was ivan lendl ACTUALLY considered a bad guy back in the day?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by d-quik, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. d-quik

    d-quik Rookie

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    i mean the guy is methodical, yes, as per old school baseliners should be. but on the boards i have seen words like EVIL used to this guy. why was this? is it because he came from a communist country at the time and fufilling the western world's stereotype of the soviet "robot" type athlete?
     
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  2. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    The US Open crowd didn't seem to like him, probably because he was facing McEnroe and Connors. I don't think he actually did anything to offend them. I think mainly it was a myth created by journalists and maybe fuelled by rivals. He had quite a sarcastic sense of humour that didn't go down too well with some people. I remember people made a big deal of him whacking balls at opponents during matches (there's a good example of him doing this to McEnroe on youtube), but I'm not sure how frequent that was. He was also a player who didn't show much emotion (although more than legend would have you believe) so he never really connected with the crowd.

    I'd be interested to hear what other people have to say as I'm sure I've got some of my facts wrong.
     
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  3. Winners or Errors

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    You nailed it. There's a thread linking to a recent interview, and Lendl gives a few fairly clear comments on his relationship with the press. It was the time. Of course, it also didn't help that he had kind of a high pitched whiny voice when he questioned calls either. I was a huge Lendl fan at the time, but every time the man opened his mouth on court I cringed.
     
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  4. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Was that the interview in "the Times". I agree, it's really good.
     
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  5. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Lendl was very insecure when he was young. There was the culture shock, the language issue and he also grew up in a very strict household - the media didn't really grow fond of him.

    Lendl was, however, always very intelligent and funny and gradually grew more comfortable, but didn't use these skills to endear himself to the media.
     
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  6. Winners or Errors

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    I don't remember the newspaper, but it was at a golf tournament he was watching his kids compete in...
     
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  7. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Problem was the the tennis and sporting press was dominated by a country, America, whose fear of anything with even the slightest connection to communism meant they couldn't write without unhealthy bias. Lendl was an easy target. They led people to believe that he was a communist, instead of coming from a country that had been invaded and annexed by Russia. They allowed simpletons like John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors to call him a communist and not challenge their ignorance. They allowed their 'America first, last and always' mentality to cloud their judgement of him as a player and as a person. Naturally enough, Lendl wouldn't cooperate with the press which meant he wasn't able to defend himself.

    Funny thing is, Lendl was popular here in Australia whereas Connors and McEnroe weren't. No-one ever thought of Lendl as a warm kind of bloke or that he played an exciting game but no-one disliked him they way they did with Jimmy and John.
     
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  8. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    This is quite interesting. Connors and McEnroe were frequently both hated and loved by the crowds (sometimes in the same match).

    However Lendl didn't generate that sort of passion from the crowds I don't think!
     
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  9. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Associating Lendl with Communism was indeed unfair; as he stated in his recent interview, he "hates communists even more than Rush Limbaugh". Thinking that a player from an Eastern European country, with his whole family back home, would stand up and suddenly announce his love of American democracy was very naive from the journalists. Yes, Martina did it, but it was a rare occurrence.

    As for the hate, a simple walk 'down memory lane' on Sports Illustrated's 'Vault', for instance, can confirm this. Actually from our current 'Peace & Love' era, it's hard to imagine how the tennis world was a nasty place back in the 80s. Mac was hated for his antics, Connors occasionally for his lack of dedication to Davis Cup , Lendl for being a 'communist robot', and generally tennis players were hated for being lazy millionnaires just willing to play for the biggest cheque.

    A bit disturbing for what is supposed to be a celebratory end-of-season article...

    Read this extract, and it is just one among tons of others, about the rankings for 1985:

    "

    If the Australian Open was tennis's long-awaited this-settles-everything playoff for No. 1—jostling at the bottom of the world to get to the top—obviously we should all stick to bowl games. Boris Becker, for example, competing on grass for the first time since his stunning victory at Wimbledon, stared the No. 1 spot in the face in Melbourne and lost in the first round to Michiel Schapers, whose ranking on the ATP computer - 188 - is surpassed by the likes of Alessandro De Minicis, Alejandro Ganzabal, Eleuterio Martins and the legendary Givaldo Alves Barbosa. Schapers is a Dutchman. But Becker, 18, closed out his season really in dutch.

