Lendl v McEnroe - who was the greater player?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Paul Murphy, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Yep, just one tournament players prize over all others. A shame such a great player like Lendl could never win Wimbledon, while Mack won 7 times.

    Most of the big names in tennis will tell you, you're nothing unless you win Wimbledon. Lendl knew this. That's why the ball crusher hired Tony Roache to help him win on grass. Lendl didn't have enough talent though. Ball crushing can get you only so far.
     
    #51
  2. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    LOL. You seem to get a real attitude when you're losing an argument. Calm down oldtimer. Let's try to keep this civil shall we. But, keep sticking with your h2h position, it's all you got after all. But when it comes right down to it, the greatest player is the one who won Wimbledon 7 times... not the player who never won.
     
    #52
  3. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    What a ridiculous statement - they were born a year apart.
    So funny.
    And always very convincing to use a quote from a player about his own abilities.
    So unbiased.
    How desperate you are.
     
    #53
  4. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    Roache!!! lol
     
    #54
  5. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    I see from your other posts you're a doubles player - says it all.
    How are those new glasses working out for you sonny?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
    #55
  6. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    All I've got?

    Try this for size:

    1) 21 v 15 H2H.
    2) Majors won 8 v 7.
    3) Major finals reached 19 v 11.
    4) Major matches won 222 v 167.
    5) Singles titles won 94 v 77.
    6) Singles matches won 1071 v 875.
    7) 270 weeks at No.1 v 170.

    You hang on to Wimbledon like a drowning man does a life preserver - seven Wimbledon titles huh? Oh, you're counting doubles too.
    So funny.
    Laughable.
     
    #56
  7. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    If only Wimbledon was the only tournament in the world you'd be in business.
    Too bad for you it's not.
     
    #57
  8. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    the big blob on mcenroes career was the way it went down the bloody toilet after 1985 and didn't really recover..

    upto 1985..7 majors 19 masters 3 world tour final titles, 4 WCT titles
    after 1985..0 majors, 0 masters, 0 world tour final titles, 1 WCT title.

    in fact after his breaks in 1986/1987 the 1989 WCT title was the only biggish thing he ever one on his own.

    he was supermac..but after 1985 he was ordinarymac.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
    #58
  9. Kalin

    Kalin Professional

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    Mr. Lob, we get it, you're a Mac fan... you seem to share his indomitable self-belief in the face of overwhelming adversity as well as his total disregard for facts that didn't suit him.

    He was a cool guy, he is very smart and has indeed kept in excellent shape unlike bad-back Lendl. But Ivan Lendl was a better player. And now he is a better coach. And is taller. And 'Ivan' is a much cooler name than 'John' even though it is, in fact, the same name. See?
     
    #59
  10. Kalin

    Kalin Professional

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    By the way, and not meant to discredit Mac, but his Wikipedia page has a quote from him where he says that during his playing years he was unwittingly given horse steroids for 6 years.... maybe that's where all the aggression came from :)
     
    #60
  11. DMP

    DMP Semi-Pro

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    Agreed (see below)

    I forgive you

    It tells me that my style causes him problems, more than it does other players

    If you are considering only singles, then I would agree. But include Doubles and DC (which as someone who has watched a lot of tennis, I am inclined to do), and general 'impact on public consciousness', then it is a whole load closer, and a case can easily be made for McEnroe.

    So it is a fine call, and depends on the criteria you consider important. I like my criteria. I've no doubt you like yours.
     
    #61
  12. Rosewall

    Rosewall Rookie

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    Chuckle all you want about the "soft hands" comment, but Lendl had perhaps the worst hands of any of the game's top players. He couldn't deal with the bad bounces of Wimbledon, because he didn't have the fine motor skills of a lot of the other top players, including McEnroe.

    What I respect about him is he found a new way to dominate. He invented the modern tennis player -- the aggressive, behind-the-baseline style we see today. He introduced cross training to tennis and pushed the game away from elegance and toward power.

    I am ambivalent about him as a player. Brilliant forehand was one of tennis' greatest weapons. But his personality just sucked so bad, it was hard to root for the guy. He made Connors look warm and cuddly. The only guy I can think of that ever described himself as a friend of Lendl's was Bill Scanlon.

