What was up with Connors - May to July 1984

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,535
    He just seemed to play well below his usual level. He got killed by McEnroe in the WCT finals and Wimbledon and got beaten by Lendl 6-0, 6-0 on clay - yes, I know that was absolute peak McEnroe - but by September Connors was playing his best again - Peak McEnroe only just squeezed past him at the US Open semi's and Connors also beat Lendl in Japan. So what happened April/May to early July that year - why was he so below his usual level?
     
    #1
  2. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Connors was starting to get old then and it showed in some matches in 1984, although Connors still had Lendl's number when it mattered most (at Wimbledon). McEnroe was at his absolute peak. I also believe the 1984 North American hardcourt summer is when Connors ditched his T2000 racquet for the first time.
     
    #2
  3. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    4,535
    Yeah But

    I thought about the 'old' theory, but it just didn't stand up. After all later in the year when Connors faced McEnroe at the US Open he was his normal self again - competed with McEnroe on an even footing.
     
    #3
  4. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Connors' decline, i.e. the "old theory", didn't just happen all at once. There were early signs in 1984, where in some smaller matches, he would play poorly and barely win games, but he was still there when it mattered in the big matches against Lendl, but a peak McEnroe was usually too much. Of course, at the US Open, it was different, but that's Connors' best and favourite tournament. There's also the racquet factor that I mentioned.

    1985 saw Connors be good and consistent, but his days of reaching major finals were over, and he couldn't win a tournament. 1986 was much the same, except with the 10 week suspension controversy added in, which probably had a factor in his poor showing in the majors that year. 1987 was an excellent year for an older Connors of reaching major quarter and semi finals, but still no tournament. 1988 saw some tournament wins, but his form in the majors was now declining, and it got worse in 1989.

    1984 was the early signs of decline, but I still think that Connors was the second best player of that year. He would still beat Lendl in the biggest matches in 1984, whereas after the 1984 Tokyo Indoor final, Connors never beat Lendl again despite the odd close match.
     
    #4
  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Mac also defeated him handily at Paris but Connors played great there against young up and coming guys like Sanchez,Sundstrom (2 true cc experts) and in 85 he trashed Edberg
     
    #5
  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    In 84 he beat most of top guys like Lendl,Noah,Clerc,Kriek and Mayotte or Leconte
    But he had mental trouble vs 2 guys, Wilander and Mac
     
    #6
  7. robow7

    robow7 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    967
    I think when he looked across the net at Wilander, he thought, wtf, I thought this guy retired and then went into the tank.
     
    #7
  8. tennisfreak73

    tennisfreak73 New User

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    82
    Everyone had mental problems with Mac and Mats. Mac was just plane crazy and Mats just picked you apart and mentally destroyed your game. Brad Gilbert around that time, perhaps later, was asked who has the biggest weapon in tennis? His reply, "Mats Wilanders brain"...
     
    #8
  9. Pebbles10

    Pebbles10 New User

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Messages:
    70
    #9
  10. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    I thought it was Jay Berger who said that?
     
    #10
  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    12,739
    Location:
    Bierlandt
    I recall seeing him play briefly with a Pro Staff. Was that 1984?
     
    #11
  12. Frankc

    Frankc Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    458
    If my memory serves me - Connors used a leaded up ProStaff in the US Open, 1984....
     
    #12
  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Ageeed.One of best shots ever
     
    #13
  14. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Well, Connors was still a very formidable player in '84 and '85; I believe he spent most of 1985 in the Top 4. And, he could play on red clay...he just wasn't going to beat Wilander or Lendl. I think the '84 loss to Mac at RG was a little surprising, but it just showed how exceptional Mac's game was at the time. Connors also played very well at Wimbledon that year, until he met Mac in the final and was embarrassed. But, he really took it to Lendl in the semis.

    1987 was an odd year; he was a bit unlucky not to win a tournament. Nerves perhaps....he was playing very well that year across a wide variety of events and surfaces. He finally won a few more tourneys in '88 and '89, but was not going to be a true GS threat (tho' he was dangerous at the USO...playing some fine ball in '89)

    Age is a b#tch.
     
    #14
  15. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    3,691
    He started using the original Pro Staff the summer of 1984.......stick was primarily made for him btw. That experiment lasted just a few months as by the middle of 85 he was back with he T2000.
     
    #15
  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    james Scott was a solid contender for the grand slam titles till 84, although that year Mac overshadowed the rest of the planet.From 1985 onwards, he was an attractive player to watch but had no fuel left.
     
    #16
  17. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,615
    I think Connors had Lendl's number in the big matches through 1983, and it's fairly easy to see why. Lendl would slaughter Connors in USO tuneups, then lose to him at Flushing.

    But in '84 the patterns in their rivalry had changed, and I don't think Connors having Lendl's number when it mattered is an accurate description anymore of their matches. In what you could call small matches, it was basically a wash, in '84: Lendl won at Forest Hills and Wembley, while Connors won in Tokyo. Connors took their Wimbledon semi, Lendl their Masters semi.

    That is basically a split. You could argue that Connors' wins were bigger, but there's no longer a contrast like in '82 and '83 where Lendl would take the warmup matches and Connors would reverse the result only a couple of weeks later on the same surface.

    Those reversals were largely due to Connors having a mental edge. But in '84 that edge never appeared -- except maybe in one of the "small" matches (maybe in Tokyo, I haven't seen that one). Jimmy's one big victory over Lendl was at Wimbledon, but even he, who was no fan of Lendl, made a point to say that Lendl's collapse was not mental but rather physical.

    Lendl was completely depleted by his RG victory, for a while. So imo if Connors took their single biggest match in '84 (at Wimbledon), it was due to physical reasons: exhaustion on Lendl's part, and greater grasscourt skill on Connors' part.