    For another example, John McEnroe, the touring pro out of Bic, had an extremely close shave with sanity. After scuffling with a reporter, spitting on a photographer—well, how is a guy supposed to react when somebody wants to take a picture of him with Ryan O'Neal's daughter, smile?—complaining about the court and insulting most everybody in the country but the koala bears, McEnroe lost 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 to Slobodan Zivojinovic in the quarterfinals. Mac then hightailed it out of Kooyong Stadium so fast that he skipped a compulsory meeting with his close pals from the media. Maybe Junior was hurrying to the bank to pay the $3,750 in fines he had accumulated during the tournament. Whatever, as he departed the court after losing, he screamed at his conqueror, "You're going to pay for this." Zivojinovic, a 6'6", 200-pound Yugoslav whom his manager, Ion Tiriac, calls "Rambo in sneakers," is known around the circuit as Bobo. For his verbal transgression Mad Mac may hereafter be referred to as Dumbo.

    As for Ivan Lendl, he came to Australia riding a 27-match, five-tournament winning streak that started at the U.S. Open. However, Lendl's No. I ranking was about as solid as his golf, which, incidentally, he played more of in Melbourne than tennis. In October, Lendl opted out of a Czechoslovakia- West Germany Davis Cup singles confrontation with Becker in Frankfurt because of an "injured elbow." The next week he was seen blasting away in exhibitions in Jericho, N.Y. and that other tennis mecca, the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

    In Melbourne, Lendl seemed ready to quit in his semifinal with Stefan Edberg. This time he complained of a bum knee. "I consider myself fortunate to have escaped serious injury," he said after bravely finishing the match, which he lost 9-7 in the fifth set. Oh, well. As Lendl pointed out, Kooyong "should be paved over" and the Australian Open was a "second-class" event anyway. What does it matter?

    It matters to Mats Wilander, who had won the tournament in 1983 and '84 and made it to the finals this year before losing 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 to Edberg on Monday in the first All-Swedish final of a Grand Slam championship. Just 19, Edberg is the only player ever to win all four Grand Slam junior events in a single year, but this was his first appearance in an adult Slam final. Edberg will be in many more.

    So who's No. 1? Wilander? He won the French Open, coming from behind to beat Lendl in the final. He also reached the semis of the U.S. Open and can enhance his claim with a victory next week over Becker in the Davis Cup finals in Munich. But Wilander went five months without a tournament victory, and he suffered two embarrassing losses to Thierry Tulasne. Also, his cumulative head-to-head record against the rest of the contenders—McEnroe, Lendl and Becker—in '85 is 3-5. ( Lendl is 9-4, McEnroe 6-4, Becker a kaboom 1-5.) But what most hurts Wilander is a first-round loss at Wimbledon to Zivojinovic. Make Bobo spoiler of the year. Wilander, however, avenged that defeat with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 win over Zivojinovic in the semifinals last week.

    Is McEnroe No. 1? Are you kidding? For only the second year since he began semidominating the game in 1978, Mac didn't win a major title, and he reached only one Slam final, the U.S. Open. What's more, McEnroe was just 4-2 against Bjorn Borg—who?—in their Rip-off Over America tour.

    Another sneakered fossil, Jimmy Connors, didn't bother traveling Down Under to challenge the Big Four. On the year limbo was 0-6 against them, not to mention 0-1 against Mike DePalmer and 0-1 against Jose Higueras, now retired. This must be the first year Connors has gone without a tournament victory since he was in swaddling clothes. He did, however, show up last week on The Tonight Show with Joan Rivers. Can we talk? Can I play?.

    So who is No. 1? Heinz Gunthardt, who reached the late rounds in three Slam events and won Wimbledon doubles with Balazs Taroczy? Ken Flach, for his hair ball that basically won the U.S. Open doubles for him and Robert Seguso? Bobo, for his twin humongous upsets? Shlomo Glickstein? Borg?

