, opinio, from opinari
    Date: 14th century
    1 a: a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter b: approval, esteem
    2 a: belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge b: a generally held view
    :confused:
     
    #43
  44. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    422
    Great reponse to Moose's post and Moose good observation. That's the thing about Wilander when he played Lendl, he knew he didn't have the big weapons so he had to mix things up if he wantd to win. I've seen the '87 and '88 USO finals at least 50 times. What Mats did in the '88 final totally got Lendl off his game. Lendl didn't "choke" as Cyborg would want us to believe. If anything Mats choked a little in the second and fourth sets. Mats got Lendl off balance. He did the same to Lendl in the "85 FO final. Even when Wilander didn't go with this game plan ('87 FO and USO final), the matches were damn close.

    Cyborg, according to you:

    "Wilander would have never beaten Connors in a U.S Open final"

    How the hell could you say "never"? How come the 3 times Connors played Wilander in '84 (which according to you "Connors was very good through '84") he lost? Two of the losts were on hard court and one on clay. Everyone knows that Connors was past his prime here but to state "Never" is flat out ridicules. We all know that in his prime Connors would probably be the fav against Wilander in a USO final. But don't take away Wilander's title by saying Lendl "choked" and also don't take away Lendl's props becuase he lost to Wilander. Shoot, let's be so bold and state that, McEnroe would NEVER lose to Wilander on grass at a slam. Opps, it happened at the '83 AO. The point here is that we are talking about all time greats and when they play each other anything can happened.

    Cyborg, what's up with you? Why do you have so little regard for Lendl's accomplishments and why are you such a Wilander hater? Seems like most people disagrees with you. Benhur and I waxed you on the Borg is the greatest clay courter thread and now it seems everyone here is waxing you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2007
    #44
  45. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    422
    Yes sir, I totally agree with you. Borg and Wilander created bad match up problems for Connors. Connors couldn't blow the ball by Wilander. Wilander was too quick and consistent. Agassi on the other hand, had the game that would be a match up problem for Mats.
     
    #45
  46. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    Well, Dogs and you may know it, but I know nothing of the sort. Don't lump me in with your barking companions. "Should have won" here means only "I wanted him to win. He was a set away, but he never could win that set." That's what it means.

    Again, a personal opinion presented as "objective truth" is just a personal opinion. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Mac was better than Lendl *on clay* any time in their careers. That's merely an empty theory of yours. An empirical test to that theory was *precisely* that match, played when Mac was at his very best. Mac failed it. Period.

    But even if there had been any shred of evidence that Mac was better than Lendl on clay (for example some victories on clay over him that year or in previous years -- and there was none of that) the phrase "should have won" would still be empty. As financial institutions insist on reminding their clients: "Past performance is no guarantee of future results". True in tennis too (thank God, otherwise every outcome would be predictable). When you are playing, the present rules supreme. You are as good as THIS match, THIS point. THIS ball. Better hit it well rather than space out into your past laurels. That's how it works. Lendl beat McEnroe fair and square that day. I see no evidence of any special "luck" (bad calls, net cord balls, whatever) and I see no evidence of any choke on the part of Mac.

    Well then don't try to pass off your opinions as facts. There is a distinction, you know. It is a *fact* that Lendl beat Mac in that match. It is an *opinion* that he should not have beaten him. And a completely groundless one -- in my opinion.

    His balls turn into atoms? Well, a pair of atomic balls doesn't sound like such a bad thing for stamina, though perhaps one should refrain from having offspring in those conditions.

    I certainly didn't see any of those marvels. Maybe Lendl could have been a bit more aggressive, then again maybe Wilander was just too good and error-free that year, and maybe that's why he won three slams and got to the semis of the fourth one, and ended the year as number 1.

    Nonsense again. Connors won many more events where the best weren't participating (in the 70s) than Lendl did in the 80s.

    McEnroe did not succumb to old age, he is the same age as Lendl. The Beckers, Wilanders, Edbergs (and even Samprases) that Lendl dealt with during his "unimpressive" reign certainly were not going senile on him either. Lendl dealt with them pretty well throughout the last half of the 80s, until 1991, and sometimes even beyond. He beat Becker the last three times they played in 1992-93. He even beat Sampras in Philadelphia in 1991 and again in 1993, when he was 33 years old! Of course all those guys also "closed the door" on him a good number of times since 1985, as Mac and Connors had done before. Had they all not done that --had Lendl enjoyed such an unimpressive reign -- he would have easily 16 slams today, instead of 8.