    In other words Connors was expected to take that match, and if they had met in a grasscourt tuneup I don't think Lendl would have taken it; in '83 Connors wiped him out at Queens. On grass, Connors would have been expected to take both the "small" and "big" matches against Lendl.

    As for ranking them, I can't see Connors above Lendl for '84. Connors won no Slams, and reached only 1 final. Lendl reached two, and won at RG.

    Lendl also beat McEnroe that year, while Connors could not. To me it seems a good argument to be right behind the #1 guy, if you're the only guy who can beat him.

    Same with Wilander (the AO champ): Lendl beat him in '84 (big victory at RG), while Connors went 0-3 against Mats (0-2 on hardcourt).
     
    #17
  18. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Had the pattern the rivalry changed? Connors might have been a better grass-court player, but Connors couldn't even win a single game against Lendl in Rotterdam and Forest Hills, yet won their major meeting at Wimbledon in 4 sets. Connors lost to McEnroe in the semi finals of the 1984 US Open, and pushed McEnroe to 5 sets. McEnroe crushed Lendl in the final, when both were very tired. A peak McEnroe was beating everyone, but I don't see anyone else above Connors for the year.

    As for the Masters, Lendl would beat Connors there anyway, and had done before. It was a peak McEnroe who beat Connors in the majors (French Open, Wimbledon, US Open) that year, as well as the WCT Dallas event.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
    #18
  19. pc1

    pc1 Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    9,396
    You may very well be correct about Connors being the second best player that year but strictly from an observer's point of view I just thought he lost a few steps and his reflexes were a bit slower. That's why I think he lost some of those matches badly. Considering everything I may still amazed at the unbelievable quality of his play against McEnroe in the US Open semi in 1984. That could be my favorite match. Makes you wonder how he would have done if he was 25.
     
    #19
  20. Tennusdude

    Tennusdude Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    361
    yep that is very true
     
    #20
  21. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,916
    Location:
    U.S
    yes, he was, but his one and only loss in majors that year was inflicted by lendl .....who won RG ......

    lendl's record is clearly superior in 84 and he was the 2nd best player that year ...
     
    #21
  22. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,615
    Connors has very little over Lendl in '84 in the usual criteria for ranking the POY. He has no Slams, to Lendl's one. Only 1 final, to Lendl's 2. Not everyone uses H2H, but we are both using it, and Connors' record against the top players is nearly a bust: 0-6 to McEnroe, 0-3 to Wilander (even with 2 of the matches on Connors' best surface), and 2-3 to Lendl. By contrast, Lendl has big wins over all three rivals, and was the only one to beat McEnroe in a Slam that year. That alone was surely the biggest victory of the year not by McEnroe.

    I don't say that the Masters was as big as Wimbledon, but since the Masters is commonly regarded as the fourth biggest event of the year (or at least the fifth for those who keep the traditional four majors), then Connors and Lendl really split their top two matches of the season.

    Of course they split in both places back in '82 and '83 as well: Connors won at Flushing and Lendl at the Garden. But the reason '82 and '83 seem so different is because Lendl crushed Connors in those USO tuneups and then was beaten, for mental reasons very much on display, at Flushing. My point about the Wimbledon meeting in '84 is that those mental reasons were not on display, even in Connors' view.

    I'm not sure anyone has ever been left so depleted from a Slam win as Lendl was at RG.

    Of course, Connors beat Lendl fair and square at Wimbledon. I just don't think the reason was mental, which is why I argue with the phrase "had his number in the big matches" -- if that phrase is meant to imply that Connors beat Lendl in '84 because he still had the mental edge on him. He had Lendl's number on grass, for sure -- as a lot of players still did (or always would).

    The Forest Hills match provides no contrast at all between their small and big matches. I doubt anyone believed that Lendl should beat Connors at Wimbledon just because he double-bageled him on clay two months before.

    That's why I say the pattern of '82 and '83 was no longer there. Unlike the USO tuneups from those years, in '84 Forest Hills and Wimbledon were two months apart, with a major tournament intervening (RG) -- an event in which a lot could, and did, happen (at least to Lendl). Plus, Forest Hills and Wimbledon were on polarized surfaces, back when clay and grass really were polarized. And going from one to the other, you're going from Connors' weakest surface to one of his strongest; and from one of Lendl's strongest to his weakest.

    To me that's just a ton of differences from the pattern on display in Aug/Sept '82 and '83.

    Arthur Ashe said during the Forest Hills final that Lendl had been intimidated by Connors at Flushing but that he believed that he no longer was intimidated. As far as I know Ashe had no reason to say that unless he was observing some real improvement in Lendl's physical and mental game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
    #22
  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Connors was nº 3 in 79,80,81,84.Co nº 2 in 1983 and nº 1 in 1982.From 1984 onwards, he was downfall.

    In 84 Lendl was clearly nº 2 behind Mac.
     
    #23
  24. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    I think Connors was number 1 in 1974, 1976 and 1982, number 2 in 1975 (behind Ashe), 1978 (behind Borg) and 1984 (behind McEnroe), and number 3 in 1977 (behind Vilas and Borg), 1979 (behind Borg and McEnroe), 1980 (behind Borg and McEnroe), 1981 (behind McEnroe and Borg) and 1983 (behind McEnroe and Wilander).
     
    #24
  25. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,615
    Checking the rest of the '84 record, Connors has a 5-3 lead over Lendl in overall titles. But none of Connors' wins were a Slam or even, arguably, a big title: Tokyo Indoor, Los Angeles, Boca West, La Quinta, Memphis.

    In runner-up appearances Lendl has a large lead: 7 to 2.

    Honestly I think Connors could be ranked as low as #4 this year. Wilander, like Lendl, won only 3 titles, but one of them was the AO. And though the field there was not a full one, it was not like weak fields of the 70s, either; Lendl attended, and Wilander had decent wins over Edberg, Kriek and Curren.