    Mostly by default, all the tennis magazines, human-rights organizations, dating services, political-action groups and whoever else names a No. 1 will choose Lendl. After all, he did put together winning streaks of four and five tournaments and did not suffer what the players call a "bad loss" all year. Last week he also matched McEnroe in diatribes and punishments, going over the fine limit that draws those gossamer 21-day suspensions covering a period in which neither man planned to play anything anywhere anyway. Still, go ahead and give Lendl No. 1.
    "
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
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  10. CEvertFan

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    I'm an American and I always liked Lendl. He's one of my all time favorite players and I like him more than I do Connors or McEnroe or Sampras or Agassi.

    You shouldn't make generalizations about an entire country.
     
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  11. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Oh please. Lendl was not a nice guy during his playing days. Period. None of the top guys really were. McEnroe wrote in his book that Ivan had a very cold sarcastic sense of humour and would make merciless fun of lower ranked players who had to laugh along with him because of the pecking order of the day. Wilander said he wasn't a nice guy. Look what Pat Cash thought of him:

    From Bruce Jenkins in the SF Chronicle June 2007 article:

    Most every Grand Slam-tournament winner makes a foray into the Friends Box these days, no matter the obstacles, but Cash was the first to do it. In a recent interview for the Sunday Times, Cash said he was aware of the possible backlash, since such a move shows up the losing player, but that he had so much for disdain for Lendl -- as a player and a person -- he figured the hell with it, I'm going up to see my father and my coach.

    "I didn't have a lot of sympathy for Lendl's plight," said Cash. "He was never an opponent with whom I felt any sense of friendship. My dislike for the man was born out of an incident a couple of years earlier in Monte Carlo. Lendl thought he was being hilarious by pulling a pair of my shoes to pieces in the middle of the locker room. I had to be pulled off him on that occasion. Then he was going through all the phobia about whether he would ever win Wimbledon, and I was more than happy to deepen his agony."


    BTW I am not and was never a fan of Connors and McEnroes obnoxious behavior and wish they would have been defaulted from day one when they started switiching from calling people jerks to using the F bomb and the like.

    There is also huge difference between kissing butt in press conferences and courtside interviews and just being polite, Ivan often chose to be sarcastic, to be rude and to give you nothing. That was his choice to act that way. He also could also be a petulant whiner on the court as well.

    That being said I loved the guy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
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  12. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    To me, Cash sounds like a bit of a jerk when describing Lendl. He mentions the shoe incident every time. I'm beginning to wonder if there ever were any other incidents.
     
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  13. gpt

    gpt Professional

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    In the late seventies when Lendl hit the tour he was quite unique. Communist countries were still very secretive back then and a great source of suspicion for the Western media. Coupled with his limited english, his robotic court demeanour and his apparent inability to smile, this all made it very easy for the media to paint him as the enemy. Also, I think he was the first pro to be seen wearing all black tennis gear which just enhanced the evil image more.
     
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  14. SpaceCadet

    SpaceCadet New User

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    Jingoism.

    In the US, the media really played up his Communist/Eastern Bloc roots. Lendl was always portrayed as a product of the Evil Empire.

    Lendl also figured out a way to regularly beat Connors and Mac (the darlings of US tennis in their day, despite repeatedly making asses of themselves).
     
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  15. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    LOL. Darlings? There were probably more negative stories written about those two jerks than positive.

    Lendl wasn't a nice guy and he was handcuffed by what he could say in the media by the communist authorities who threatened to take away his passport thus ending his career.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
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  16. tailofdog

    tailofdog Semi-Pro

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    Problem Was

    The problem was when he first came on the TV he wore all black crap clothes and his dental work was the same as his clothes.He was taken over by a management company which, helped his image. Also in the early days he did a few unsportsman like things.
     
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  17. BTURNER

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    Lendl was neither particularly nice nor naughty. But he was the ultimate pro. I think the media gave him a rep because he did not readily provide one on his own and did not trouble himself to make their jobs easy.
     
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  18. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    He was rude at times too. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Most of his contemporaries didn't like him either and that had nothing to do with the media.
     
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  19. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    anyone have any pics of lendl from very early in his career? the earliest i can find is the '81 french open.
     
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  20. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    Ivan was mostly a victim of the prevailing environment. A victim of Cold War mentality. You have to remember that many fans back then also saw sports in general as the "hot war". Remember the Olympic Basketball fiasco between the USSR and US, and the "Miracle on Ice". Boycotts/threats of boycotts of Olympics held on US and Soviet Bloc soil. A mess.