    So your notion that Lendl was never challenged like Connors and had it much easier is pure bunk. I asked you to compile a list of GS finals where similar greats closed the door on Connors as they did on Lendl. You never did. Because it cannot be done.

    Walrus? I though your common knowledge was shared with Dogs? Which is it?
     
    #46
  47. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    Well, he was good enough to win it the following year by beating a John McEnroe who, according to you on a different post, was much better than him even on clay. And again in 87 when Wilander was supposedly better than him on clay.

    As for "loopstroke" Noah, he was a top 10 player, playing with a home crowd, who was gutsy enough and smart enough and even good enough at the time to figure out how to take it to players like Lendl and Wilander on a special occasion, and beat them. Nothing so unusual.

    Let's now examine some of your persistently dismissive drivel about Mats Wilander being nothing but a "low on talent" teenager in those days. This same "low on talent" kid, a month or so after he won the French, took John McEnroe to the longest match in Davis Cup history, five long sets, six and a half hours of play. This was John McEnroe playing with a home crowd behind, on a surface chosen to favor his game. The very next year at the French, 18-year old "low on talent" Wilander beat peak McEnroe in 4 sets, 6-0 in the final set. A couple of months later, in Cincinnati, Wilander beat Mac again in straight sets on a *hard* court. Then, at the end of the year, this "low on talent" kid beat McEnroe yet again on GRASS at the Australian Open.

    So here's a fact: "low-on-talent" 18-year old Wilander beat John McEnroe at his peak on all surfaces. I wonder if that's enough facts for you to stop presenting him as some kind of tennis bum.
     
    #47
  48. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    No, it isn’t. You guys seem to specialize in minimizing accomplishments when you don’t like the outcome, and aggrandizing them when you do, completely oblivious to how many times you contradict yourselves. It's quite remarkable. The fact that Connors beat Mac at Wimbledon in 82 in 5 sets is a titanic achievement by a relentless warrior. The fact that 18-year old Wilander beat Mac on grass at the Australian the following year, when Mac was even better, is uninteresting because this was just a “low on talent” teenager having one more of his endless string of lucky wins, or perhaps it was uninteresting because the AO lacked "prestige". Or if Lendl beats Mac in a 5 set grueling RG final to win his first slam, that's "undeserved" because... eh... because McEnroe “should have won it”… and he "should have won it” because…. he was "better even on clay"… and he was better even on clay because… well... because I say so. That's the method. Or else perhaps it was not as “prestigious”, so there, no comparing (that's your method). Connors was a titan. Lendl an undeserving winner.

    It's all a big joke.

    What is there to address? ANY time a match ends 7-5 in the fifth set it is understood that there is an element of luck in it. Had Mac won it with the same score, there would be nothing wrong with him acknowledging he was lucky to get out alive in the end. It would have been equally true.

    On another plane, there was NOTHING particularly lucky about Lendl’s win. No key points won by bad calls or other lucky circumstances. Mac didn’t get injured. Mac didn’t choke. Mac may have gotten a bit tired, but so was Lendl, who started vomiting profusely in the locker room shortly after the award ceremony. And how much stamina you have is an essential part of the game, particularly on clay. So it is totally incomprehensible and irrational that anyone should insist Lendl’s win was undeserved and without merit. Justifying this opinion on the (gratuitous) supposition that Mac was better than Lendl on clay at that time is even more bizarre. If you believe that, then Lendl's win should have even more merit (just as your tacit acknowledgment of the fact that Mac was the best player on grass at the time enhances Connors win over him in 82). No matter how you look at it, saying that Lendl did not deserve that first grand slam is totally absurd.
     
    #48
  49. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    And this I should add.

    Lest anyone thinks I have something against Connors, I want to make it clear that I LIKE Connors. Didn't like him so much when he was in his loud obnoxious prime, but as the 80s rolled and he was still around, and around, and around, especially his amazing performances in New York up to the age of about 40, it was hard not to like him.

    It's just that it irritates me to see everyday how much Ivan Lendl is dismissed. It is something it started right when he was playing. His is one of the most amazing careers in tennis history. But you have to look at the numbers, year by year by year for a whole decade, to really appreciate what he did. In several areas, he is second to none. If tennis was a sport as infused with exuberant statistics as baseball, it would be more obvious. Maybe one day it will be.
     
    #49
  50. Attila the tennis Bum

    Attila the tennis Bum Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,233
    Connors was able to win on every surface . Lendl could not win Wimbledon.
     
    #50

Share This Page