    OK, who was better, Lendl or Mac? Lendl. Could Mac have been better? Of course. I agree with Mac's 60 Minutes interview where he said he had more talent in his pinky than Lendl had in his entire body. But you know what, all that matters is wins and losses. And at the end of the day, I respect the grinders. And there have been some great champions who were grinders -- Connors, Lendl, and Nadal to name three.
     
    #62
  13. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Exactly, that was "prime" Mack. Something that OP has trouble grasping. Prime is the period of time you are playing your best tennis, not just age related. Some players prime is early 20's, some mid twenties, some late 20's. Prime Mack beats prime Lendl every time. And of course Macks success at Wimbledon tips the scales in his favor.
    .
     
    #63
  14. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Dang spell check. LoL
     
    #64
  15. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    WOW! What a sad pathetic life you must lead that you have to dig up my posts from 3 months ago. You must really like me to have gone thru the trouble.

    Warning Warning!!!!- We got a stalker here folks. LOL
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
    #65
  16. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Just like Lendl, nothing but cold stale computer born stats that you keep throwing out... because that's all you got.

    The only reason I keep bringing up Wimbledon, is because you keep dodging the question of its importance to the history of the game. Why did Lendl, who is suppose to be greater than Mack, fail to win the games greatest championship, while Mack won 7?

    With everything else taken into consideration, h2h, change in raquet technology which hurt Mack more than ball basher Lendl, majors equal... the deciding factor in who is greater comes down to... who won the greatest tournament in tennis 7 times, and who didn't win it once.

    That you consider Wimbledon to be "just a 2 week tournament"clearly shows your lack of understanding of the game. Or, you're a crybaby who won't admit defeat... one of the two. :shock:
     
    #66
  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Borg and Mac was shortlived.Mac and Connors was like a far west duel.But Lendl and Mac was the real thing.The only era where two all time greats are almost tied up for dominating a decade.And what a decade¡¡¡

    I have seen them live many times against each other.But I never got tired of such a live experience.It was a rivalry dessigned by some Dramatic Writter or script Writter.You just would never miss one of their matches.Even the worse one had BOTH OF THEM going at each other.
     
    #67
  18. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    McEnroe won Wimbledon 3 times, not 7 (1981,1983 1984). In addition to his 3 W titles, he also won 4 US Opens (1979,1980,1981,1984) making 7 GS titles overall.
     
    #68
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If you include the indoor majors, both are tied at 15.Can´t be closer.
     
    #69
  20. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    What are the indoor Majors?
     
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  21. big ted

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    do you mean who was the better player or who had the better career? if you go by their h2h, mcenroe was the better player up until the usopen '85 when his slump began and lendl improved. his h2h with lendl was 14-11. then lendl won the next 10 of 11 matches, so lendl was the better player after '85. now on the seniors tour it looks like mac is the better player again.

    you could say lendl had a more consistent career and mcenroes star burned brighter but for not as long. i think alot of people would rather choose macs career over lendls because of more wimbledons, us opens, davis cup, doubles, etc..
     
    #71
  22. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    3 singles and 4 doubles... That's 7 Wimbledon titles.

    Maybe if Mack had only won one Wimbledon, then maybe I cam see Lendl being greater. But 7? Ouch!!!!
     
    #72
  23. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Great post... up until that last paragraph. Ya blew it! :)
     
    #73
  24. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Cobb/Reunion and MSG
     
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  25. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not counting doubles. Different types of matches. I don't think Lendl ever played doubles at Wimbledon or any of the other Slams!
     
    #75
  26. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    Singles-wise, Lendl ~ McEnroe. I'd give Mac the edge due to his doubles career though.
     
    #76
  27. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I like to look at this through the other side of the glass. Both players won 84% of their major(slam) matches in their career. Here's a comparison.
    CODE= (WIN-FINALIST-SEMI-QF -R16-R32-R64-R128) There is a listing of the first round upsets (r128) for your trip down memory lane

    Lendl won 82% of matches at Aussie in 12 tournaments
    (2-2-3-1-2-1-0-1)
    He lost as the #8 seed to unseeded Bergstrom in '93

    McEnroe won 78% of matches at Aussie in 5 tournaments
    (0-0-1-3-1-0-0-0)

    Lendl won 81% of matches at RG in 15 tournaments
    (3-2-0-2-3-1-1-3)
    He lost unseeded to unseeded Clerc in '78, seeded #7 to unseeded Huet in '93, and finally unseeded himself to unseeded Boetsch in '94