    Some tennis enthusiasts also recall the '72 US v. Romania DC final held in Romania which took on a near soccer like mob mentality with crooked line judges, cowbells and the like. It's kind of amusing now, but then it was very real. If you kind find stuff written about it, it's a good read.

    It made little difference if one was from Russia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Lithuania, whatever. To Americans in particular they were the same difference: Communist States. The enemy. Evil.

    For Americans that "cold war" mentality permeated every walk of life. Movies reflected it. Think of 1985's Rocky IV, with the perenial "underdog" Rocky pitted against the Soviet "Ivan 'I Must Break You' Drago" played by Dolf Lundgren.

    Big, fit, cool to cold demeanor, "de-meaner" streak on court choosing to bean net rushers more than the average opponent did, few words with (to American ears) "that accent". Ivan Lendl's on court and press demeanor seemed to play right out of central casting. To his credit/detriment, Lendl didn't go out of his way to correct public/media perceptions. He certainly was under no obligation to do so, but it didn't help his popularity quotient. That obviously wasn't his concern. Winning was.

    5
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
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  21. swedechris

    swedechris Banned

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    Well put.. he became a symbol for all that commies stuff and seems quite undeserved.
     
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  22. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    Okey -- I've talked to Ivan a few times and he's very easy going and has great (if pitch-black) sense of humor.

    Borg has only good things to say about Ivan and don't blame him for some mistakes he made. He didn't know a lot (coming from a world very different from the pro tennis-scene) and met with a lot of biased and unfair hostility which had nothing to do with him as person. His reactions sometimes had good reasons. I won't detail some of the things I heard.

    Remember Ivan had Tony Roche as coach, and Tony's a swell, easy-going fella and he wouldn't stayed with Ivan if he was that "cold-mean-grey-boring-type" that media latched on to from the start. Media loves mania, hysterics in search of selling copy and more often than not act as the demagogue...

    That doesn't mean he's perfect -- who is? I don't know any who is...

    Ivan also has a very healthy disinterest for popularity. FiveO's comments on this are -- as always -- dead on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
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  23. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    Baby-Lendl-footage

    Hey Rod!

    Check out this jewel -- this is Adriano Panatta against baby-Lendl in Davis Cup 1979. Amazingly cool stuff. You can see the his awesome forehand even here.

    This is the earliest footage of Ivan I know available and treat to watch. Enjoy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXjsi5L0_jc
     
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  24. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    that's interesting b/c the ATP website says that lendl and panatta only played 3 times, all in Barcelona (1979, 1980, and 1981). this match does appear to be a davis cup match though since there are coaches on the sidelines. i wonder why the atp site doesn't have this match on record (it does have davis cup matches in players' records)?
     
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  25. SpaceCadet

    SpaceCadet New User

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    Yup! Perhaps "darlings" is the wrong term. I'd have to say "heroes", and I use it in the same context as: "pro-wrestlers are 'heroes'."

    Negative on Connors and Mac? Sure, if you can call "these guys are jerks, but they're our jerks...USA all the way!", negative.

    Sports Illustrated was the worst offender of all! Look up the SI covers and ink devoted to Connors and Mac, and compare to what SI gave Lendl.
     
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  26. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    I don't think Americans disliked him. I didn't. I liked how cool and in control of himself he always seemed. As a kid playing tournaments, I always tried to be super-stoic like Lendl to rattle my opponents.
     
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  27. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    "The US Open crowd didn't seem to like him, probably because he was facing McEnroe and Connors. "

    That's one theory except the USO crowd couldn't stand Connors until later in his career, when he changed his behavior (and also started sucking up to the crowd). And they couldn't stand JMac throughout his career.

    There was no particular animosity toward Lendl but he never cracked a smile and he simply didn't engage the crowds imagination like a Borg.
     
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  28. FedFan_2009

    FedFan_2009 Banned

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    I like that video where Lendl nails McEnroe in the chest and Mac goes down like a drama queen. The crowd boos Lendl - he doesn't give a ****.
     