    Wilander also led Sweden to a Davis Cup victory, losing only one rubber during the season (a dead rubber against McEnroe). His live victories included one over Connors. And like so many of Connors' losses in '84, it was not close (6-1, 6-3, 6-3).

    Whether Connors had Lendl's number in big matches in '84 is very debatable, I think. But if being better than Lendl in big matches is the basis for putting Connors ahead, then Wilander should go ahead of Connors. There's no question that Wilander had Connors' number in '84, in big and small matches, and on Connors' best and worst surfaces.

    In '81 Lendl leads Connors 10-4 in overall titles. One of Lendl's titles was the Masters, and he made a GS final, which Connors did not. That year imo Jimmy is definitely #4.
     
    #25
  26. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    Tokyo Indoor not a big title? And who was stopping Connors winning the biggest titles in 1984? A peak McEnroe, time after time, almost like Djokovic vs. Nadal circa 2011.

    It depends on whether January 1981 or January 1982 is included as part of 1981. The former included Connors' famous deriding of Lendl's tanking to avoid a semi final against Borg. Lendl may have reached the 1981 French Open final, but he also lost in the first round of 1981 Wimbledon and the fourth round of the 1981 US Open, while Connors reached the semi finals of Wimbledon and US Open in 1981, and the quarter finals of the French Open.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
    #26
  27. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,615
    I can accept Tokyo Indoor as a big title, but Wembley was just as big, and Lendl destroyed Connors there. So that once again shows a different pattern, compared to previous years. If you're calling Tokyo Indoor one of those places where Connors beat Lendl in a big match, well then Lendl beat Connors in a big match at Wembley.

    Then you stack Wimbledon semi against Masters semi; those were the two biggest matches of all. Again, you can argue that Connors' wins were bigger (because Wimbledon is bigger than the Masters), but it's basically close. Not far from a split, and certainly not the kind of contrast that you saw in the hardcourt seasons in '82 and '83.

    This argument is problematic, because Connors lost three times to McEnroe in Slams. Lendl only lost one Slam final to McEnroe. You see that as giving Connors some kind of edge, but Lendl only lost one Slam final to McEnroe because he beat McEnroe in one of their Slam meetings. Credit to Lendl. If Lendl had lost to Mac at RG, then we'd have Mac beating Connors in 3 Slams and beating Lendl in 2 Slams. Not sure what kind of decisive difference can be made out of that.

    Leaving hypotheticals aside, it's a fact that Lendl scored a huge win against McEnroe, getting a Slam, while Connors could not do so. The fact that Connors lost 3 times in Slam events to McEnroe works only in conjunction with hypotheticals -- namely the idea that Connors would have won those events if not for McEnroe standing in his way. I think you can agree that the hypothetical there is necessary, because if we think that Connors was going to lose to other people anyway, if he didn't face McEnroe, then the fact that he lost to McEnroe is meaningless. He would have lost to other people anyway.

    So that's the hypothetical on the table: Connors would have won those 3 Slam events if not for McEnroe. We had this debate before, and I agreed as far as Wimbledon. I said the USO was a toss-up, and I still believe that. But I don't think there is any good reason to believe that Connors would have beaten Lendl at RG. I have strong doubts that he would have even reached the final. If McEnroe had not beaten Jose Higueras at RG, then Connors would likely have had to face Higueras, who beat him at RG, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in 1982: one of Connors' best years. I believe you have named '82 as the year in which Connors played his peak tennis.

    When Lendl and Connors did finally meet at RG, it was a blowout for Lendl. As I said before, I can't see how things would have been much different twelve months earlier.

    But my basic stance on this is that Lendl won RG, and should be given full credit for it, rather than having his win questioned with the possibility that Connors would have beaten him there if not for McEnroe standing in the way. Connors never showed he could challenge even Higueras at RG, or reach a RG final, or push Lendl there when they did meet. And he came nowhere near beating McEnroe there, so the idea that Connors should have won that event if not for McEnroe is really a hypothetical stretched beyond fairness.

    And if Lendl is given full credit for his RG victory, then by all usual evaluations he stands clearly above Slam-less Connors in '84.

    Plus, the question of Wilander/Connors remains. Wilander had Connors' number more completely than Connors, even in your view, had Lendl's number. Wilander swept Connors in big and small matches and on all surfaces, in '84. He won a Slam while Connors didn't. So why do you rank Connors ahead of Wilander?

    The Masters in January '82 was officially the end of the season. When posters give their yearly rankings I assume that they are talking about the official season unless they specify otherwise. Not trying to be snarky, just saying that it would be helpful if you specified that you're restricting your rankings to the calendar year. Otherwise we're talking about the same subject (yearly rankings) but not talking about the same matches. Confusion is then the result.

    Yes in '81 Connors was more consistent than Lendl in reaching the later rounds of Slams. That has always been one of his hallmark strengths. He still did not reach a Slam final, while Lendl did.

    And the tournament totals are not even close. 10 to 4 in favor of Lendl. One of those titles being the Masters only increases Lendl's edge.
     
    #27
  28. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    25,112
    Location:
    Cwmbran, Wales
    In 1984, we had Connors not winning a single game against Lendl in Rotterdam and Forest Hills, and then beating Lendl at Wimbledon. Different surfaces, true, but again a drastic difference in the biggest match. You mention that Lendl's mentality wasn't a factor here, like in their 1982 and 1983 US Open finals, but the fact remains that Lendl was outplayed by a guy he had been bagelling at will in their previous couple of matches.

    Absolutely. Lendl won the 1984 French Open.

    The difference is that Connors was an 8-time major winner, amongst many other titles that he had won, and was beating Lendl in majors despite getting battered by Lendl in their previous, smaller, match. Lendl had 40 titles, including a couple of Masters titles and a WCT Dallas title, but no majors at all before the 1984 French Open. I know that you are well aware that Lendl was getting a lot of stick for this. This clearly left a question mark over Lendl's mentality, without using hindsight of Lendl's future dominance from 1985-1987.