    McEnroe won 71% of matches at RG in 10 tournaments
    (0-1-1-2-1-1-1-3)
    He lost as the #7 seed to unseeded de la Pena in '87, as #15 seed to Cherkasov in '87, and finally unseeded himself to unseeded Kulti in 92

    Lendl won 77% of matches at Wimbledon in 14 tournaments
    (0-2-5-0-2-2-1-2)
    He lost unseeded to unseeded McNamera in '79, and as #4 seed to unseeded Fancutt in '81

    McEnroe won 84% of matches at Wimbledon in 14 tournaments
    (3-2-3-1-2-0-1-2)
    He lost as the #11 seed to unseeded Van Dillen in '78. and as #4 seed to unseeded Rostagno in '90

    Lendl won 84% of matches at US Open in 16 tournaments
    (3-5-1-3-1-0-2-1)
    He lost as the #13 seed to unseeded Borwick in '93

    McEnroe won 84% of matches at US Open in 16 tournaments as well
    (4-1-3-1-3-1-2-1)
    He lost as the #9 seed to unseeded Annacone in '86
    [not a typo. They both played exactly the same number of US events and got exactly the same percentage, which was the same 84% Mac got at Wimbledon, and coincidentally matches their career w/l percentages at majors. 84% is a popular number]
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
    #77
  28. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    Why does Mac have different Aussie stats? Do you mean RG?
     
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  29. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    Very nicely put.
     
    #79
  30. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    McEnroe was 15-21 against Lendl. While peak Mac was probably better than Lendl, Ivan was simply more consistent, hence the incredible number of GS finals he managed to make. Not to mention that Lendl won 3/4 of the GS (and helped Murray win Wimbledon despite never winning it himself).
    Overall:
    Singles: Lendl >= MacEnroe
    Doubles MacEnroe >> Lendl
     
    #80
  31. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    7! lol.

    If my question was just confined to Wimbledon (and Wimbledon doubles lol) then your man wins hands down.
    But it wasn't, so other pesky and inconvenient facts come into play, things like:

    1) 21 v 15 H2H.
    2) Majors won 8 v 7.
    3) Major finals reached 19 v 11.
    4) Major matches won 222 v 167.
    5) Singles titles won 94 v 77.
    6) Singles matches won 1071 v 875.
    7) 270 weeks at No.1 v 170.

    And seeing you're such a big Wimbledon fan - to the exclusion of everything else - you should take a look at Lendl's Wimbledon record - two finals and five semis.
    At the French where your guy also didn't win a title his record wasn't nearly as good - one final, one semi. Oh dear.
    If you're looking for the bigger failure on their least favourite surface, your man wins that award hands down. Well done.

    If you want a laugh check out McEnroe's record at the AO.

    As for doubles I don't care in the least, not a lot of people or players do.
    Pity for you your "sytem" doesn't apply when judging the greatness of a player in singles.
     
    #81
  32. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    As for looking at your previous posts Mr Blob, I wanted to determine how old you might be.
    Having done that I thought it might for fun for you to leave your computer now and go off and play with the other kids on the road before you're told to come in for dinner.
     
    #82
  33. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    Lendl's record is definitely impressive. He was second only to Connors in singles matches won and singles titles achieved in the Open Era.
     
    #83
  34. BTURNER

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    Yes it is a typo ( cut and paste you know) I corrected, while I was adding more detail on their 1st round losses.

    I want to point out they that both won 84% of their career matches in majors.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
    #84
  35. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    #85
  36. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    I suppose I could have done some detective work on your thousand some odd posts... probably found out what size of Depends diapers you wear. But,#1) I'm not a creepy old stalker like you and #2)...you're not worth the effort. LOL

    So Creeper, how about talking about Lendl and Mack for a change? Post their "vital statistics" for the 10th time. Don't answer why Lendl couldn't win Wimbledon when Mack won 7 times. Stay on topic and stop derailing your own thread. Thank you Creeper. :)
     
    #86
  37. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Seriously, you are either 8 years old or 80. Australian Open was a second rate major during Macks and Lendls career. Most top players skipped it. The French was just a step above that. Wimbledon was, and still is, the tournament that out ranks them all. That Lendl lost in a few finals and semis proves what? Proves he's a loser. His ball bashing skills couldn't translate well to grass. He gets credit for trying, but it's always how any majors and major tournaments and doubles titles you've won, not how many you lost. Lendls inability to win Wimbledon puts him below the great Johnny Mack.
     