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  29. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    i think it's because it was a zonal tie...
    http://www.daviscup.com/teams/player.asp?player=10000792
    nowadays you even have group I/II (not III, at least until recently) matches in players' activities but i guess it's not the case (not yet ?) for old results like this.

    by the way, this makes me think about how was davis cup working before the group I/II/III (and now IV) system. does anybody know more about it ? you can see some surprising things in past DC results (cf this old thread):


    coming back to lendl/panatta...... a double donut ? [​IMG][​IMG]
    even for a young lendl, it still surprises me ! [​IMG]
    but he was going to generously give back many of them to numerous opponents during his long career... ;)
     
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  30. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Indeed. There was more to it than many of the simplistic portrayals here. In fact, Lendl was not well liked in the locker-room because....quite simply, he was poorly socialized. Bizarre sense of humour, bullying of lesser players...basically, I believe he had some serious self-esteem issues, and he'd also overcompensate for that with arrogance. Not suprising given the environment he had to grow up. It took a long time for him to find his way out of that. Furthermore, he created a very antagonistic relationship with the press. Since, they didn't like him, it wasn't suprising that the stories about him were not too favorable. (IT WASN'T an "American" thing, as some simplistically portray here. The American media wasn't exactly kind to Mcenroe or Connors until later in their career..and other players, for example Borg, were hardly treated badly by the American media...in fact, all the players, as a whole, get worse treatment from some European media).

    So, early on, you had a person who disliked the media and made no secret of it, looked and acted like a robot on court, except for displays of NEGATIVE emotion, choked in finals, had Mcenroe and Connors making fun of him, physically looked harsh, unpopular among the players, arrogant in the locker room...yes, he came across as a bit of a villain. Mostly, he was just a scared young man, trying to hide it behind a mask of sterness and a scowl.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
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  31. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Yes, this was a big part of it.
     
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  32. FedFan_2009

    FedFan_2009 Banned

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    I think Lendl probably enjoyed playing that part of "the villain". He certainly didn't give a frak what anyone thought about him. 19 GS finals, 8 GS titles speak volumes.
     
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  33. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    And 5 masters.
     
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  34. FedFan_2009

    FedFan_2009 Banned

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    * 8 straight US Open finals.
    * 10 straight Masters finals.
    * made at least GS finals in all 4, only Agassi and Federer have done it since
     
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  35. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Great post.
     
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  36. Don S

    Don S Rookie

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    When I think of Ivan Lendl, one word comes to mind - Sawdust! lol
     
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  37. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    I can't remember Lendl ever refusing to shake an umpire's hand at the end of a match, no matter how much he was complaining during it, such as Australian Open 85 against Edberg.

    Still, I wouldn't blame him if he did refuse in that case. That umpire loved the sound of his own voice. Even when he was talking one-on-one with Lendl he was using the microphone. And what kind of umpire uses phrases like "it was well long".
     
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  38. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    As an American that loves his country, I absolutely agree with this. I have collected tennis mags, books, and commentaries from other countries, and I have come to the conclusion that the American tennis media was horrible. It's shameful propaganda in some cases. The kind of unrealistic journalism that we had taught to expect to find in Pravda.

    To hear even Chris Evert talk about Fed Cup 86 in Prague, it's so twisted. When you actually watch Martina play Hana, it does not unfold in the manner in which we were told that it did.

    For one thing, Hana defied officials and risked serious trouble by introducing Martina by her name in her address in both Czech and English during the opening ceremonies. You didn't read about that in Tennis magazine or hear about that from American commentators. All you heard about was this USA vs. Communism build up for the entire week. In fact, what was the big news item in the American press about Hana that week? Cindy Schmerler, amongst others, wrote that Hana was jealous of the media attention that Martina was receiveing and decided to get married to gain attention. Unbelievable........

    Though Hana says in her book that she was disappointed by the fairness of the crowd in their cheering, when you watch the match, the only times the Czechs do their national clapping cheer was in Hana's behalf when she was down break point at 5-6 in the first set and again midway through the 2nd when they were trying to cheer her back into the match.

