would lendl be consider 'greater' if he had won the Aus Open on grass?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hlkimfung, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. hlkimfung

    hlkimfung Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    546
    Assuming still no wimbledon for Lendl, but he won Aus open before 1987 on grass.

    1. was this possible since Aus open usually lack the depth of field back then?

    2. would this put Lendl higher on the ladder since he won on three different surfaces?

    3. would winning a wimbledon ranked higher than winning a grass court aus open?
     
  2. borg's headband

    borg's headband New User

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    What do you mean really? Lendl never won Australian open on grass. However Mats Wilander did twice, so he actually won slams on all surfaces.
     
  3. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    8,722
    I actually don't think so. It would not have mattered or changed his place in history.

    Lendl was a proven grass court player, making two Wimbledon finals and winning Queens on multiple occasions.

    His place in history isn't as elevated as it could be NOT because he couldn't win on grass or that he is viewed as severely deficient on grass. It is because he could not win Wimbledon.
     
  4. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Messages:
    921
    I don't think it would elevate him necessarily. But an Australian Open title on grass at the expense of Mac or Connors might improve him vs. those two in some people's eyes especially if it had happened around 1981-1985.

    Mac and Connors rarely played that event anyway. Winning the title vs. Mats or some other player probably wouldn't have done much for him in the grand scheme of things other than to add another trophy to his case.
     
  5. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,929
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I agree with this. Granted it would prove he could win majors on all surfaces, in those days the Australian wasn't a truly in depth major and even if he won it I don't think everyone would rate him higher. As for the OP's Question about if a grass court Australian would look as good as a Wimbledon, I don't think so, the Australian was not as a big a major back then to many pros as it is now so even if he won it it would not be the same as winning Wimbledon. Unless he beat Mac or to a lesser extent Connors it probably wouldn't do much for him.

    That being said he did make two Wimbledon finals and was no slouch on grass by any means, just that at his time there were many others who were phenominal grass court players and he never seemed to be able to string together enough big wins to win a major on Grass.
     
  6. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,544
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I think it would have helped a bit to win either of the 1985 or 1987 Australians on grass. That was right at the time of his peak.
     
  7. borg's headband

    borg's headband New User

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    Yes, in 85 and 87 the competition grew stiffer. Especially considering that Boris Becker (winner of Wimbledon 85-86, remember the "86" Aussie open was not, and instead the tradition of playing in January started) played in both tournaments. Also in 85, McEnroe was there, aswell as the '84-winner Wilander and of course Edberg (who Lendl lost to in the semis). In 87, Lendl lost to Cash, whom he would again lose to in the Wimby final. Again, Edberg went on to win the tournament.

    I'd say in 85 and 87 the competition was as good as it gets except for Connors (who as good as he still was, couldn't be considered a contender for tournament-victory on grass any longer, losing the both Wimby 85 and 87-semis in straight sets).
     
  8. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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

    Well said. He needed a Wimbledon title to elevate his status more than it is. Lendl is a bit underrated though even on here. People forget that he has comfortable winning records over both Connors and McEnroe for one thing or people remember him as the early 80s choker that he was, but he got over it and dominated the later 80s.
     
  9. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    8,722
    Just to clarify, I assumed the OP was asking whether it would make a difference if one of Lendl's Australian wins (1989 and 1990) was on grass instead of hardcourt (Rebound Ace), not whether Lendl's legacy would benefit from an additional AO won on grass.

    Obviously, if OP meant the latter, then I guess he might be considered slightly greater since he would have 9 Slams instead of 8.

    But still, I think for Lendl detractors, the issue is the lack of a Winmbledon crown specifically, not the lack of a grasscourt Slam generally.
     
  10. hlkimfung

    hlkimfung Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    546

    yeah I mean the latter, sorry my english is going downwards.

    I always wonder why Lendl cant win Aus open during the Mid 80s, until I know it's played on grass until 88.

    Then it's back to my question, whether winning an additional Aus open, which is on grass, would raise him higher in the history. So far the answer is no. I guess people already rate two wimbledon final higher than an aus open on grass
     
  11. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    6,581
    The Aus Open field regained its depth in 1983, the first year Mats Wilander won it - beating Lendl in the final and McEnroe in the semi. Winning that title wouldn't necessarily have helped Lendl's overall standing.

    Winning a Wimbledon title ranks higher than winning anything else. If Kraijcek, Cash or Ivanisevic had won their lone majors at the US Open instead of Wimbledon they'd have received nowhere near the same amount of recognition. If Pat Rafter had won Wimbledon two years in a row he'd be rated far higher than he currently is. Swap Lendl's three US Open wins for three Wimbledon titles and people would consider him to have been far more successful.
     

Share This Page