    #87
  38. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    Please don't be insulting on this forum.
    In response to your post, I feel it is wrong to punish Lendl for Mac's decision to not play in Australia. And while Wimbledon is prestigious, it's not the end-all.

    Lendl reached two Wimbledon finals while Mac only reached one RG final during his peak. Again, I feel that Lendl isn't that far above Mac, he's only >= MacEnroe.
    But to Mac's credit, his peak was above Lendl's peak I believe.
     
    #88
  39. BTURNER

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    The question is what happened to Mac in those tournaments where Lendl lost in the final. If the answer involves losses in the R128, or R16 or the QF then he lost too, but earlier and to a nobody. The tournaments do not begin with only four players.
     
    #89
  40. max_brat

    max_brat New User

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    Actually to satisfy both sides (blind stats and opinion), it does come down to the question: How many matches do we remember each player for? I count 8 (if not more) for Mac (79-81 U.S. Open finals, 84 U.S. Open Semis, 80-81 Wimbledon finals, as well as the 83-84 Wimbledon finals). Amazingly, the one match I really remember Lendl for is the 84 French final, and really that was because McEnroe went ape after winning the first two sets. But then again, to compare these two using both blind stats and opinion is like using them to compare what's the better style of play: serve-and-volley or hammering it home from the baseline. I'm a serve-and-volleyer myself, but I can see the advantages to hitting with power from the baseline, so I can see both sides of the who's better argument.
     
    #90
  41. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    Exactly right.
     
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  42. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Fixed it for you.

    Well, again, the French and Australian was not on the same level as Wimbledon. French got bigger because of all the press about no American having won it in so many years. For that time period, one Wimbledon victory equals multiple French or Australian wins. Bigger tournaments to win during that time period than F.O and A.O

    And I do agree peak Mack better than peak Lendl.
     
    #92
  43. Paul Murphy

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    You've finally got it: "it's always how any majors and major tournaments ... you've won."
    (I left the doubles crap out of your post to save you embarrassment - go tell it to the Bryans. lol).

    Yes, it's about Majors won and titles won and years spent at No.1 and all the other stats that we use to judge a player's worth.
    All the stats that show your man trailing and in most cases, trailing badly.
    Glad to see you admit it at last.
     
    #93
  44. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I agree that H2H is very important provided the players are at a similar maturity level.

    I think McEnroe was by far the biggest natural talent, but Lendl is more consistent and his style was very influential for later tennis.

    Given the stats presented here I think I underrated Lendl.

    Yes, I would have to give a slight edge to Lendl over McEnroe.
     
    #94
  45. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Maybe, if it's a tournament you've never won, people may look at it in that manner. But 3 singles and 4 doubles Wimbledon titles generally make most people forget what happened in all the others. People don't talk about Borgs losses, they talk about how many times he won it.
     
    #95
  46. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    "French got bigger because of all the press about no American having won it in so many years."

    Yes, that's so right.
    Hilarious.
    Thank you.
     
    #96
  47. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    "But 3 singles and 4 doubles Wimbledon titles generally make most people forget what happened in all the others."

    Only if they're like you. lol.
    Please keep posting this rubbish - you are the gift that keeps on giving. :)
     
    #97
  48. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Lendl would never play doubles because he sucked at the net. Ball bashers don't like being at the net. It wasnt until much later in his career that he worked like a dog to become a decent volleyer to try to win Wimbledon, which he failed. Macks total titles, majors, major tournament wins far exceed Lendls. If you want to limit discussion to singles play, then you should have titled your thread accordingly. Ya screwed up.

    Doesn't matter anyhow, Macks single career still better than Lendls. He's got a bunch of gold medals from winning Wimbledon, while Lendl has a couple more silver and bronze by winning French and Australian. So which would you rather have, 7 gold medals, or 4 silver and 4 bronze? Ouch!
     
    #98
  49. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    You are hilarious.
     
    #99
  50. Vensai

    Vensai Professional

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    Ivan Lendl reached 19 finals and won 8 of them. He, based on your logic, would have 8 gold medals and 11 silver medals. McEnroe reached 11 finals and won 7 of them. He would have 7 gold medals and 4 silver medals.
    I fail to see why you go on with this, if you want to consider both singles and doubles then I would say McEnroe is superior. But just in singles, I would say it's a fair case that Lendl edges out McEnroe significantly.
     

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