    The Czechs, as a team and as fans, were wonderful towards Martina, as well as Chris whom they showed a lot of affection for. Hana even made the comment that she was so glad that Chris had come to Prague. Because she hoped that they would gain a better understanding of each other. Not only did Martina thank Hana for her kindness, but Chris and Hana gained a new respect for one another based on Hana's actions that week. More than anything, the Czechs exuded the kind of fairness and appreciation without politics that our own media could not produce. When I read the shoddy job that people like Peter Bodo, Cindy Schmerler, et al did in covering that event, I'm actually embarrassed as an American. Because their work was worthy of the same kind of biased and propagandized inaccuracies that we often accused Czechs, Romanians, and Russians of doing.

    It made me change some opinions that I had of Mandlikova, Lendl, and others from behind the Iron Curtain. These are people that they often baited, taking advantage of their lack of understanding of English, to get them to say things and then take them out of context. Because when someone like Hana played against Chris America, that made for great press.

    That's not to excuse boorish behavior by Mandlikova, Lendl, and others that truly had a chip on their shoulder. But now I can look back and see why they sometimes had that chip. Why on Earth would they trust American media? They often assumed the worst, and with at least some good reason.

    When you read European, Japanese, and Australian accounts of the exact same events, Hana comes out looking a lot more civil. And there's no surprise in why Hana chose Australia as the place where she wanted to take out citizenship. She was one of the 2 or 3 most popular non-Australian female tennis players of the 80's in that country. She was often villianized here. Though she and Lendl both behaved rather poorly at times. However, at some point, you see people simply giving others what they wish to see. But it's hard to accept when you see the same American media going out of their way to forgive Americans like Mac and Connors for what they did and said. There was a definite double standard to say the least.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
    #38
  39. Doulers

    Doulers New User

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    In my view, Lendl was very unfairly treated by the media, particularly in the United States. There was, of course, the fact that he was from a communist country at that time. American's probably likened him to the "Drago" character from Rocky IV. So being from a communist country did not help him to be accepted at all by Americans. He was also something of a victim of the era he played in because in the United States, fans love athletes with personality, flare, and "color" (e.g., McEnroe, Connors, Agassi). With American tennis players like that to support and cheer for, Lend's stoic character was never destined to be accepted well by Americans. You might remember the September 1986 Sports Illustrated cover that had a picture of Lendl and said "The Champion That Nobody Cares About." And that was right after Lendl won the US Open for the second consecutive time I think. However, I think that cover summed up his status in the eyes of American fans.

    Here is a link to that cover: http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimed...mens.grand.slam.leaders/images/ivan-lendl.jpg

    As another example, Tennis Channel keeps talking about and/or showing that clip of Michael Chang doing that dink serve to Lendl in the 1989 French Open. A recent Tennis magazine also had an article on that one match. Of course, Americans love it because it is about an American making a "fool" of Lendl. However, does anyone ever talk about when Lendl did the same thing to Mcenroe. Search lendl on google video and you should find a clip of him doing a similar dink serve to Mcenroe sometime in the early eighties and I believe McEnroe still has his wooden Dunlop.

    Unfortunately, I don't think in the United States tennis professionals are judged enough on their merits at times. Lendl was one of my favorite players growing up in the eighties as a teenager. I also loved Mcenroe even though they were very different players and I think hated each other. However, I actually met Lendl once and got a chance to hit with him. He was a very nice guy. More importantly, I believe that if you had to pick one player who you could point to and say "he played a huge role in ushering in the modern era of tennis" it is Lendl. In the late seventies and early eighties, he ushered in the "power" game of tennis as he was one of the first top pros to use a graphite racquet and hit blistering groundstrokes and have a big serve. He would win virtually all the tour tournaments he played in except it took him a couple years to finally win his first slam. He was also one of the first to really bring off-court training to a different level (kind of like Martina did on the women's side). His conditioning was superior to everyone's. Prior to him, the game was not played quite the same way with pros still using wooden racquets and relying more on finesse and strategy to win points. He came out blasting which is much closer to what the pro level game is like now. It is unfortunate that he is not given enough credit for what he accomplished during his career and the significance of his place in the history of the game.
     
    #39
  40. spiderman123

    spiderman123 Professional

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    I remember reading somewhere that when some player announced the birth of his daughter in the locker room, Lendl had asked him if he was not man enough to father a son.