    I haven't denied this. It was a fantastic victory for Lendl, but I disagree with the analysis by many people that this victory changed Lendl's career. I think that was the 1985 US Open final. Despite Lendl's big win at the 1984 French Open, Lendl was still getting bashed silly by McEnroe throughout their matches that year, and was still losing to Connors in their biggest match.

    Maybe not at the French Open, as the conditions suit Lendl much better, but there would still have been that question mark about Lendl's mentality. With Connors on the other side of the net, it would have been a different mentality entirely to a McEnroe who had started brilliantly but then faltered as Lendl fought his way back into the match and eventually won.

    Connors would have smelt blood about Lendl's insecurities, like he had at Flushing Meadows. Now, Lendl might still have won, but I'm not totally convinced in this hypothetical that he does. Their 1985 French Open semi final was different for the reason that Lendl was now defending champion, which gives the situation a different perspective. It's a semi final rather than a final, Connors is a year older and Lendl is defending champion, which leaves Lendl in a stronger position to the hypothetical meeting in the final from a year earlier. Lendl is more secure in his position by this point, although those insecurities of old would return after Wilander beat him in the 1985 French Open final, Leconte completely outplayed him at 1985 Wimbledon, and McEnroe did likewise in the finals of 1985 Stratton Mountain and 1985 Montreal.

    I think it's a real shame that Connors had no chance of winning their 1985 US Open semi final after he had badly injured his ankle. That would have been a fascinating match. That's the way it goes sometimes, though. Lendl's win over McEnroe in the 1985 US Open final is what changed him. I believe that Lendl truly believed himself after this that he shouldn't be losing to anybody any more, whereas previously, the really big occasions against players like Connors, Wilander and McEnroe would unsettle him.

    But why would anybody think that?

    Okay, but I would have favoured Connors in both in this hypothetical, and the recent history backs it up.

    Lendl is an obvious favourite at the French Open. My doubts are about a big final against Connors when Lendl has yet to win a major. Connors smells insecurity and exploits it.

    Yes, I do think that 1982 was Connors' best tennis, even though 1974 was the most dominant statistically. Higueras clearly played a brilliant match.

    I've explained this above. The fact that it's a semi final instead of a final, and that Lendl is now the defending champion instead of being majorless, changes the whole scenario, the whole mentality surrounding the match. Lendl never had issues with major semi finals. Even in 1982, he could beat 3-time defending champion, McEnroe, in straight sets in the semi finals of the US Open. The fact that Roland Garros is a much better natural venue for Lendl than Connors on top of all the other factors, only increases the likelihood of a Lendl victory, which is what happened.

    I'm sorry, but I haven't questioned Lendl's winning of the 1984 French Open. The suggestion about Connors was purely hypothetical, not actual reality.

    But what Connors had showed, and several times recently, was that he would beat Lendl in the biggest matches, especially when Lendl had not won a major and the media were criticising him. The big match occasion is what favours Connors, even though the surface playing conditions taken on their own favoured Lendl.

    Connors won more titles, was constantly thwarted by McEnroe in the biggest events, and still had the big match edge against Lendl. That is why I favour Connors for second in 1984.

    Wilander won less titles and had losses to Cash at Wimbledon and the US Open, with the Wimbledon loss being in the second round.

    Anyway, that's my say :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
    #28
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    I would agree if only Lendl had beaten Connors once.But he lost a lot of consecutive matches to Connors , from 1979 to 1981 and only beat him in 1982, for the first time.Connors reached the semis at Wimbledon, the USO while Lendl took the Masters and lost the FO final, but was beaten by Fancutt at Wimbledon and Gerulaitis at New York...
     
    #29
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    I agree with Mustard that it would have been interesting to see Lendl , still to win a major, against declining Connors.

    But bear in mind that Lendl amde an enormous menthal effort against a man that had whipped the floor with him in all his former matches that year and was stil doing two sets at the famous RG final.Lendl had to overcome NOT ONLY MAC´S BRILLIANT PLAY but alos, the fact that Mac had beaten him handily at Phily,Masters,Forest Hills (¡¡ on clay¡¡), Dusseldorf ( ¡¡ on clay¡¡¡), Brussels...and was two sets up.1981 or 82 Lendl would hace surely yielded and Mac would have easily win a straight sets final and would have his RG title by now ( and would inmediately be considered a GOAT contender).

    But Lendl refused to yield.

    IMO, it is much more difficult to overcome that deficit against 1984 Mac ( with all the former defeats I mentioned) than beat a declining Connors, whom Lendl ahd thumped in their former matches (Masters,Rotterdam,WCT Tournament of Champions), even if Connors had had in the past the menthal edge over Lendl.

    In other words, a declining ( yet dangerous ) Connors would have almost no chance to win the 1984 RG version of Lendl on clay.He was still better on grass and about even on hard, so a 1984 USO final between both would have been a great match to see ( and I think Lendl would´ve won it, finally)
     
    #30
  31. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,690
    I also think that Lendl was clearly the no. 2 player ahead of Connors in 1984.

    Connors won 5 titles in total, one of them a big one at the Tokyo Indoor. Boca West wasn't a big tournament yet in 1984, and LA was not as important as it had been in the 70s. Lendl won 3 titles in total, one of them a huge one at Roland Garros and one of them a big one at Wembley, which was at least on a par with Connors's biggest title that year. So looking at quality over quantity, Lendl clearly had the better title collection. Plus Lendl reached 3 big finals that year (at RG, the US Open and Masters), to Connors's 2 (at Dallas and Wimbledon).

    Yes Connors won their biggest match at Wimbledon that year, but then again Lendl beat McEnroe on the big stage in the RG final while Connors couldn't beat him at all that year. Connors had a combined 2-12 win-loss record against McEnroe/Lendl/Wilander with losing records against all 3 players and 0 official wins against either Mac or Wilander. Lendl had a combined 6-9 record against McEnroe/Connors/Wilander, with winning records against Connors and Wilander, and wins over all 3 of those players in big tournaments.

    Connors was stopped by Mac 6 times that year, but Lendl was as well, so both players suffered a lot at the hands of a peak magician with a racket.

    I really can't see what possible reasoning there is to anoint Connors as the no. 2 player that year, other than being a very biased fan of him.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
    #31
  32. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,690
    The hypothetical discussion over who would win between Connors and Lendl at RG and the US Open in 1984, if Mac was out of the picture, is interesting.

    I think Lendl beats Connors pretty easily in a hypothetical RG meeting. At the US Open, both players were of a fairly similar standard on hard courts, but there was a hugely pro-Connors and anti-Lendl American crowd at play as well. At Roland Garros, Lendl was a much, much better player than Connors on red clay, and there was no partisan crowd rooting against him and for Jimbo.

    Aside from those first 2 sets in the final against Mac, the tennis that Lendl had been playing throughout that fortnight at RG had been outstanding. I know that Lendl-Wilander matches on clay were a snoozefest for many people, but Lendl was truly excellent when he destroyed Mats in their semi-final that year (better than Mac was against Connors in the other semi I think), not to mention those last 3 sets in the final. Compared to a peak Mac, the Connors of 1984 would have had very little to hurt Lendl with on red clay I think. Lendl 'bunting' the ball to Connors on red clay would lead to a lot of trouble for Jimbo.

    However in a hypothetical 3rd consecutive meeting at the US Open in 1984, with Connors back at his favourite tournament and home turf, and with that crowd rooting so strongly for him, I think Connors wins once again. If Connors was to play as well against Lendl as he did against Mac during midnight madness, he wins in a big hard court match.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
    #32
  33. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,615
    Let's start with your argument that Lendl never had trouble with major semifinals. This erodes your own position about the Wimbledon semifinal that he lost to Connors in '84. If Lendl never had trouble with major semis, as you say, then what explains the fact that he lost that semi to Connors? It can't be that he was frightened merely of the big stage, if your position is that major semifinals in themselves were no trouble for him.

    You named a number of reasons for Lendl having no trouble with Connors at their RG meeting in '85. Nearly all of the same factors apply as well for the Wimbledon meeting in '84, except in reverse, against your own argument.

    - You say that the RG meeting was a semi, and that Lendl never had trouble with semis. Well, since the Wimbledon meeting was a semi, that eliminates your contention that Lendl lost to Connors at Wimbledon because Connors had the mental edge in big settings. It sounds very much like you're saying that Lendl never had trouble with major semis and only had trouble with major finals. But since the Wimbledon meeting was not a final, something else, apart from mental factors, will have to explain Lendl's loss there.

    - You say that by the time of the RG meeting Lendl was no longer majorless. That was also true at the time of the Wimbledon meeting. Yet Connors lost that meeting. You see what I'm getting at? If Lendl drew mental strength from having won a major, then he drew it at Wimbledon in '84 as well as at RG in '85. And that just continues to cut away at your argument that Lendl lost the Wimbledon meeting for mental reasons.

    - You say that RG being a more favorable venue to Lendl was also a factor in the way he easily defeated Connors there in '85. Ok, well if venue and surface are a factor helping Lendl at RG, and hindering Connors, then venue and surface are a factor helping Connors in the Wimbledon meeting, and hindering Lendl. Grass was Lendl's weakest surface, and one of Connors' strongest. Red clay was one of Lendl's strongest surfaces, and Connors' weakest.​

    Basically what I'm saying is that the factors you've used to explain why Lendl handled Connors with ease at RG in '85 are also factors at Wimbledon in '84, except in each case they work against your argument that Lendl lost the Wimbledon meeting because he couldn't handle the big stage.

    What remains are physical explanations for Lendl's loss to Connors: that is, he lost because he was a lesser grasscourt player than Connors; and because he was utterly depleted after what he did at RG.

    And all of that, again, is confirmed by Connors himself: he said that Lendl's collapse at Wimbledon, in his opinion, was more physical than mental. He had no reason to say that if he didn't believe it. He never said anything like that about the USO finals; in fact his comments about Lendl's performances in those matches were always more critical.

    Your emphasis on the fact that Lendl lost to Connors at Wimbledon despite bageling him in earlier matches continues to strike me as superficial in the extreme. It is not like Lendl plastered Connors at Queens Club and then lost to him two weeks later at Wimbledon. He bageled Connors on clay, then underwent a grueling test at RG in the intervening two months, while Connors underwent nothing particularly taxing at RG; and then they met on a brutally hot day at Wimbledon, making the physical explanation all the more appropriate.

    And now that you have yourself brought in venue and surface as an important argument for the '85 RG meeting, why do you set aside venue and surface completely when it comes to Forest Hills? The only time you mention the double bagel at Forest Hills is when you talk about mental factors. But come on, if you regard surface as an important factor in the RG meeting, then obviously you need to concede that it was an important factor at the Forest Hills meeting. But I've never heard you say that: you only describe it as a "small" meeting in a broad narrative about how Connors wins "the big ones."

    Okay, you've said that you give Lendl full credit for his RG victory. In that case the hypotheticals, as interesting as they are to debate, have to be set aside. As you say above, your argument about Connors winning RG is hypothetical, and not having to do with reality.