    Ivan Lendl has five children, all daughters.
     
    #40
  41. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    I'm pretty sure that Lendl's joke about daughters was made to his coach Tony Roche.
     
    #41
  42. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Hard to believe that people are so misguided as to think that anti-communism was a driving force among tennis fans of the era. Really quite laughable if you were there. Yes, "commie" was the call from all...oh brother...and oh, the early impression of Lendl was formed LONG before Rocky 4.

    Yes. Like Borg. What a wild showman. Arthur Ashe, a friggin maniac! Stan Smith. Roscoe Tanner. Stefan Edberg, Tim Mayotte, Mats Wilander, Aaron Krickstein....crazy crazy times.... (love how the poster picks the 3 BY FAR most colorful americans....)


    This is so stupid, it doesn't really deserve reply. Underhanded serves have happened sporadically in history. THE REASON Chang's gets attention is because it was at a key moment in a GRAND SLAM, when a severe underdog who WOULD WIN THE TITLE, was using various strategies to stay in the match while cramping. Gee, that couldn't be why, could it. NO, IT'S BECAUSE AMERICANS WANTED TO MAKE A FOOL OF LENDL. YEP. THAT'S IT.

    Lendl wasn't even unpopular in America by that time! There was great sympathy/support from many American journalists about Lendl's quest to win Wimbledon, many were rooting for him. There were calls to let Lendl play Davis Cup for the US. Watch Lendl play Boris at the USO and see how much support he was getting. This is what happens when you give a fool a few youtube clips and a few old articles and let him try to put the pieces together! ;-)


    HUH? Incoherent.

    So you claim to have actually been there...and this is how much knowledge you have??

    AH.......!!!!!! Now the reasoning behind this inane post becomes clear...Lendl played dink ball with you on your birthday. That's nice, and obviously, a clear sign that he only was disliked because American media portrayed him as a commie.

    First, early pioneer of power baseline tennis and fitness leader are BASIC well known and acknowledged facts. He does credit for them. They are irrelevent to this thread, it's not "more importantly" it's "totally unimportant" in context of this discussion. Thanks for sharing that insight....
     
    #42
  43. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Does anyone know why the US crowd were so aggresive towards Lendl during the US84 SF against Cash, considering Cash was Australian?

    They were even booing him during his post match on-court interview despite the fact he spent most of it complimenting Cash.
     
    #43
  44. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    I don't think it was anything special. The New York crowd at the Open has historically, very enthusiastically, embraced the underdog in any match. I was at the Open in Armstrong Stadium in 82 the day Shriver upset Navratilova, and the mood was electric. Everyone wanted the favorite to fall. I remember the next year when Krickstein knocked off Gerulaitis it was much the same, even though Vitas was the hometown boy. The only favorites I remember the New York crowds really cheering were Connors and McEnroe, and Evert. Actually Borg too, until Bjorn faced Mac or Jimmy.

    Anyway, Cash had made quite a run, taking the fourth set in a breaker, and then looked to maybe have the upset in the fifth, on what was the greatest Super Saturday ever, even though all the favorites won.
     
    #44
  45. 1st seed alldayy

    1st seed alldayy New User

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    no of course not
     
    #45
  46. 1st seed alldayy

    1st seed alldayy New User

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    #46
  47. 1st seed alldayy

    1st seed alldayy New User

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    he is definently not a bad guy
    the only crime he did was be 1
     
    #47
  48. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    He wouldn't shake Richard Ings' hand after his loss to Michael Chang at the French.

    And a few months earlier when he lost to McEnroe in Dallas the cameras show him walking to his chair without shaking Gerry Williams' hand (just saying, it's always possible he could have changed his mind and walked back).

    In both matches he was given point penalties, he was angry.
     
    #48
  49. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    thanks for the info krosero

    i thought it was too good to be true that he always shook the umpire's hand.

    I think it's odd how people talk about how emotionless Lendl was on court. I've seen him arguing with the umpire plenty of times. I've never seen him insult an umpire, just rave about the injustice of it all.
     
    #49
  50. roysid

    roysid Professional

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    Hmmm... Two unlikely players Jim Courier and Stefan Edberg had also done it i.e reached finals of all four.
     
    #50

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