    So Lendl stands with 1 Slam in '84, to Connors' none. Connors' 5-3 edge in total tournament titles is far too thin to overcome something as large as a Slam victory. You argue that Connors has an edge when you look at direct meetings between them, ie, in the H2H. That's ironic because Connors has a losing 2-3 record against Lendl in '84. The only possible edge Connors could have in the H2H is if he won he won the biggest matches. But as I said above, even that edge is very modest: you named the Tokyo Indoor as one of Connors' big victories over Lendl; that is matched by Lendl's win at Wembley. Connors' victory at Wimbledon is bigger than Lendl's at the Masters, but please, that is no decisive edge. A victory at the Masters was the biggest possible victory that you could have over an opponent, outside of the Slams.

    And your emphasis on H2H leaves us still with the Wilander issue. Wilander had Connors' number completely, with no ambiguity whatsoever. He beat him in big and small matches, and on Connors' best and worst surfaces. Having someone's number is your central argument here, so Wilander, by that argument, has to be leapfrogged over Connors.

    You mention that Connors won more titles than Wilander (5 to 3), and that he made 3 GS semis while Wilander lost to Cash in an early round at Wimbledon and in the quarters at the USO. But you completely passed over the fact that Wilander won the AO.

    You have consistently championed the right of the AO champions of the 70s and 80s to get full credit for their victories, even if they won over weak fields. So I assume that in your view, Wilander won a full GS title in '84, just like Lendl did. And in that case, Connors' 5-3 lead in total titles is once again far too thin to overcome something as big as a Slam victory.

    In this case it is even worse for Connors, because at least Jimmy got some big victories over Lendl. By contrast, he was entirely owned by Wilander in '84. So how can Connors' 5-3 edge in tournaments possibly overcome that, on top of Wilander's 1-0 edge in Slam titles, and Wilander's leading Sweden to the Davis Cup title?

    I'm pressing the Wilander issue for a lot of reasons, but it shows, I think, how absurd things can become when H2H between two opponents, who play as part of a full tour of players, is emphasized too strongly. H2H between two players can be emphasized to the max if nobody but those two players are facing off. When hundreds of players are facing each other in a worldwide tour, an emphasis on H2H between two players can definitely produce absurd results.

    In this case it would mean that Wilander has to be leapfrogged over Connors. But if Connors is kept ahead of Lendl, that means that Wilander is placed at #2 for the year, with Lendl at #4. Nobody thinks that is correct: yet that is the necessary result if H2H between individuals (as distinct from H2H against the entire field of players) is made the central argument.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
    #33
  34. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,615
    Like your reasoning here :)

    I see what your saying about the rivalry in general, but if we focus only on '81, Connors beat Lendl, but only in two relatively minor matches: at LaQuinta and in a dead Davis Cup rubber.

    That's a very thin edge for Connors, compared to the large leads that Lendl has over Connors in number and quality of tournament victories: 10-4 in total titles, with one of Lendl's victories being the Masters.

    Not every one considers Dallas and the Masters to be majors equal with the Slams, but I know you do. So going with that, this is what we have for '81:

    McEnroe - 3 majors, no runner-up finishes, 10 titles overall.
    Borg - 1 major, 2 runner-up finishes, 3 titles overall.
    Lendl - 1 major, 1 runner-up finish, 10 titles overall.
    Connors - no majors, no runner-up finishes, 4 titles overall.

    I can't see Connors even being close to Lendl this year. I even have to admit that Lendl has an argument to leapfrog over Borg. I do think that Borg's argument is stronger, but it's closer than I had ever assumed -- partly because I, like most people, always regarded Lendl as the outsider in the Borg-Connors-McEnroe triangle. Those 3 players, to me, were self-evidently the three best players for years on end, right up until Lendl took the #1 spot in '85.

    But you look at Lendl's achievements and he actually broke into that triangle fairly early.

    Strongly agree, particularly with your point about Lendl's level of play in the RG semis.

    Yes I think Lendl's bunting the ball would have been a huge problem for Connors on red clay.

    A USO meeting would have to be close, though I don't think there was much chance of Connors playing in the final as well as he did in the night-time semi against McEnroe. I just think that in general, the quality of play in USO finals has suffered from the fact that the players get no day of rest after their semis. I think a third-straight Connors-Lendl USO final may have been the least well played of all, considering what they both went through on Saturday.

    And in a match full of errors, with both players hurting, and Lendl slicing the ball as much as he can, playing cautiously -- I think Lendl has a good chance of getting a lead, in that kind of match. Connors got on top of him when the slugging began and he could get his blood up. In a slow, tired match, Connors can get into a lot of trouble against Lendl, regardless of venue.

    If the match turns "hot," then of course you have to like Jimmy's chances. But I think all that can be exaggerated too. We know that Jimmy was tough as nails. But his 5-set record is not as good as Lendl's, and he was vulnerable in tight matches. On the one hand, when it got close he'd be fighting like a bull. On the other hand, at Wimbledon in '77 when he robbed Borg of a 4-love lead in the fifth set and took the momentum, smelling blood and vulnerability (we know how worried Borg was at that moment), he didn't capitalize. He double-faulted at 4-all and, in his own words, "played like a dummy."

    Then in the fifth-set tiebreak against McEnroe at the 1980 USO, despite the fact that the match was on fire and Jimmy was rocking the stadium, he played a poor tiebreak. I like Lendl's chances against Connors in any tiebreak they play at Flushing, at any point in the match -- largely because of Lendl's superior serve.

    Lendl and Connors played only two tiebreaks in their Slam meetings (at '83 USO and '84W), but Lendl took them both.

    I still think it's a toss-up, a Lendl-Connors meeting at Flushing in '84. Good arguments either way.
     
    #34
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714

    I agree with you that Lendl broke into the triangle and made it a quator
    In fact, that may have happened in the second half of 1980 when he beat Borg twice (one of them a classic indoor five setter) winning DC and reaching Masters final
    In 81 won Masters and reached Paris finals where Borg beat him in a classic 5 setter
    He beat world's number one John Mc Enroe 4 times, one of them an exo but the others at RG, DC at NY and Masters.The only member of that triangle out if his reach being Connors
    But he belonged with them
    I just can imagine what year 1982 we could have enjoyed if Borg had not QUOTE?
     
    #35
  36. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Lots of interesting debates here on the #2 slot for '84. It is not that clear cut, by any stretch. Has anyone looked at the ATP rankings for that year? I do recall Connors getting up there to #2 by year's end, which speaks to the consistency, if not the actual GS results, of his play that year.

    Does Lendl's RG win outweigh Connors results? Arguably, yes. But, Mac was the biggest thorn in Jimbo's side that season, not Lendl.
    At Wimby, it would've been hard to see Connor's not beating anyone other than McEnroe that year. A little too early for Cash to overcome Connors at that stage, IMHO. Maybe, but not likely.

    RG, no question, would've favored Lendl in the final that year, unless Ivan gagged big time. I do think the crowd there would lean to Connors at that time, in all honesty.

    USO, likely a toss up, however, Connors was in peak form all thru that tournament, not just in the match vs. Mac. So, I'd give him an edge there versus Lendl.

    Re: wimby, yes, Connors did cite Lendl physically breaking down. It was clear he was exhausted, but not like Jimmy was a spring chicken, either. And, Lendl won the first set, so he had an edge. But, over the course of the match, I do think Jimmy's style on grass wore Ivan down...it was just a very fast court back then and Connors was infinitely more comfortable. It was easy to see that.

    I saw that final from Tokyo as well...it was a very fast indoor court; Connors got a head of steam behind him and ran away with it, playing very aggressively. If Connors could rush Lendl's stroke production, that tended to make the difference, I think. So, Connors' aggressive/explosive service returns and ground strokes on a fast/uneven surface, could create havoc in Lendl's game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
    #36
  37. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,615
    Agreed to many of the points you make. A couple of things, though. The ATP computer placed Connors at #2 for 1984, but this was the same computer that only two years earlier (1982) had placed McEnroe at #1 and Connors at #2, despite Connors pulling down two Slam titles and McEnroe none. In '83 the computer put Lendl at #2, Connors at #3 and Wilander at #4, despite the fact that Lendl had no Slams for the year; moreover, Wilander is usually everybody's choice for #2 or even for #1 that year.

    I might agree that Connors' #2 ranking in '84 reflects his consistency, but does it? Nobody was more consistent in '83 than Wilander, yet he ended up fourth on the computer that year.

    On the hypotheticals, I give Lendl somewhat more chance at the USO than you do, but I don't really disagree strongly with anything you said about hypothetical meetings that year. And what you said about the actual meeting that Lendl and Connors had at Wimbledon, I agree with.

    What I find very problematic is this: "But, Mac was the biggest thorn in Jimbo's side that season, not Lendl."

    That is exactly what you would expect. If you're the #2 or #3 in the world, the biggest thorn in your side is probably going to be the world #1. Not anybody else.

    Why is Lendl expected to be the greatest thorn in Connors' side? Why is he being held to that standard? Lendl was not the top player in the world.

    McEnroe was everybody's biggest thorn that year. That's why he was #1.

    But the only player who did significant damage to McEnroe that year -- damage that John still has nightmares about -- was Lendl.

    Besides, this statement about John being Jimmy's greatest thorn is true in reverse: McEnroe, not Connors, was Lendl's greatest thorn in '84. Lendl lost only twice to Connors. Lendl lost far more matches (6), and bigger prizes (the USO and the Masters), to McEnroe.

    At that point the statement becomes meaningless. If somehow Connors gets brandished with honor, or something, for losing 6 times to McEnroe, well Lendl lost 6 times as well to McEnroe. The only reason it wasn't 7 is because Lendl took one of their meetings, which of course is credit to Lendl: huge credit to him.

    It's astonishing to me that in all sorts of little ways Lendl's big victory at Roland Garros is not being allowed to carry its full weight. Lendl's actual wins are getting weighed against Connors' hypothetical wins. Or, Lendl's WIN over McEnroe is getting weighed against Connors' LOSSES to McEnroe -- and somehow Connors comes out looking BETTER because he actually did less damage to the world #1 than Lendl did. Is this for real?

    Connors' losses to McEnroe carry no weight whatsoever apart from the hypothetical argument that with McEnroe out of the way, Jimmy would have won those tournaments. And then there is only weight there if we use hypothetical victories to judge the actual achievements of the year. But I think on this board all the best posters have a common agreement that we should be trying not to do that. We discuss many seasons here, like 1977, and try to judge the achievements on their merits, without letting hypotheticals give an edge to any player.

    And if hypotheticals are set aside, Lendl stands with 1 Slam to Connors' none. That's huge. We all know the night-and-day difference between going Slam-less in a season, and managing to pull down one Slam. If you pull down two Slams you've gone from a great season and entered true heavyweight territory.

    Those are the huge incremental differences that you gain with each additional Slam that you can win in a season.

    By contrast, what is the difference between Connors' 5 tournament titles compared to Lendl's 3? Miniscule.

    The only edge Connors has over Lendl in actual achievements is that they beat each other at Wimbledon and the Masters, and Jimmy's Wimbledon victory is bigger. Considering how great a tournament the Masters was back then, that is no great difference at all. And it is, at any rate, a mighty thin edge with which to attempt to cancel out Lendl's Slam victory.

    For the sake of being diplomatic I'd like to agree that it was close, but for the sake of being honest I can't.
     
    #37
  38. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Agree with Krosero.Connors had his really last brilliant year in 84 while in 85 he was outweighted by Becker.He proved that 3 pr2 is the general limit if you are a top pro era player
    It was with Laver,Ashe,Newcombe,Edberg,Sampras,N
    astase and of course Jimmy

    In 84 Lendl, who is so underrated here was the second best and Wilander and Connors were sharing number 3
     
    #38
  39. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Ah, the mysterious, perplexing ATP computer! What were they doing back then? Best of 14 events? or was it a weekly rolling average? I honestly do not remember. Still, I am not convinced that 1 RG title makes Lendl the de-facto #2 player for the season that year. You do have to give some consideration to the entire season...in the last 10 years (?), we've had a lot of one-shot wonders at RG who accomplished little else during the year. Not the case w/Lendl, surely, but '84, if not for the RG win, would've been one of his weakest years ever. Mac was just that good. Not to mention the complete turn in their rivalry, since Lendl had been cleaning his clock prior to that point, as you have stated.

    You can go either way for '84's runner up slot....not a lot separated Jimmy and Ivan that year....aside from Mac gobbling up nearly everything in sight.
     
    #39
  40. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,615
    "Not a lot" is not a good way to refer to a RG title.

    This is the first time I can recall that a 5-3 edge in tournaments is argued to cancel out, or even to overcome (!), a 0-1 deficit in GS titles. A 5-3 edge in tournaments is practically nothing. Yes of course Lendl's title haul was one of the poorest of his career. So was Connors'. The only question is which is greater between them, not where each man's title haul fits into his overall career.

    And really I see little else for Jimmy other than the 5-3 edge, in tournaments. We've spent so many posts arguing about the H2H in '84 between Lendl and Connors, and particularly the Wimbledon meeting, that we've practically forgotten: Lendl won the H2H with Connors in '84, three matches to two. At best, Connors' win at Wimbledon, being somewhat bigger than Lendl's win at the Masters, makes them approximately equal in the H2H.

    So really it's Jimmy's 5-3 edge in tournament titles, and possibly a thin edge, at best, in the H2H, that would have to cancel out Lendl's Slam victory -- or even overcome it, as the argument seems to be.

    Just don't see the numbers for Connors here, on this we just have to agree to disagree.
     
    #40
  41. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,690
    I agree that Lendl's RG title (when he beat the Italian Open champion Gomez in quarters, and the 1982 champion and 1983 finalist Wilander in the semis before overcoming Mac) has been downplayed here. 'If not for his RG win' is not a good arguement at all. He did win it, and thus that achievement was far more significant than anything that Connors achieved all year. Both players were very consistent throughout the whole year, regularly reaching the latter stages of tournaments big or small, but Lendl also had a very important title win where he beat the dominant player in the world in the final.

    Connors failed to win any of the blue chip events in 1984 and had a terrible record overall against his 3 main rivals that year, with losing records against all of them. Not a very strong case for being the second best player of the year at all, against a player with a blue chip title win and a more respectable record against the big guns.

    Even in non-official/invitational tournaments which were important back then, Lendl's body of work was probably better than Connors's in 1984 as well, with him winning the European Champions' Challenge in Antwerp for the second time plus a couple of other events.
     
    #41
  42. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Antwerp began in 1985
     
    #42
  43. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,690
    No it began in 1982, and Lendl beat McEnroe in the final that year. At the time many people considered it to be an impressive and proper title for Lendl, even though it wasn't officially counted by the ATP.

    1985 was when Lendl won his 3rd title at Antwerp, beating Mac in the final again to take that golden racket home (players to needed to win the event 3 times within 5 years to receive the racket).
     
    #43
  44. kiki

    kiki Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    18,714
    Completely right, I think I got confused with Lendl winning Golden Racket in 85

    A great semiofficial event in any case and far above the Gran Slam Cup held later in Munich
     
    #44
  45. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,690
    Yes it was an excellent tournament and that attracted very strong fields. Defini
    tely a much stronger event than many of the official ATP sanctioned ones.

    The Molson Challenge in Canada and the Beaver Creek Classic were also high quality unofficial events.
     
    #45
  46. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Does anyone have their respective 1984 winning percentages? I do wonder how close they were on that particular metric. Sure, 1 RG has a lot more prestige than 5 smaller tourneys, that's true. But, over the course of the year, wins are wins in the ATP ranking system. I also agree that vs. top 3, Connors did not have a very good year...Lendl was the only one he beat....losing to Wilander twice late in the season and to Mac 6 times over. These are all truths. If he had pulled off a Wimby or USO victory, I think the POV would be quite different, but that just was not in the cards.
     
    #46
  47. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    I miss those kinds of events. They were a lot of fun to watch and could be quite competitive. Big money in them too. Oh well, such were the boom days of tennis.
     
    #47
  48. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    7,889
    not in the 80s. WCT events & the Masters didn't count towards the ATP ranking.
     
    #48
  49. krosero

    krosero Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5,615
    In '84:

    Lendl won 5 non-sanctioned events, including ECC and a win over McEnroe at Suntory Cup (6-4, 3-6, 6-2): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_L....26_special_events.29_singles_finals_.2862.29. Would be interesting to know how many times McEnroe lost in these types of events, we all know he had 3 official losses for the year.

    Connors won 1 non-sanctioned event: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_...ther_Singles_titles_.28with_an_8_man_Field.29

    McEnroe won 2 non-sanctioned events, including AKAI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McEnroe_career_statistics#Other_singles_titles

    Wilander's Wikipedia page has no section for non-sanctioned events.

    So if all events are counted, Lendl leads Connors 8 to 6 in total tournament victories, 1 to 0 in Slam count and 3-2 in H2H.

    Well it's 3-2 in the official H2H, I don't actually know whether Lendl and Connors met in the non-sanctioned events.
     
    #49
  50. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3,498
    Location:
    A bloke in Brighton, England.
    hmm july 1984..hot sunny day, when connors was destroyed in the wimbledon final..

    connors was nearly 32 yrs old..was he tired ??..or just couldnt cope with megamac ??..or an off day for connors..??
     
    #50

Share This Page